DUBAI: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, has expressed its appreciation to His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for his generous response to the emergency appeal made by UNHCR to alleviate the suffering of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
Shaikh Mohammad has sponsored a flight carrying UNHCR’s emergency aid items to the newly displaced Rohingya in Bangladesh. The flight, which arrived in Bangladesh on Tuesday, delivered 1,671 family tents, worth around Dh2.7 million, which will provide shelter for some 8,355 refugees.
In a statement, the UNHCR’s Head of Office in the UAE, Toby Harward, praised the humanitarian response of Shaikh Mohammad, and said: “We are very grateful to His Highness for his generous support. The UAE, and the facilities at IHC in Dubai, is a critical logistical hub that allows UNHCR to respond rapidly in times of emergency. The country’s leadership has repeatedly responded benevolently to the many humanitarian challenges that we face today.”
With the number of Rohingya refugees fleeing violent acts in Myanmar surpassing 313,000 people, the aid shipments come at a time when the capacity of Bangladeshi refugee camps in Kutupalong and Nayapara has been overwhelmed, and refugees are temporarily staying in makeshift shelters alongside roads. In the past few weeks, the world has been witnessing Rohingya refugees walking through jungles and mountains for several days, and thousands more braving risky voyages across the Bay of Bengal. The vast majority of refugees are women, including mothers with newborn babies, and families with children. They arrive in poor condition, exhausted, hungry and desperate for shelter.
The UNHCR global stockpile in the UAE is the largest global warehouse in the world, and was established in late 2006 as part of the International Humanitarian City, IHC.