x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Aid leaves Dubai to help 150,000 displaced Syrians

One of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' biggest shipments sets sail for the troubled country.

Relief items from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are being shipped off from Jebel Ali port to Syria’s refugees as part of the UNHCR aid relief. Courtesy: International Humanitarian City-Dubai
Relief items from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are being shipped off from Jebel Ali port to Syria’s refugees as part of the UNHCR aid relief. Courtesy: International Humanitarian City-Dubai

DUBAI // Two ships have left for Syria containing relief items from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees that will help 150,000 displaced people.

The MV England sailed out of Dubai’s Jebel Ali Port on Friday carrying 24 containers loaded with UNHCR aid. It followed the MV Msc Messina, which was loaded with 20 containers of specially produced UNHCR relief items.

The 44 containers are scheduled to reach Syria’s Tartous seaport in about one month.

This is UNHCR’s largest container shipment of relief aid to Syria this year from the agency’s Central Emergency Stockpile in Dubai’s International Humanitarian City (IHC).

“This shipment is among the largest consignments of aid UNHCR Syria will have received this year and it is much awaited,” said Tarik Kurdi, a UNHCR representative in Syria.

“The situation of Syria’s displaced people is dire – they urgently need these basic domestic items to survive.”

The items include more than 29,000 plastic tarpaulins, 150,000 sleeping mats, 75,000 jerry cans and 30,000 kitchen sets.

The aid will be stored in UNHCR’s warehouse in Tartous for onward distribution to internally displaced people in war-affected communities throughout Syria.

“This shipment will help 150,000 displaced Syrians in areas among the most difficult to reach, such as Idlib, Aleppo, Raqqa and Deir Ezzor,” added Mr Kurdi.

The shipment is part of the agency’s efforts to help prepare many of Syria’s more than 4.25 million internally displaced people for winter. Overall, relief agencies estimate that there are more than 6.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance within Syria.

“We are proud to be able to provide first-class services to facilitate our members’ continuous efforts in providing relief to Syria and other countries where it is needed the most,” said Shaima Al Zarooni, the chief executive of IHC.

“There is an increasing urgency for aid, and our members are dedicated to address the critical situation through every possible resource.”

malkhan@thenational.ae