Before damaging about $1.5 billion in property in North Carolina, and causing between $4 billion and $5 billion in lost economic output across the affected American states, Hurricane Matthew had battered Haiti causing mass fatalities, wiping away villages and destroying crops and infrastructure. It displaced over 300,000 residents, left tens of thousands homeless with no clean water and almost no food, and an estimated 1.4 million Haitians in need of serious humanitarian help.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 8, 2016
— UN Radio (@UN_Radio) October 15, 2016
The United Nations has put out an emergency appeal for about $120 million for lifesaving relief following the catastrophe, but only about 12% of that request has been committed. While the United States (Haiti is 90 minutes by air from Miami) and the world at large has failed to effectively respond to the worst natural disaster to strike the nation since the devastating earthquake in 2010, United Arab Emirates’ Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum — one of the richest men in the world — has flown 90 metric tons of aid worth £300,000 on his personal Boeing 747. This donation will help the impoverished island nation recover and rebuild.
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) October 14, 2016
The United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot and partners including Save the Children, Handicap International, World Vision International, Catholic Relief Services, USAID and Lutheran World Relief, all donated to the relief aid.
Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, daughter of King Hussein of Jordan and the Dubai ruler’s wife, flew on board to personally oversee the aid delivered from the United Arab Emirates and to ensure its distribution to the needy. The aid — which includes water purification units, mosquito nets, medical supplies, tents and other support equipment — is estimated to help close to 340,000 Haitians in need.
هناك صورة واحدة لن أنساها أبداً عند تفكيري بهايتي. في عام 2010 قد رأيت الدمار الذي حصل فقط لأني كنت في بعثة مع ال-IHC، في نفس الطائرة التي أتيت بها اليوم. واليوم أيضاً قد تم تدمير الأرواح، فالبلد بحاجة للكثير. نحن كعرب، من كثر القتال في منطقتنا من المفروض أن نكون مفلسين. ولكن من فضلكم يجب أن أقول لكم عن التأثير الذي أدى إليه العطاء الذي أتى من بلدي الإمارات وشعبي الاردني…إنه الإحساس بالهوية والإعتزاز الذي أتى من الأخرين. ولكنني ممتنة لذلك. شكراً Airwing، للتحليق بنا ليس فقط في هايتي ولكن في كل مكان. شكراً للملائكة في وزارة الشؤون الخارجية والدولة الذين كانو حاضرين طوال الوقت من خلال الهاتف من دبي. شكراً لهيئة الأركان IHC والمجلس. وشكراً للشيخ محمد. وشكراً لبلدي الذي وصل لجميع أنحاء العالم للمساعدة في أشد الأوقات. سوف أنهي مع صورة واحدة من هذه الرحلة لن أنساها أبداً One image will forever be in mind, when I think of Haiti. I have seen in 2010, the devastation caused, and it was only because I was on an IHC envoy. The same cargo plane I came in today. Again today lives have been erased. It is all about what the country needs, but to a certain extent, it is also about what is given. We, as Arabs, should be bankrupt. We fight on every front, and we have our own to feed and shelter. But please, if I can just tell you the sense of humility I knew because my country the UAE had given and my people the Jordanians are there fighting…. it’s a sense of identity and pride that others have given me. And I am thankful for it. Thank you Airwing, for flying us, not just to Haiti but everywhere. Thank you, to the angels in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and State who were my angels, ever present over the phone in Dubai to check all was well. Thank you to the IHC Staff and Board. And thank you, Your Highness Sheikh Mohammed. And thank you my country, you reached across the globe and proved when times are hard you are there. I will end with one image of this trip I will never forget.
This isn’t the first humanitarian aid shipment organized by Dubai’s ruler. The International Humanitarian City, the world’s largest and busiest logistics hub for humanitarian aid, recently dispatched more than 100 tons of relief material to Uganda to help 60,000 impoverished South Sudanese refugees.
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