Dubai, UAE: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has ordered an emergency humanitarian air-bridge to Sudan, transporting essential medical supplies in response to the evolving health emergency and in support of ongoing operations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the Country.
The International Humanitarian City in Dubai (IHC) facilitated three Boeing 747 cargo flight rotations by the Dubai Royal Air Wing fleet, made available upon the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The three flights will transport 283,805 kilograms of medicine, medical supplies, and health kits to Sudan to support the Sudanese people, alleviate their suffering and save precious lives.
This humanitarian air-bridge comes in response to the ongoing health emergency the Sudanese people are facing due to the critical shortages of essential medicine and the congestion of Port Sudan operations with a backlog of containers, which is delaying the release of vital medical supplies and increasing the vulnerability of internally displaced peoples (IDPs) and refugees. The rainy season in Sudan has also led to an increase in the frequency of transmission of water-borne diseases, complicating the medical emergency further.
The first flight of three to Sudan left this morning, Sunday 24th October at 09:00 from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to Khartoum , carrying 92,220 kilograms of medicine, medical aid, and health kits, supplied by the World Health Organization (WHO). Meanwhile the second flight will leave DXB to Khartoum on Wednesday 27th October, carrying 93,097 kilograms of further aid, followed by the third flight which will leave DXB to Khartoum on Thursday 28th October with an additional 98,488 kilograms of aid transported.
Dr Nima Abid, WHO Representative in Sudan said: “We are very grateful to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for making his royal aircraft available to WHO, and for Dubai’s continued support in making these flights happen. The expedited transport and delivery of the medicine and aid will most certainly save lives and alleviate suffering and we are grateful for the support from all parties engaged in coordinating this historic operation.”
“Sudan continues to suffer from the impact of global supply chain disruptions that affect the transport and delivery of essential medicine. These flights come at a critical time when Sudan is facing higher transmission of waterborne diseases due to the rainy season, as well as increasing numbers of vulnerable populations in need of humanitarian and medical assistance” added Dr Abid.
Mr. Giuseppe Saba, CEO of the International Humanitarian City, said: “In less than two months, Dubai Royal Air Wing is flying again back to Sudan and supporting WHO, the organisation at the forefront of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. This air-bridge represents yet another example of the personal commitment and devotion of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in helping and supporting those most in need. ‘’
‘’The first flight of the humanitarian air-bridge successfully delivered aid to Sudan on Sunday 24th of October, which also marks the 2021 United Nations Day, affirming His Highness and the International Humanitarian City’s dedication to global unity and humanity, working hand-in-hand with the nine UN humanitarian organisations hosted at the International Humanitarian City in Dubai’’ he added.
This air-bridge represents the single largest air bridge ordered between the United Arab Emirates and Sudan. The World Health Organization (WHO) will deliver much needed medicine and health supplies from its logistics hub in Dubai to Khartoum to address the health needs of 1.5 million people and support the protection of over 300,000 front-line health workers. The shipments valued at more than US$ 2 million also include essential pediatric medicine.
The supplies will be immediately distributed upon arrival to health facilities in 19 States across Sudan. WHO’s Dubai Logistics Hub is also deploying technical staff with the supplies to facilitate the operation.
This year, WHO’s Logistics Hub in Dubai has delivered a total of 25 shipments to Sudan valued at US$ 1.4 million. In 2020, the hub supported eight lifeline shipments to Sudan valued at US$ 900,000.
Through its logistics hub in Dubai, WHO is able to immediately and efficiently deliver lifesaving supplies to countries around the world. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hub dispatched over US$ 90 million worth of health supplies to over 120 countries.