x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

UAE sends Mogadishu 400 tonnes of aid

Red Crescent Authority continues to deliver UAE aid to drought-stricken Somalia.

DUBAI // A convoy carrying 40 tonnes of aid was dispatched to refugee camps near Mogadishu yesterday by the UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA).

The aid package, containing enough food to feed 1,000 families for one month, was sent by members of the RCA on the ground in Somalia.

"In the coming weeks, the RCA will continue to dispatch daily aid convoys to other camps," according to a statement issued by state news agency, Wam.

So far, the UAE's mission in the country has reached 10 camps around Mogadishu, the statement said.

The RCA has to date contributed Dh4 million in relief efforts since the first UAE delegation to Somalia left in July.

Dr Saleh Al Taee, the secretary general adviser to the RCA, said last Wednesday that a further shipment of 400 tonnes of aid would be dispatched to Somalia within the next 10 days.

He urged residents to donate money, food, clothes and medicines to the charity before the ship sets sail.

Somalia has been devastated by the worst drought in the region in decades which has been made worse by the presence of militant groups in the area, who have been blamed for aid camp shootings.

Tens of thousands have set up makeshift camps around Mogadishu.

From Wednesday, Abu Dhabi TV will host a 90-minute fund-raising telethon, Suqyahum, which translates as "quenching their thirst".

The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation sent 20 tonnes of food, and The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment last week bought 960 tonnes of food from Addis Ababa to distribute in Somalia.

mcroucher@thenational.ae