BRUSSELS, 21st March, 2023 (WAM) — Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, affirmed that the UAE leadership directed the provision of aid in solidarity with the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Turkiye immediately following the devastating earthquake that struck the two countries. In this regard, the UAE has continued to stand by the Syrian and Turkish peoples in these difficult circumstances as part of the UAE’s commitment to providing humanitarian relief to those in need, particularly following natural disasters. This came during Al Hashemy’s participation in the international conference organised by the Kingdom of Sweden, the European Union, and the United Nations in Brussels to mobilise relief and support for early recovery programmes for those affected by the earthquake on 6th February. The UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation stated that the UAE believes that the magnitude of this tragedy requires an extraordinary response. Rapid and direct coordination took place with both Syria and Turkiye to identify initial requirements, after which the UAE sent search and rescue teams and medical supplies while equipping field hospitals and launching the largest humanitarian air bridge for the two countries. The UAE’s air bridge has dispatched thousands of tonnes of food, medical, and relief supplies carried by more than 240 aircraft and ships. This aid also included the provision of ambulances and amounted to US$330 million, including the allocation of US$20 million to support the United Nations Humanitarian Response Plan in Syria in partnership with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. l Hashemy remarked that the UAE’s assistance to the two countries has come at both the governmental and grassroots levels, as the national ‘Bridges of Good’ campaign received widespread support from the people of the UAE in providing donations and supplies. She stated that the UAE welcomes the Syrian government’s decision to open two international border crossings to increase the flow of aid for the next three months in response to the earthquake’s impact, which requires mobilising support to the Syrian people according to the UN Humanitarian Response Plan. The UAE also called upon Syria to immediately start providing early recovery programmes in areas affected by the earthquake, especially the Aleppo and Latakia governorates. Concluding her speech, Al Hashemy affirmed that the UAE will continue its efforts to strengthen bridges of cooperation, partnership, and dialogue to achieve stability and prosperity for all, particularly in challenging humanitarian circumstances.
Source: Emirates News Agency