x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Khalifa orders 1,000 homes for Yemen

A thousand homes will be built in Yemen after the UAE came to the aid of tens of thousands left without shelter by devastating floods last month.

A thousand homes will be built in Yemen after the UAE came to the aid of tens of thousands left without shelter by devastating floods last month. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, decreed that the Red Crescent Authority should begin construction as soon as possible to replace 1,000 homes among those destroyed when torrential rainfall on Oct 24 and 25 caused flash floods in eastern Yemen.

On Monday, the UN called on the world to provide US$11.5 million (Dh42m) to aid the estimated 650,000 Yemenis affected by the floods. The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs said between 20,000 and 25,000 Yemenis were left homeless when at least 3,264 houses, predominantly made from mud bricks, were either destroyed or damaged beyond repair. More than 70 people died in the floods, while health facilities and more than 150 schools were damaged or destroyed.

Hundreds of other homes in the Hadhramaut and Mahara regions remain unfit for use. The UN plan also calls for food, water, sanitation and health aid to be given to those affected, as well as help in repairing damaged farmlands. Sheikh Khalifa's announcement, reported by the state news agency, WAM, comes after the UAE had already provided initial help to Yemen, including establishing a field hospital capable of treating 100 patients and dispatching basic supplies such as generators and water pumps.

Dr Ali al Kaabi, the Red Crescent Authority chairman, said the presidential decree would allow them to immediately launch development projects to aid flood victims. jhenzell@thenational.ae