The United Arab Emirates has sent a plane with life-saving supplies to Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo following the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano, following the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.
The humanitarian aid was transported by the International Humanitarian City (IHC), on a flight that took off from Al-Maktoum International Airport (DWC) to Kigali in Rwanda, with the aim of providing the required assistance to those affected.
The manager of the UNHRD Dubai Centre, Belkacem Benzaza, highlighted the generosity of IHC in "facilitating the deployment of the humanitarian team" to "provide access to clean water" to more than 20,000 affected people.
According to the official Emirati news agency WAM, the 93 tonnes of aid contains water purification kits provided by the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD), shelter relief items and PPE from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
The head of the IFRC's Global Fleet and Logistics Centre in Dubai, Ilir Caushaj, confirmed the joint inter-agency support: "The Red Cross Red Crescent (IFRC) in Dubai is responding to the eruption of the Goma volcano in Rwanda by sending several items on the relief flight.
The humanitarian support provided by the UAE is not surprising as it has also been prominent in its international assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. Giuseppe Saba, executive director of International Humanitarian City (IHC), said, "The global battle against COVID-19 has made these humanitarian efforts and relief flights even more important. With the help of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and the IHC in Dubai will continue to work to serve humanity".
During the COVID-19 crisis, the UAE has stepped up its support to more than 119 affected countries, including Iran, Russia, China, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, the United Kingdom and others. The UAE, in coordination with the Syrian Red Crescent, has sent 97.2 tonnes of aid to Syria, including medical supplies and testing kits.
The UAE's humanitarian work has been mainly based on the provision of medical supplies and the distribution of vaccines. This demonstrates that the UAE is an important international partner in the fight against COVID-19.