Princess Haya meets Pope ahead of Haiti visit

She will oversees UAE delivery of 90 tonnes of relief supplies in hurricane-struck Haiti

Staff Report
18:59 October 13, 2016

Dubai: UN Messenger of Peace and Chairperson of International Humanitarian City (IHC) Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, as part of a one-day official visit to Rome.

Princess Haya then attended the ‘United for Peace’ football match before joining a UAE airlift from Dubai’s International Humanitarian City to travel to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to oversee delivery of 90 tonnes of supplies in Hurricane Matthew relief efforts.

During her meeting with Pope Francis, Princess Haya engaged in a conversation about hunger, as both individuals are advocates of combating hunger for the millions of people who suffer around the world. Princess Haya briefed Pope Francis about Dubai’s International Humanitarian City, and how it has grown since 2003 to become a logistics hub for humanitarian aid.

Princess Haya also talked about the Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Award for Tolerance as well as the International Institute of Tolerance, both of which promote tolerance among youth.

Following a football match, Princess Haya then flew to Haiti on an IHC airlift to personally deliver and oversee the distribution of relief supplies, after Hurricane Matthew demolished large swathes of the island last week.

At least 1.4 million people require immediate attention with almost 300,000 people residing in temporary shelters as many small towns and villages have been heavily damaged.

Princess Haya previously visited Port-au-Prince on a similar mission after the equally devastating earthquake that hit in 2010.

The aid shipment was organised by the International Humanitarian City and included supplies from the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot and its partners including Save the Children, Handicap International, World Vision International, Catholic Relief Services, USAID and Lutheran World Relief.

The aid, which was transported on a 747B-400 — owned by Shaikh Mohammad — is valued at more than $350,000 and is estimated to impact approximately 340,000 people.

Aid includes water purification units, mosquito nets, medical supplies, tents and other support equipment that will be distributed among those in need.

The focus of the aid shipment (as cholera is a growing concern) is facilitating access to a sufficient supply of quality water, education, shelter, child protection, health and nutrition for those affected.

The delivery follows the shipment of 100 tonnes of aid last month to Entebbe, Uganda for 60,000 refugees who fled the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.