Human Rights

UAE aid supports Yemenis in liberated areas

By Faisal Darem in Sanaa

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Yemeni girls pose for a picture with mangoes and bottles of juice at a market in the Red Sea port of Mokha on March 17th. The UAE has been sending humanitarian aid to the area. [Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP]

In addition to sending military support to ensure Yemen's legitimate government remains in place, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been sending humanitarian aid to support the population in areas liberated from the Houthis (Ansarallah).

The Emirati assistance plays a major role in helping Yemen and alleviating human suffering, Yemeni Minister of Local Administration and head of the High Committee for Relief Abdul Raqeeb Saif Fateh told Al-Mashareq.

"From the first days of the liberation of the interim capital, Aden, the UAE Red Crescent team has had a prominent role in the relief effort," he said.

The organisation set in motion an integrated operation that provided urgent relief to all Aden districts based on statistical data identifying the most needy families compiled by its field survey team, he said.

"The second phase of the UAE assistance to Yemen consisted of bolstering economic recovery by supporting the various service sectors, such as health, electricity, water and education," he said.

This was co-ordinated after direct meetings between local officials and donors to identify their various needs, he added.

The Red Crescent's activities were not limited to Aden, he said, but extended to the rest of the southern provinces in a systematic manner, as well as to the northern provinces of Marib and al-Jawf.

Emirati assistance will soon be directed to al-Hodeida province as well, he said.

"There is an integrated relief and reconstruction operation being carried out in Mokha district that includes both providing urgent relief to the populace and backing economic development," Fateh said.

This involves restoring Mokha's power plant and hospital to service and helping residents with reconstruction, he said, noting that similar assistance will be extended to al-Hodeida once it has been restored to the legitimate authorities.

Reaching 10 million Yemenis

Over the past two years, Emirati assistance has been extended to 10 million Yemenis, including four million children, at a cost of about 7.3 billion Emirati dirhams ($2 billion).

With this support, the UAE intends to ensure the foundations and pillars of development, security, stability and peace are established in Yemen, according to a March 23rd report in al-Bayan newspaper.

The UAE's aid to Yemen has included development, humanitarian and charitable aid, with emergency humanitarian assistance amounting to 1.97 billion Emirati dirhams ($536 million), or 26.9% of the total UAE aid to Yemen, al-Bayan said.

The UAE has sent more than 172,000 tonnes of food -- an average 235.8 tonnes per day -- and more than 111 tonnes of medicine and medical supplies to Yemen, as well as ambulances and medical equipment, the newspaper said.

An additional 5.3 billion Emirati dirhams ($1.45 billion) in development assistance has been distributed among several sectors, of which 985 million dirhams ($268 million) was allocated to the electricity sector.

The UAE’s developmental and humanitarian assistance to Yemen comes in the context of a more comprehensive operation aimed at fighting terrorism, political affairs researcher Yassin al-Tamimi told Al-Mashareq.

"Over the past decades, the UAE has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in economic aid to Yemen, in addition to in-kind assistance provided to the government in the form of large shipments of wheat," he said.

"The UAE Red Crescent plays an important role in the liberated provinces by providing aid and medicine, and contributing to the treatment of dozens of southern Yemenis wounded in the war and the repair of schools and facilities," he added.

Support for legitimate authority

The UAE is playing a major role in supporting the legitimate authority in Yemen led by President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, political analyst Rashad al-Sharaabi told Al-Mashareq.

Emirati support for Yemen is not new, he noted, "as the Marib dam, in which Yemen takes great pride, was rebuilt with financing provided by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan".

"At present, the UAE, represented by its leadership, government and people, is providing considerable support towards the restoration of the legitimate authority," which was hijacked by the Houthis, al-Sharaabi said.

"The UAE is playing a positive role in the process of rebuilding the army and security and military agencies, and al-Mukalla is a testament to this," he added.

The UAE also has had a strong hand in the reconstruction and repair of schools, hospitals and medical centres and other services in Socotra, Aden, Mokha, al-Mukalla and other cities in the liberated areas, al-Sharaabi said.

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