UAE lauded for its aid efforts to quake-hit Turkey and Syria
The combined death toll from last week’s powerful earthquakes in Turkey and Syria has exceeded 41,000. A number of people are still being rescued, even after over 200 hours in the rubble. A lot more people could still be alive under collapsed structures, but the rescue phase is now coming to a close as attention shifts to food, water, and shelter.
The United Arab Emirates has played a prominent role in supporting search and rescue operations as well as relief efforts in the quake-ravaged nations.
While President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan ordered last week an aid package totalling $100 million to support relief work in Turkey and Syria, Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation, has also promised to offer $13.6 million towards facilitating aid efforts in the two countries.
In an effort towards providing necessary assistance to quake-ravaged communities in Syria, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid has also ordered humanitarian aid totalling $13.6 million through the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives.
Launched under the directives of President Sheikh Mohamed, the ‘Gallant Knight/2’ humanitarian operation has played a critical role in dispatching rescue personnel, and tonnes of food and medical supplies.
The UAE has also started the delivery of massive tents capable of sheltering 33,000 people to Turkey. So far, over a quarter of the intended number has been delivered.
The operation prominently represents the country’s commitment to its humanitarian obligations and its growing emphasis on supporting victims of conflict and natural disaster across the globe, irrespective of region, religion, and diplomacy.
Under the ‘Gallant Knight/2’ operation, the Emirates has also set up a level III field hospital in the Turkish city of Gaziantep. It includes 50 beds and four intensive care beds, in addition to different departments. 15 doctors of various specialities, including psychologists who can treat victims struggling with quake-induced anxiety, depression, and PTSD, and 60 nurses and technical assistants are part of the medical team.
It’s the first third-level field hospital, implying it has the capacity to carry out major and complex surgeries.
In his last week trip to the quake-hit areas in Turkey and Syria, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, discussed the humanitarian repercussions of the disaster and developments in relief work, and called for more support.
Nevertheless, the Mideast nation has never saved its assistance for a specific region. Last year as well, the UAE was one of the prime supporters of flood victims in Pakistan. An air bridge was even established between the two countries to transport urgently required humanitarian aid to affected Pakistanis.