Mohammed bin Rashid orders aid to victims of Cyclone Pam in the Pacific

In line with UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s directives to provide emergency relief to the thousands of displaced families in Vanuatu as a result of Cyclone Pam, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, instructed Dubai’s International Humanitarian City (IHC) and aid agencies within to gear up for emergency response and mobilized relief supplies.

A special airlift, a 747 Boeing, took off from the Royal Wing in Dubai today carrying 80 metric tons of aid from the World Food Program, Save the Children, World Vision, ADRA and Lutheran World Relief, while the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) lead the logistics operations. It will be among the first to reach the area. The aid, which consisted of electric generators, blankets, plastic sheets, tents, mobile storage units, water purification supplies, kitchen sets, electrical items and other relief materials, comes at a time when another cyclone is expected in the Pacific due to similar climatic conditions.

The aircraft, one of the first to reach the area, will land at Brisbane Airport in Australia, and then will be transported to Vanuatu by C130 aircrafts and by sea. It will also stop in Kuala Lumpur to load more relief items from the UNHRD hub in Subang.

Without the support of the Australian authorities it would have been hard to manage the emergency operations due to the destruction of landing strips in Vanuatu. Pablo Kang, Australian Ambassador to the UAE, who was also previously Australian High Commissioner in Vanuatu, warmly welcomed the UAE’s contribution.

“This type of assistance is critical and is yet another illustration of the UAE’s compassion and leadership in the area of humanitarian affairs. Australia is pleased to facilitate the delivery of UAE aid into Vanuatu, reflecting the desire of both our countries to grow our development assistance cooperation. I am sure the people of Vanuatu will say “tankyu tumas”.

This initiative comes as a response to the challenges faced by aid agencies in reaching the distant islands in the sprawling archipelago

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