Friday, June 29, 2012

UAE launches relief campaign for Yemen

UAE on Friday launched a multi tasked donation campaign that includes a telethon to raise funds to help Yemen
    By Iman Sherif, Staff Reporter
June 30, 2012
    Gulf News
Abu Dhabi: The UAE on Friday launched a multi tasked donation campaign that includes a telethon to raise funds to help Yemen in a time of national crisis.
The telethon which ran on major television and radio stations received positive response. The RCA raised Dh3.275 million within two hours of telethon broadcast from 4pm to 6pm. Live telethon will continue for two more days, Saturday and Sunday, on Abu Dhabi TV from 6pm to 8pm.
 “The situation is far worse than we previously expected,” said Ahmad Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Board of the UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA), told Gulf News yesterday as the RCA launched campaign to raise funds yesterday.
 “The Red Crescent launched the campaign yesterday aiming at providing aid and food supplies to the Yemenis who are struck by near catastrophic food shortages throughout the country,” he said.
The campaign was launched in cooperation with the Khalifa Bin Zayed Humanitarian Foundation and the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Foundation.
 “Diseases, especially anaemia have spread across the country at a rapid pace, and the fatality toll is high. Almost every family has lost a member to diseases in Yemen,” Al Mazrouei added.
The campaign’s participants assessed the medical and health situation, discussed the process and procedures to distribute aid throughout the country, and mapped out priorities in delivering supplies, such as medical, food, shelter, as well as prioritising recipient areas.
 “Providing medical and food supplies is a first step in the recovery process. The country’s infrastructure is in great need for an overhaul to allow people to receive water, food and medical attention,” added Al Mazrouei.
Plans are already in place to begin collecting donations at the ten RCA branches and over 200 locations, including shopping malls and supermarkets, across the UAE.
 “People are asked to donate money, food, clothing and other needed items,” said Fahd Abdul Rahman, Deputy Secretary General for Resource Development at the Red Crescent.
Earlier this month, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan approved Dh500 million in aid to Yemen. This and other donations raised will provide basic foods and medical supplies directly to the hungry and needy people of Yemen. Distribution centres are being set in place.
The Armed Forces are ready to airlift food and urgently needed material to Yemen, whenever required, an official from the UAE Armed Forces told Gulf News.
The United Nations said that the crisis in Yemen has reached catastrophic levels with many children nearing famine.
 “Among under-five children, 58 per cent are severely malnourished. We are at the stage where we will see a famine like in the Horn of Africa, unless we intervene now,” Geert Cappelaere, Director of Unicef’s operations in Yemen, told Gulf News.

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