x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Red Crescent reveals its plan for Ramadan

Aid to senior citizens will be a priority this Ramadan for the Red Crescent Authority.

ABU DHABI //The emotional well-being of senior citizens will be top of the agenda for the Red Crescent Authority during Ramadan.

As part of the Red Crescent Authority's (RCA) annual campaign, officials have decided to focus on visiting the elderly at their homes or in nursing homes.

"It is a type of emotional support and we want to explain to them that they are not forgotten," said Mohammed Al Qamzi, the secretary general of UAE Red Crescent.

How many people will be visited as part of the campaign has not yet been defined.

"RCA cannot cover everyone. We should all do this with our children, we should spread the culture of visiting senior citizens, even those we don't know, in hospitals," he added.

The UAE RCA will also continue with its Iftar projects in the country and across the world. About 275,000 people from around the Emirates are expected to benefit from this project, while 28,000 families will receive assistance through Zakat al Fitir and Meer Al Ramadani - Ramadan food packages.

Aid will also be offered to 60 other countries, although Syria, for example, will not receive any packages.

"The UAE Red Crescent cannot enter a country and spread aid unless that country's Red Crescent contact us and ask for our help. Unfortunately, the Syrian Red Crescent have not," Mr Al Qamzi said.

"Even our teams in Turkey asked the Turkish Red Crescent to help in transferring aid to Syria, but they were told by the Syrian authorities they do not need any foreign aid."

As for Yemen, Pakistan and the Palestinian territories, the RCA will continue with its relief programmes and projects. In the past 18 months, the RCA has spent a Dh1 billion on projects inside and outside the country.

So far Dh150 million has been spent on Pakistan. The RCA also said that Gaza would receive more aid as the borders start to open up.

"We already spend hundreds of thousands there every month in Gaza and the West Bank. There are projects which are almost ready, some are still under construction and some are waiting to be implemented," said Mr Al Qamzi.

The RCA has Dh300m set aside for Gaza and West Bank projects.

Aid to orphans is also expected to increase during the holy month. So far 58,000 orphans across 30 countries, including the UAE, are being sponsored by the RCA.

hdajani@thenational.ae