UAE-WHO initiative dispatches aid to Somalia

Shipment contains medical supplies and protective gear.
Sunday 19/04/2020
Tonnes of medical equipment and coronavirus testing kits provided in conjunction with the World Health Organisation at the al-Maktum International airport in Dubai as cargo is prepared for shipment by the United Arab Emirates. (AFP)
International aid. Tonnes of medical equipment and coronavirus testing kits provided in conjunction with the World Health Organisation at the al-Maktum International airport in Dubai as cargo is prepared for shipment by the United Arab Emirates. (AFP)

ABU DHABI - The United Arab Emirates, in cooperation with the World Health Organisation (WHO), sent a special plane carrying 27 tonnes of medical supplies and protective gear to Somalia, including 7 tonnes provided by the UAE and 20 tonnes by the WHO, all earmarked to help about 27,000 medical workers in Somalia deal with COVID-19 pandemic.

UAE Ambassador to Somalia Mohammed Ahmed Othman al-Hammadi said that his country “is sparing no effort to contribute to global efforts to curtail the spread of COVID-19.”

The ambassador also pointed out that “since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, the UAE has sent urgent medical aid shipments to a number of countries and has supported relevant international organisations and their specialised bodies, especially the World Health Organisation, to deliver medical aid to a large number of countries in need.”

The Emirati news agency WAM quoted the ambassador as saying “the Emirates’ important air-transport logistical capabilities enabled it to transport medical equipment and devices and provide urgently needed supplies to thousands of medical workers and provide what they need to practise their work in treating COVID-19 patients.”

Somalia has received continuous support from the UAE over the past decade. Since 2010 and until March 2020, the UAE provided some $330 million in assistance to Somalia, benefiting more than 1.2 million Somalis. A large part of this assistance went to education, health and basic services sectors.

The dispatching of medical aid to Somalia came one day after the announcement of a partnership between the Emirates and the WHO to direct similar aid to Ethiopia, in the form of 33 tonnes of medical supplies.

The UAE’s efforts to fight the pandemic have included providing assistance such as medical supplies to more than eighteen countries throughout the world. It has also deepened cooperation with the WHO and provided many countries, including China, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Seychelles, with needed medical supplies and relief materials.

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