This isn’t the first time he’s done this, and Sheikh Mohammed says his help isn’t “conditional”…
Last year, the UAE was the country across the world that spent the most on global aid (when compared to its wealth). The Emirates spent Dhs15.23 billion on aid and development assistance for countries in need in 2016 (and this was the third year in a row that the UAE was number one on this OECD index).
And it seems H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and Vice President of the UAE, leads by example: in the past month he’s sent his private plane to help those in Sierra Leone and the Rohingya people that have fled to Bangladesh, and multiple times too.
First he ordered an emergency airlift bridge (aka, a free-flowing path for aid planes to fly) be set up to create a connection between the UAE and the more than 500,000 Rohingya refugees that have fled from violence in Myanmar to southern Bangladesh, he then offered his private 747 for airlifts.
“The UAE does not provide conditional assistance and neither does it for the sake of reciprocal interests. It does so only for the good and stability of all peoples,” said Sheikh Mohammed on Twitter.
The UAE has now sent six airlifts to the Rohingya refugees – all with urgent relief items that will help more than 100,000 people.
Here’s one of the planes full of aid getting set to take off – click to play:
“Swift and timely transfer of aid is crucial in the harsh lives of Rohingya refugees. Every minute counts,” explained HRH Princess Haya, chairman of Dubai’s International Humanitarian City and Sheikh Mohammed’s wife.
“HH Sheikh Mohammad generously offered his private plane to deliver much needed humanitarian aid as part of the emergency airlift bridge HH recently created. Three more airlifts went out from International Humanitarian City (IHC) on October 11th, 13th and 15th, bringing the total number of airlifts to 6 so far.”
And last week, Sheikh Mohammed personally sent an Airbus A330 to Sierra Leone, which has been hit by devastating mudslides recently. Sheikh Mohammed’s plane was filled with relief supplies – the jet contained blankets, mosquito nets, tarpaulins and hygiene kits. The UAE has also given Dh36.7 million of aid to those hit by Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean – the UAE has also launched a Dhs183 million UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund, which is one of the largest-ever investments in the region’s clean energy sector.
Also, the Emirates Red Crescent is in the process of setting up a relief camp in Bangladeh for Rohingya refugees fleeing the Rakhine state of Myanmar.
THE UAE PUTTING PRESSURE ON THE WORLD TO HELP…
And that’s not all, the UAE’s elected government – the Federal National Council – has a delegation at the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Russia right now to present an “urgent draft resolution” on the role of parliamentarians in ending the persecution of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. The Federal National Council delegation, led by Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, the speaker of the FNC, will call on authorities in Myanmar to “allow a fact-finding mission made up from UN officials, humanitarian organisations and media representatives, to freely enter Rakhine State”.
The UAE is also calling on the Parliament of Myanmar to amend its 1982 citizenship law and grant the Rohingya minority the right to full citizenship according to international law, as well as taking “the necessary steps to prevent the destruction of places of worship and local infrastructure in Rakhine State”.
The draft resolution will also call on the UN Security Council to convict those involved in crimes against humanity, and will call on more countries to provide aid to the Rohingya people.
Pictured: Princess Haya on Sheikh Mohammed’s plane with aid sent to Haiti last year, a camp in Southern Bangladesh and Sheikh Mohammed
Photos: Twitter/Instagram & Getty