Tag: UAE

How the UAE avoided food shortages among COVID-19, World Economic Forum explains
Middle East & Africa

How the UAE avoided food shortages among COVID-19, World Economic Forum explains

The World Economic Forum has published a detailed report on how the United Arab Emirates (UAE) provided sufficient food supplies during the lockdown imposed in response to COVID-19. The paper describes the steps taken by the UAE over the past four years to become more self-sufficient in their food supplies, limiting its dependence on imports. The forward-looking policies of the UAE leadership have allowed the Gulf country to overcome the health emergency of COVID-19 without difficulty, establishing itself as a model to follow for other countries around the world.

The effort – part of a broader push to produce more home-grown food amid fears climate change could trigger instability in the global food trade – started after the country was hit by food export bans during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the World Economic Forum affirms, indicating thatwhen the UAE went into lockdown in April to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, residents had the same reaction as millions of others around the world – they started panic-buying.

Nonetheless supermarket shelves have remained fully stocked, partly because the UAE has long had policies in place to ensure an uninterrupted supply of food from abroad,IsmahaneElouafi, Director general of the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) noted. “Thanks to the work being done to harness the benefits of innovation, agriculture is becoming possible and profitable in a country with harsh climatic conditions,” Elouafi said.

According to data from the World Bank, the contribution of agriculture to the country’s gross domestic product rose from $2.39 billion in 2012 to $3.06 billion in 2018. Currently ranking 21 out of 113 countries on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Food Security Index, the UAE aims to be in the top 10 by 2021 and number one by mid-century. By then, the federal government hopes half the food Emiratis consume will be produced locally, compared to 20% today. Under the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy – which was officially launched in 2018, but had already been woven into government policy for several years before – the country has worked to boost domestic food production. It has built infrastructure, including complexes for cattle-breeding – and introduced financial measures, from exempting value-added tax on food produced on local farms to paying subsidies on fodder.

The report also shows how to meet the country’s freshwater needs, the government is increasingly turning to energy-intensive desalination methods. Another challenge is that less than 1% of the UAE’s land is arable, according to the World Bank. The focus is on finding ways to farm with fewer resources – which is where technology and experimenting with new crops can help, said Sajid Maqsood, associate professor in the College of Food and Agriculture at United Arab Emirates University.

In recent years, the UAE has seen a rise in the number of vertical farms, in which crops are grown stacked under LED lighting and watered with mists or drip systems. In Dubai, the country’s business and tourism hub, airline catering service Emirates Flight Catering and vertical farm operator Crop One Holdings have launched a $40-million joint venture to build the world’s largest vertical farm. Crop One Holdings says the 130,000 square-foot (12,077 sq m) farm – due to be completed this year – will produce 6,000 pounds (2,721 kg) of pesticide- and herbicide-free fruits and vegetables daily, using 99% less water than traditional farms.

The Dubai-based ICBA works with local ministries, farmers’ associations and businesses to introduce climate-resilient crops such as quinoa, pearl millet and sorghum to farmers. “The global food production system is currently dominated by just a few staple crops – this needs to change,” IsmahaneElouafi affirmed. For Kapoor at Madar Farms, which has been growing leafy greens and microgreens in vertical systems since 2017, the move into tech-enabled agriculture is inevitable to deal with challenges like climate change and the novel coronavirus. As The world will have to shift toward controlled-environment agriculture.

UAE sent 6.6 tonnes of medical material to UK, boosting PPE production
Middle East & Africa

UAE sent 6.6 tonnes of medical material to UK, boosting PPE production

In the context of international cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, the United Arab Emirates has delivered today 6.6 tonnes of medical material to the United Kingdom that will enable the country to produce millions of items of personal protective equipment, PPE.

The shipment arrived at Heathrow Airport on a special chartered flight on Friday morning and was made up of 6.6 tonnes of melt blown fabric, an essential component of surgical face masks. According to UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) there is currently a global shortage of the material and its export is restricted from the UAE.

This shipment will enable the UK to manufacture millions of face masks to protect millions of medical professionals as they work to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The UAE Ambassador to the UK, Mansoor Abulhoul, said: “We are delighted to be able to assist Britain, one of our closest friends and allies. The UAE is committed to helping fight COVID-19 wherever it can and has donated aid to 63 countries around the world.”

