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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid sets up 'air bridge' for relief flights to Rohingya refugees

Shipments provide vital supplies for ethnic group fleeing persecution

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid ordered the creation of an open air bridge to provide critical relief supplies for the Rohingya refugees fleeing from the conflict in Myanmar.  Courtesy: Dubai Government Media Office
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid ordered the creation of an open air bridge to provide critical relief supplies for the Rohingya refugees fleeing from the conflict in Myanmar. Courtesy: Dubai Government Media Office

An aid flight for Rohingya refugees left Dubai on Monday and three more are planned for next week as efforts step up to provide relief for the ethnic group as it flees persecution in Myanmar.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has ordered the creation of an open 'air bridge' to to ensure food and supplies get through.

The regular flights from International Humanitarian City support the emergency efforts of UN and NGO organisations. The latest was on Monday and additional relief flights have been scheduled for October 11, 13, and 15.

To date, over 270 metric tons of aid have been delivered to Bangladesh, with more aid to follow.

Sheikh Mohammed has also sanctioned the use of his private 747 with additional C130s and 757s as needed.

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UAE donates Dh830,000 worth of aid to displaced Rohingya Muslims

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He previously ordered two Boeing 747 airlifts to Bangladesh on September 12 and 26 to deliver substantial humanitarian supplies provided by the UN Refugee Agency. The shipments transported family tents to provide shelter to 8,355 refugees from 1,671 families, and 24,670 tarpaulins for 123,350 beneficiaries.

The relief flights will be loaded with hundreds of tons of core relief items, both food and non-food, made available by UNHCR, the UAE Red Crescent, the Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières, the International Organisation for Migration, and World Health Organization, through the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot in Dubai.

The total value of the relief items sent through the three shipments coordinated by IHC so far is $1.2 million.

The last time the IHC had an air bridge was for Gaza in 2014 after an Israeli bombardment ravaged the city. Response time was less than 36 hours.

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