UAE residents: This is how you can help Somalia

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

The UAE has launched a nationwide campaign to help the more than six million people who desperately need humanitarian assistance following droughts in Somalia – and they are calling on you, the UAE people, for your urgent generosity.

The Dubai Media Office announced that the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC)  has teamed up with the telecommunications companies du and etisalat,  to help the campaign titled ‘For Your Sake, Somalia.’

In a text message sent out to customers, the UAE residents were asked to “put an end to the famine in Somalia and help millions of affected people”.

Companies wishing to donate can also provide aid to those in need through the ERC’s website. They can donate part or full-payment for things like food parcels, medicines, livestock and water transportation. There are multiple alternative options for individuals wishing to donate for the cause.

Launched under the directives of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to curb the famine in Somalia and to mobilise support for those in desperate need for food and water, the campaign has also received support from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and the follow-up of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the ERC.

According to the United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP), a total of $272 million is needed in a span of five months to bring the malnutrition problem that has taken over drought-hit Somalia, under control. Just last week, the UAE pledged to give at least Dh500 million aid to famine-hit Somalia in the coming weeks, and in a separate assistance initiative, the UNWFP on Saturday flew a shipment of more 47 metric tonnes of high energy biscuits out to the country via Sharjah airport.

Speaking to Stefano Peveri earlier this week, senior logistics officer at the UNWFP’s UN Humanitarian Response Depot on Wednesday, he said that 6.5 million people are considered “food insecure in Somalia” and 3.5 million people do not have access to the minimum food intake. Since the droughts took hold, crops are not growing anywhere in the country and there is a high risk of chronic starvation among the people there.

Since March 2017, more than 100,000 drought-displaced people have arrived in the region’s capital, Baidoa, from neighbouring areas.

According to the latest report released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the UAE is the biggest donor in the world, relative to national income, for the year 2016.

The OECD report revealed that among the several non-development assistance committee (DAC) members who report their aid flows, the UAE posted the highest official development assistance (ODA) of about Dh15.23 billion in 2016.

Source: KhaleejTimes