UAE to operate air bridge to Haiti

The first plane of an air bridge ordered by President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for delivering urgent humanitarian assistance to Haiti's earthquake victims will fly to the Dominican Republic in the next couple of day.

A UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) team will leave to the Dominican Republic to coordinate and oversee field relief operations to ensure their prompt delivery to the affected population.

In another development, the RCA is coordinating efforts with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to carry out humanitarian programmes that cater for the need of the Haitian front where the international aid agencies are facing logistic challenges in delivery of assistance.

The RCA has announced that it had transferred funds to the IFRC in support of its relief operations there.

RCA Chairman Ahmed Al Mazrouie said the aid agency is striving to put the President's directives in place. He said the RCA had set up an emergency room to receive humanitarian appeals and reports on the latest situation in Haiti from its international partners so as to analyse and assess them in order to draw and implement relief programmes in favour of the affected population.

He said the RCA's multi-prong relief strategy would include the air bridge which carries basic relief items from food, medicine and shelter materials. A team of the RCA will be deployed in the Dominican to receive aid planes and coordinate operations of aid distribution.

It will also assess the situation on the ground with other aid providers for the purpose of dispatching more assistance.

He affirmed that the RCA was moving in all directions and fronts to mobilise humanitarian efforts so as to improve the living conditions of survivors of Haiti's deadliest quake.

Locally, he said the RCA is intensifying its contacts with UAE charity and relief agencies to rally their efforts in order to do an effective, substantial humanitarian work that responds to the scale of the disaster and fits well into the UAE's prominent standing in the international humanitarian scene. - Emirates News Agency, WAM