21 Jul 2014

Dubai Begins Humanitarian Airlift for UNRWA in Gaza

Xxx, xxxx - 21 July 2014 -- As the number of casualties and injured civilians rises in Gaza, aid agencies in Dubai’s International Humanitarian City (IHC) have geared up for emergency response and mobilised relief supplies, donating them to UNWRA for thousands of displaced families in Gaza. 

Under the direction of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, a special airlift in support of displaced families in Gaza started last night from the Royal Wing in Dubai, where a 747 Cargo took off carrying 115 metric tons of aid (containing 45,000 mattresses, 10,000 blankets, & 220 hygiene kits) the plane landed at Marka International Airport in Amman, Jordan, early this morning. 

"We are very grateful for the immediate reaction and most generous response we received from Dubai and all the IHC members to our call for help", said Pierre Krähenbühl, UNRWA Commissioner-General, who added that "the Dubai airlift is one of the best examples of how effective humanitarians can be when working together."

In less than 24 hours, IHC coordinated participation of its member organisations, The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), UN World Food Programme (WFP)/UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Emirates Red Crescent (ERC).  THE MEMBERS planned a joint logistic efforts to ensure maximum efficiency in aid delivery to 100,000 internally displaced people amid deteriorating SECURITY conditions in Gaza. 

Relief items included jerry cans, sleeping mats, blankets, tarpaulins, hygiene kits, and kitchen sets. They were dispatched from IHC’s warehouses, which hold aid agency supplies including UNHCR’s, WFP’s, IFRC’s largest global stockpile, and THEN transferred to the Royal aircraft in the Dubai Air Wing.

More airlifts are scheduled to arrive in Amman in the coming few days, where the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) will be trucking the aid into Gaza for distribution.

UNWRA plans to expand the scope of the donations to include emergency food parcels as stocks of food and other essential goods dwindle.