Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 17 January 2020

UAE to raise funds for wildfire-hit Australia because 'mates help mates' says minister

Minister Reem Al Hashimy says the country will show its generous spirit

Humanitarian organisations are joining forces to raise funds and help people impacted by the unprecedented bush fires raging across Australia.

Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, said on Thursday: “A grassroots movement is growing in the UAE community to support Australia at this time.

"Burj Khalifa, Etihad Airways, Emirates Airlines and many others are showing that ‘#mateshelpmates.''

She held talks with the Australian Minister of Home Affairs Peter Dutton to coordinate and determine the type of support needed.

Dr Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, secretary general of Emirates Red Crescent, said discussions had been held with the Australian Red Cross about how best to help those who had lost loved ones, homes, and livelihoods as a result of the fires burning across Australia.

The two organisations will launch an appeal across the Emirates to raise funds for bush fire victims, Mr Al Falahi said.

“Our leadership is always keen to help those in need during difficult times. I thank the community living in the UAE in advance for any contribution they can make for our friends in Australia,’’ Mr Al Falahi said.

This week, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, discussed the fires in a telephone call to Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia.

He said the UAE, which is home to between 16,000 and 17,000 Australian expats, was ready to support the Australian people.

Julie Shams, acting ambassador in the Australian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, said she was humbled by the support that Australia has received in the UAE.

“I’m very grateful to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, and all UAE entities for their kind offers of support, and I know all Australians will be touched by this generosity from our friends on the other side of the world," she said.

Donations can be made via the Emirates Red Crescent website here:

Updated: January 9, 2020 05:39 PM

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