x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Dh14.6m in aid from UAE and Turkey to help Libyan rebels

The UAE and Turkey have sent millions of dirhams worth of aid to Libyan rebels.

The UAE and Turkey have sent a ship loaded with millions of dirhams worth of medical and humanitarian aid to the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi, the state news agency WAM announced today.

The cargo ship will be accompanied by a Turkish war vessel, and is expected to arrive tomorrow in Benghazi, where the rebels have set up a provisional government.

The ship will carry US$4 million (Dh14.6m) worth of humanitarian aid, including 32 tonnes of medicine and medical supplies, 388 tonnes of food staples, as well as 2,000 tents, 20,000 blankets and 72 tonnes of potable water. The UAE and Turkey are also sending two portable kitchens and bakeries that are able to produce 10,000 loaves of bread a day.

The aid will be distributed by the UAE and Turkey Red Crescent.

The aid comes as Col Muammar Qaddafi’s forces continue to bomb rebel-controlled towns in a bid to violently quell an uprising that has posed the most significant challenge yet to his four decades of rule.

It also comes after revelations by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE’s foreign minister, that Col Qaddafi’s government refused to accept or distribute humanitarian aid from the UAE to the Libyan people.

“We have faced absolute refusal from Libyan authorities on receiving and delivering this aid to those with a desperate need for it,” said Sheikh Abdullah last week.

“The Libyan situation is not only that there are military operations against civilians, but there is also deprivation of aid to these civilians,” he added.

The joint UAE-Turkish effort aims to relieve Libyans affected by the fighting. The UAE has also set up assistance camps for refugees on the Libya-Tunisia border.

kshaheen@thenational.ae