Soon after the virus emerged the UAE retooled factories to produce PPE, the UAE was able to supply the material because of its internationally-recognised success in curbing the spread of COVID-19. Careful supply chain management also meant the UAE did not exhaust domestic supplies of melt blown fabric, which is used in the oil industry and is manufactured in the UAE.

Last April, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, donated 60 tonnes of urgent medical aid to the UK. The NHS has been given rent-free use of ExCel London; the conference centre owned by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre which is currently NHS Nightingale.

The UAE undertaken numerous initiatives to globally combat the new coronavirus, delivering more than 716 tonnes of medical aid to 63 countries; more than 716,000 medical professionals have been assisted worldwide so far.This global approach on fighting the common enemy, called COVID-19, allowed to save millions lives around the world.

UAE continue to help countries in need, together we win against COVID-19
Middle East & Africa

UAE continue to help countries in need, together we win against COVID-19

Friends recognize each other in times of need, the ancient Romans said. And that is why the United Arab Emirates and its leadership have not hesitated in extending a helping hand to neighboring and distant countries in need among the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, the UAE has sent over 646 metric tons of aid to 55 countries, supporting more than 646,000 medical professionals in the process.

On May 25, the UAE sent an aid plane carrying six metric tons of medical supplies to the Democratic Republic of Congo, to assist approximately 6,000 medical professionals as they work to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. An aid plane departed from Dubai last week delivered seven metric tons of medical supplies to Union of the Comoros, assisting 7,000 medical professionals.

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, also delivered the third shipment of classroom seating supplies to Sudan. Catering to the needs of 150,000 students across the country, the support aims to help Sudan advance its educational infrastructure. ADFD dispatched 540,000 tonnes of wheat worth $150 million to Sudan to meet its urgent food needs.

According to UAE official news agency, taking the total value of assistance provided by ADFD to support the educational sector in Sudan to AED55 million (US$15 million), the latest shipment includes seating supplies for 400,000 students in various states of Sudan. This shipment is part of the US$1.5 billion aid package approved by the UAE in April 2019 to support Sudan’s economic and financial stability. As part of this grant, the UAE deposited US$250 million into the Central Bank of Sudan to foster the country’s economic and financial stability.

The aid package also included US$11 million support for Sudan’s agricultural sector, as well as 136 tonnes of pharmaceutical and medical supplies to support the country’s healthcare sector. All these aids aimed to help the country accelerate sustainable economic and social development.

“We are honoured to extend assistance to Gambia today as part of the UAE’s efforts to enhance the campaign against COVID-19 throughout Africa.” Omar AlMeheiri, Charge d’Affaires of the UAE Embassy in Senegal, said commenting recent UAE humanitarian aid to Gambia, including 4 thousand of medical supplies and personal protections for 4,000 doctors and nurses. “Protecting frontline medical professionals around the world is a main pillar of the UAE’s strategy to help other countries overcome this crisis,” he added.

Also, the Prime Minister of Albania Edvin Rama has sent a message of sincere thanks and appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, expressing his gratitude to the UAE’s support for his country after the UAE sent seven metric tons of medical supplies to Tirana on May 15.
On the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, with the monitoring of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, and Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, the ERC distributed 770.4 tonnes of food aid to the residents of Hadramaut Governorate, Yemen, during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

The ERC intensified its relief and humanitarian efforts to help residents, under the framework of an urgent humanitarian plan to aid families directly affected by the economic damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak. They distributed a total 18,000 food parcels benefitting 90,000 people. In detail, it distributed 2,500 food parcels weighing 107 tonnes to 12,500 people in the districts of Adh Dhlia’ah and Dawan, as well as 1,400 food parcels in Hajr District weighing 5,992 tonnes, benefitting 7,000 people. Since the beginning of 2020, the ERC has distributed 25,410 food parcels weighing 1369.128 tonnes in Hadramaut, benefitting 127,050 needy families.

The numerous initiatives undertaken by the UAE leadership, to globally combat the spread of COVID-19, confirm that UAE’s assistance has only humanitarian purposes. The Emirates offered their genuine and unconditional help to all populations in need, without considering the political orientation of their governments. This global approach on fighting the common enemy, called COVID-19, allowed to save millions lives around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic is a colossal test of leadership, UAE showed decisive, coordinated and innovative action from all, and for all, confident that we can be stronger together.

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