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HAITI: Arab aid making its way

DUBAI, 17 January 2010 (IRIN) - (See end for list of pledges and donations added on 11 February) Governments and NGOs in the Middle East have begun mobilising humanitarian aid for the survivors of a devastating earthquake in Haiti that may have killed some 50,000 people, according to the Haitian Red Cross.

The UN has launched an appeal for US$562 million to help the victims of the 12 January 7.0-magnitude quake. The funds are intended to support the three million people living in the quake-affected area for six months.

In the meantime, money and relief items are being dispatched to the Caribbean island from around the Middle East.

The UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) will operate an air bridge to Haiti starting in the next few days with two planes loaded with tents, Abdul Rahman al-Taniji, manager of RCA’s media and public relations department, told IRIN.

On 19 January an RCA team will fly to the Dominican Republic, neighbouring Haiti, to buy food supplies worth US$500,000 for Haitians, he said.

The Khalifa Bin Zayed Charity Foundation will dispatch by air 50 tonnes of emergency supplies for survivors, which is expected to arrive on 19 January.

UAE-based Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum Charity (MBRMC) and Life for Relief and Development (Life) announced that it will be sending $1.25 million-worth of food, water, medicine, medical supplies, clothing and other emergency supplies.

Kuwait, Qatar

Kuwait’s ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah has donated $1 million to Haiti’s quake survivors. “It will be coordinated through the Kuwaiti Red Crescent Society [KRCS]. We prepared 100 tonnes of relief items - which include food, medical supplies, tents, blankets and food items - and are waiting to assign a plane that will carry them,” Yousef Al Me’raj, head of KRCS’ disasters department, told IRIN.

A Qatari C-17 aircraft, loaded with 50 tonnes of aid, left for the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, on 14 January. Qatar also sent a 26-member rescue team comprising soldiers, police and medics to set up a field hospital and provide assistance wherever they can.

Qatar Charity (QC) will send an assessment team in the coming days to assess the needs for the rehabilitation phase of the disaster. The team will be followed by a consignment of non-food items for survivors, Issam Adwai, QC director of programmes, told IRIN.

The Qatari Red Crescent (QRC) has issued an appeal to its citizens for monetary contributions and will send $100,000 to Haiti very soon, said Khaled Diab, head of the international programs department at QRC.

Jordan, Lebanon, Iran

A Jordan Royal Air Force plane carrying the components for a military field hospital and six tonnes of food, relief items, medicine and clothing from the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation went to Haiti on 14 January. The field hospital includes five physicians specialised in orthopaedics, general surgery and anaesthesia, according to local media.

A second military plane carrying Jordanian medics and medical equipment headed to Haiti on 15 January.

Lebanon will send a plane loaded with 25 tonnes of tents and three tonnes of medicines, vaccines and other medical supplies on 19 January.

Iran's Red Crescent society dispatched by plane about 30 tonnes of humanitarian aid - including food, tents and medicine - on 16 January. The relief items include tents, sugar, tuna fish and detergents, according to media reports.


* The following list of pledges and donations was added on 11 February as an update to the above report.

• Algeria has pledged $1 million in emergency humanitarian aid.

• Bahrain pledged a disaster relief team, while the Bahraini Red Crescent Society (BRCS) launched an appeal for funds to help pay for medical supplies and basic items such as clothes, food and water.

• Egypt pledged medical supplies and personnel and contributed cash to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Haiti Emergency Appeal.

• Kuwait has pledged $3.5 million. The second batch of Kuwaiti relief supplies arrived in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on 6 February with 30 tons of tents; the first plane-load carried 50 tons of tents.

• Lebanon has airlifted 35 tons of aid, including 29 tons of tents, three tons of medicines and vaccines, and three tons of milk powder.

• Libya established a field hospital and pledged other aid.

• Morocco pledged $1 million for medical and pharmaceutical supplies among other things.

• A local group in the occupied Palestinian territory began a campaign to collect money, blankets, food and other items to donate to Haiti through the Red Cross.

• Qatar mobilized a 26-person rescue team of soldiers, police and medical professionals and pledged 50 tons of aid. Qatar Charity is on the ground providing relief aid, clean water and sanitation services.

• Saudi Arabia donated $50 million to the UN Flash Appeal.

• Syria has airlifted 30 tons of humanitarian aid.

• Tunisia pledged $1 million to the UN Emergency Fund for Haiti.

• UAE-based donor organizations have contributed $7.17 million to Haiti relief efforts, according to the UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid (OCFA). The Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan Charity Foundation on 6 February sent a seven-truck convoy with 200 tons of aid, including food and medical supplies. The Mohamed Bin Rashid Foundation sent an assessment team as well as medical supplies and food items. UAE Red Crescent set up a mobile hospital staffed with about 15 volunteer doctors and equipped with the latest medical and surgical equipment.


Theme(s): (IRIN) Aid Policy, (IRIN) Natural Disasters



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