Airlift for Gaza Ordered by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Resumes from UN Warehouses in Brindisi, Italy and Dubai
Dubai, 3 August 2014 -- With nearly 260,000 Gazan civilians in more than 90 UN shelters as the Israeli bombardment continues after an aborted ceasefire, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, ordered the resumption of flights to help supply UNWRA, the World Food Programme, WHO and other aid agencies struggling to help the victims of the Israeli assault on Gaza. All told, over 1650 Gazans have been killed and over 9,000 wounded, with nine UN staff now among those killed.
Seventeen flights have already been dispatched from Dubai using a combination of Boeing 747s and C130s transporting food, blankets, kitchen sets, and medicine and hygiene kits. As Dubai's International Humanitarian City (IHC) restocks its supplies, a Boeing 747 from Dubai has been sent to Brindisi, Italy, the site of the United Nations' second largest Humanitarian Depot (after Dubai), to collect 30,000 blankets and deliver them to Amman, Jordan for shipment by truck to Gaza. With this eighteenth flight, the total operational cost has climbed to AED 23.3 million ($6.35 million). In addition, last week, HHSM ordered the dispatch of 100,000 Halal meals under the Salma initiative.
Additional flights with C130s are expected to resume from Dubai later this week, as the IHC continues to coordinate with its member organizations, the UN World Food Programme (WFP), UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD), UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Emirates Red Crescent (ERC).