Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has sent emergency aid flights to transport life-saving humanitarian assistance to Kabul to help hundreds of thousands of people in areas of Afghanistan ravaged by last week’s deadly earthquake.
The 5.9-magnitude quake last Wednesday hit hardest in impoverished Paktika province in the east, killing more than 1,000 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless.
On Tuesday, a cargo flight departed from Dubai to Kabul, carrying 24.5 metric tonnes of essential medicines, medical items, and cholera kits supplied by the WHO from its warehouses in the International Humanitarian City (IHC) in Dubai, state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday.
The facilitation and transport of aid come in response to the immediate humanitarian needs of the landlocked Southern Asian country following the earthquake, amid fears of a cholera outbreak besides the country’s already dire humanitarian situation.
Giuseppe Saba, CEO of IHC, said, “Reports indicate that this is the deadliest earthquake in two decades, further compounding the alarming humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. The IHC, under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is accelerating the rapid response of the international humanitarian community as it rallies to come to the aid of those impacted by the disaster.”
“Many organisations that we host in IHC are working around the clock to mobilise resources, and we are coordinating with them to provide all the required support to transport relief from our warehouses into Afghanistan. Time is of the essence, and Dubai and the UAE’s leadership consider a swift response a humanitarian duty to save lives,” he added.
Dr. Dapeng Luo, WHO Representative in Afghanistan, said: “The trauma and emergency surgery kits that are arriving on this flight from WHO’s logistics hub in Dubai’s International Humanitarian City are absolutely critical to maintain our ongoing support to the people of Afghanistan as these supplies will cover the needs of at least 340,000 people. We are grateful for the vital logistics assistance provided by the UAE in support of WHO’s global logistics hub in Dubai.”
Last week, the UAE also sent 30 tons of aid, including essential food supplies, to Afghanistan, under the directive of the UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.