Princess Haya and Sheikh Mohammed have arranged for another huge aid shipment to go to Uganda to help the people of South Sudan…

H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, and his wife HRH Princess Haya, have arranged for Dhs1.658 million of aid to be sent from Dubai’s International Humanitarian City to Uganda to help the 830,000 South Sudanese people who have fled famine and civil war by crossing the border.

It is estimated that around 2,000 South Sudanese refugees enter Uganda every day (and that 1 million children have fled the country since the conflict started).

The relief cargo left Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport this week, and it included 10,000 kitchen sets, 4,000 solar lanterns, and 500 plastic sheets. This isn’t the first time aide has been sent to the South Sudanese refugees by the UAE – in 2016, Dubai’s ruler sent more than 100 tonnes of aid to the refugee camps in Uganda.

“This is our responsibility. This is our humanity. And this is what future generations will judge us by,” said Princess Haya of foreign aid in a speech at the World Government Summit earlier this year.

According to an OECD report released earlier this year, the UAE spends more on aid to other countries than any other country (when compared to its wealth as a nation).

It is expected that around another 400,000 people will leave South Sudan to go to Uganda this year. South Sudan is the world’s youngest country – it was formed as an independent state in 2011. 

Princess Haya visited South Sudan in 2014, and she wrote on her LinkedIn page last month about that experience: “I will never forget one mother I met – a proud women, who had walked with her children for days to reach the relative safety of Gambella. She had no idea where her husband was, or even whether he was still alive. He had been swept up in the conflict that remains the root cause of her country’s descent into chaos.”

“What can you do?” Princess Haya added to her letter appealing for collective action. “Contribute to the World Food Programme and other UN agencies on the front line of the fight against famine. Urge your government to contribute humanitarian aide. Let others know what is happening in South Sudan and to 20 million people teetering on the brink of famine.”


International Humanitarian City in Dubai – where aid is stored and then organised before it is shipped – has tripled in size in the past few years due to demand. It now has 360,000 square metres of warehousing facilities. Here’s what has been sent from there recently…

– The exact stats for 2016 haven’t been collated, released yet, but what we do know is that in 2015, the United Arab Emirates send Dhs32 billion (USD8.8 billion) of aid internationally.

– In a year from 2015 to 2016 the Emirates sent more than Dhs6 billion of aid to Yemen. A breakdown shows that Dhs929.7 million went into the energy and electricity sector; Dhs486.8 million into the transport sector; Dhs277.6 million to the health sector; Dhs161.8 million to the education sector; Dhs19 million into water and sewerage, and Dhs452.5 million funded the government and civil society sector. Dhs36.7 million went to the International Committee of the Red Cross, Dhs22 million to the World Food Programme, Dhs7.3 million to the United Nation Children’s Fund and Dhs53.3 million to the World Health Organisation.

– In March 2017, Sheikh Mohammed sent a personal plane filled with 100 tonnes of aid to Madagascar via IHC after it was hit by a cyclone. The delivery was enough to benefit 50,000 people for three months. Read more about it here.

– In October 2016, Sheikh Mohammed filled a plane with Dhs1.3 million worth of aid for cyclone-hit Haiti, and Princess Haya flew with the aid to help with its on-the-ground distribution.

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Photo: Facebook/PrincessHaya