UAE activate fleet to move life-saver cargo around the world
ABU DHABI – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) have launched in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) based in Rome, an international air operation that will provide a lifeline of essential health and humanitarian supplies to nations around the world using three UAE aircraft during 2020, after an agreement between the WFP and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, according to a Monday WFP press release.
“At this grave moment in history, when so many countries face enormous challenges at home, the UAE is once again stepping up as a leading first responder to global crises and making its significant capabilities available in the service of humanity,” said David Beasley, the WFP Executive Director who was in attendance at the meeting with His Highness.
The COVID-19 pandemic has overstretched health systems and is predicted to have a devastating social and economic impact. The UAE’s support aims to supply millions of medical items and thousands of tonnes of critical humanitarian cargo to vulnerable communities and frontline workers in more than 100 countries.
As most commercial airlines remain grounded and supply chains face complexities never seen before, the joint air bridge will reconnect aid operations with a supply of medical equipment, goods and expertise needed to confront COVID-19 in the world’s most fragile settings.
The WFP has warned of a global humanitarian catastrophe facing communities in some parts of the world that are already dealing with economic shocks, conflict, and natural disasters.
Leveraging the UAE’s unique position as a logistics gateway and commercial hub connecting all corners of the world, WFP operates in Dubai the largest humanitarian response depot in its global network. This is generously supported with funding from the UAE government, one of WFP’s top donors.
“WFP has been working tirelessly to set up the logistics backbone for the global COVID-19 effort,” said Beasley. “This partnership with the UAE will expand our capacity and support health and humanitarian organisations as we rally together to limit the spread of the virus and its devastating effects.”