Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has ordered the creation of an air bridge to provide critical relief supplies for the Rohingya refugees fleeing from the conflict in Myanmar.
The air bridge, which reaffirms Dubai’s commitment to support the emergency efforts of UN and Non-Governmental Organizations, saw its first relief flight recently. Additional relief flights have been scheduled for 11th, 13th and 15th October 2017.
To date, over 270 metric tons of aid have been delivered to Bangladesh, with more aid to follow. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed has also sanctioned the use of his private 747 airplane with additional air transport C130s and 757s as needed. His Highness had previously ordered two Boeing 747 airlifts to Bangladesh on 12th and 26th September 2017, to deliver substantial humanitarian supplies provided by the UN Refugee Agency. The shipments comprised family tents to provide shelter to more than 8,000 refugees from 1,671 families, and 24,670 tarpaulins.
Half a million Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar in the past month amidst escalating violence and persecution, one of the fastest flows of refugees in decades. The sheer speed and size of the fleeing refugees has overwhelmed aid providers.
The order to create the air bridge has enhanced the ability of aid organizations based in Dubai’s International Humanitarian City, IHC, to respond to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis. The relief flights will be loaded with hundreds of tons of core relief items, made available by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, UAE Red Crescent, International Federation of the Red Cross, IFRC, Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF, International Organization for Migration, IOM, and World Health Organization, WHO, through the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot, UNHRD, in Dubai.
The air bridge reflects the UAE’s keenness to support vulnerable populations across the world living in dire humanitarian conditions. Coordinated by the IHC and strongly supported by Her Royal Highness Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, Chairperson of the IHC and wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the air bridge will help provide timely and cost-efficient assistance to the Rohingya refugees.