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Fri 6 Oct 2017 09:34 AM

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Dubai ruler orders open air bridge to provide aid to Rohingya refugees

To date, over 270 metric tons of aid have been delivered to Bangladesh, with more aid to follow

Dubai ruler orders open air bridge to provide aid to Rohingya refugees

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has ordered the creation of an open air bridge to provide critical relief supplies for the Rohingya refugees fleeing from the conflict in Myanmar.

The air bridge, which reaffirms Dubai’s commitment to further support the emergency efforts of UN and NGO organisations, saw its first relief flight on Monday. Additional relief flights have been scheduled for October 11, 13 and 15.

To date, over 270 metric tons of aid have been delivered to Bangladesh, with more aid to follow.

Sheikh Mohammed has also sanctioned the use of his private 747 with additional C130s and 757s as needed. He had previously ordered two Boeing 747 airlifts to Bangladesh on September 12 and 26 to deliver substantial humanitarian supplies provided by the UN Refugee Agency.

The shipments transported family tents to provide shelter to 8,355 refugees from 1,671 families, and 24,670 tarpaulins for 123,350 beneficiaries.

Half a million Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar in the past month amid escalating violence and persecution, one of the fastest flows of refugees in decades.  

The order to create the air bridge has enhanced the ability of aid organisations based in Dubai’s International Humanitarian City to respond to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis.  

The relief flights will be loaded with hundreds of tons of core relief items, both food and non-food, made available by UNHCR, the UAE Red Crescent, the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and World Health Organization (WHO) through the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Dubai.