Humanitarian actors review lessons learned from the UAE Relief Team response to Libya crisis
Abu Dhabi, 27 May 2012: Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, President of the UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid (OCFA), the office hosted today a review of the UAE Relief Team’s response to the 2011 Libya crisis, in cooperation with the team’s leader, HE Abdel Rahman Ibrahim bin Abdel Aziz.
Members of the UAE Relief Team and their directors of operations gathered to review the successes and challenges of the humanitarian operation, reflect on the lessons learned and propose a modus operandi for severe emergencies that may require exceptional support from the UAE in future.
The response to the 2011 Libya crisis by the Government of the UAE, together with the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Humanitarian Foundation, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, Red Crescent Authority, and Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, amounted to AED 248.5 million. The coordinated approach of these organisations, operating under the banner of the ‘UAE unified relief team’, marked a major turning point in the UAE’s method of responding to emergencies.
Participants in the review discussed the key phases of the humanitarian operation, including the preparation and mobilization of the team, the way in which the needs were assessed, and how the team functioned and coordinated with other actors on the ground.
HE Abdel Rahman Ibrahim bin Abdel Aziz said, “The importance of cooperation between donor organisations cannot be emphasized enough. As our experience in Libya showed, a unified humanitarian response can help to ensure that those in need receive the best possible assistance, as well as consolidating the UAE’s profile as a major global donor.”
Speaking at the event, H.E. Hazza Mohammed Falah Al Qahtani, OCFA Director General, said, “Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, President of OCFA, the office organized this review to explore the great success achieved by the UAE relief team in Libya, which was characterized by the unity of UAE donor organizations under one team, and to share and review the lessons learned from this noble humanitarian initiative.”
“This review will enrich the benefit from this experience, support the planning and preparation process for UAE donor organizations, and maximize their ability to work under one unified team enhancing the presence of the UAE during the response to any humanitarian crisis,” he added.
The UAE’s response to the Libya crisis included setting up camps on the Libya–Tunisia and the Libya-Egypt borders, providing health care, distributing food and non-food items and supplying ambulances and medical equipment to hospitals.