ABU DHABI, 12th October, 2016 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), has stressed that the United Arab Emirates, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, continues to implement its developmental and humanitarian initiatives to alleviate the suffering of people in Yemen.
He added that the UAE and its leadership were determined to stand solidly by the brothers in Yemen who faced enormous challenges and to provide them with humanitarian support and other help in various walks of life. He stressed the importance of the role played by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in increasing humanitarian assistance in response to the conditions in Yemen.
The statement of Sheikh Hamdan came on the occasion of the signing of two cooperation agreements between the UAE represented by the ERC and the World Health Organisation (WHO). The agreements are aimed at implementing new health and humanitarian projects in Yemen. HH stressed that these projects came as part of the continuing developmental initiatives carried out by the UAE in Yemen. He pointed out that it was a reflection of the concern and commitment of the UAE to improve the humanitarian conditions in Yemen.
Sheikh Hamdan said that the current turmoil in Yemen seriously aggravated the conditions of those affected by the conflict, making them more vulnerable, especially the children and the women. He pointed out that the UAE had been standing by the suffering people of Yemen right from the beginning of the crisis, implementing humanitarian programs, relief activities and health programs that covered the most affected regions.
“This was all done in the face of significant risks, but it contributed greatly towards alleviating the suffering. The UAE is now preparing itself for the most important stage of this process: renovation of infrastructure, particularly in the health sector. The UAE is also extending its support to the efforts of international organisations in Yemen, helping them enhance their ability to implement their programs aimed at meeting the needs of Yemen. On top of these organisations is the WHO,” he explained.
Today, the ‘We Care’ initiative to develop the health sector in Yemen was announced as part of the two cooperation agreements between the ERC and WHO. This will comprise a number of projects and programs to support health services in Yemen and provide the necessary medical care for the people. This will centre around four main areas: prevention, treatment, maternal and child health care and training of medical cadre.
As per the these agreements, the ERC will finance a number of the above-mentioned projects and programs. The agreements were signed on behalf of the ERC by its Secretary General Dr. Mohammad Atiq Al Fallahi, and by Dr. Ahmed Farah Chadol, WHO Representative in Yemen, on behalf of the WHO. The first agreement includes the renovation 20 hospitals in Yemen, improvement in the services they offered and optimisation of their efficiency to meet the increasing health needs during the current phase. The value of the first agreement amounts to AED 44.1 million and covers health institutions in nine governorates, including: Aden, Taiz, Abyan, Shabwa, Ma’rib, Al Hudaydah, Al Mukalla, Seiyun, Hadramout and Al Maharah. The agreement stipulates that comprehensive care programs are to be implemented for women, especially pregnant women and for children suffering from acute malnutrition and epidemics, in addition to providing training to health cadre. It also provides for assistance and technical and administrative support to develop a system of referral for critical conditions for treatment and suitable health care, besides providing the necessary equipment and medicines to save lives.
The second agreement includes the implementation of integrated outreach programs against polio, measles and other routine vaccinations in 11 Yemeni governorates, including Abyan, Al Jawf, Al Maharah, Taiz, Al Mukalla, Socotra Island, Seiyun, Shabwah, Aden, Lahij and Ma’rib. The cost of these activities is estimated at AED 6.5 million. The agreement targets the provision of necessary vaccines for about 643,637 children and women including 130,148 children under one year, 357,824 children under 5 years, 66,143 pregnant women and 89,522 young women.
The UAE had previously sponsored the treatment of 1500 people injured in the conflicts, who are currently treated in hospitals in the UAE, Sudan and India. The initiatives of the Emirates Red Crescent in the health sector in Yemen during the previous period included the renovation of Al Jamhouriyya hospital in Eden and ’22 May’ hospital as well as the repair and maintenance of 13 health centers in a number of governorates, besides donating 19 ambulances, medical equipment and supplies, refrigerator trucks to transport medicines, medical supplies and health packages. Moreover, a mobile hospital was established to reach the patients and the injured in the remote areas and provide the necessary health care for them.
Addressing the press conference held on the occasion, Dr. Al Fallahi stressed that the projects and programs of the Emirates Red Crescent in Yemen received careful attention and follow-up from Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a matter which had a substantial impact on the ERC’s strong presence in Yemen nowadays in spite of the exceptional conditions that Yemen is currently witnessing. He noted that the Authority is working in different fields to create a better life for the people in Yemen and contribute to the development and reconstruction efforts currently needed. He added that this had been the customary practice of the ERC and its approach in adopting noble initiatives and creative ideas that preserve the dignity of man everywhere and seek to improve his humanitarian conditions. He also applauded the partnership between the ERC and WHO.
He stressed that the two agreements today marked a new stage in the strategic partnership between the ERC and WHO, strengthening future efforts of both parties in the health and humanitarian fields. He stressed the keenness of the ERC to continue the partnership and develop it further so as to meet the aspirations of both organisations in humanitarian work.
Dr. Ahmed Farah Chadol stressed that the UAE played a pivotal role in alleviating humanitarian suffering in Yemen. He added that WHO closely noticed, as a result of their field presence in Yemen, how the efforts of the UAE were effective in enhancing the services needed by the Yemeni people during the current conditions. He also stressed that the UAE initiatives in this regard are appreciated and applauded by the international community and humanitarian organisations.
Dr. Chadol expressed the appreciation of the WHO for the UAE contributions in supporting the humanitarian efforts of the organisation and helping it face the challenges and overcome the risks threatening women, children and civilians in Yemen. He stressed that the existing partnership between the ERC and WHO in humanitarian work would help achieve the aspirations of both sides with respect to the provision of necessary protection and care for those affected by the current crisis in Yemen. He added that the cooperation between both sides was one of the strongest partnerships for the WHO, helping to save the lives of people by dealing with the health risks of thousands of women and children in the conflict-affected areas in Yemen.