His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has ordered an aid flight of urgent humanitarian assistance in coordination with the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, to Burkina Faso in Africa, to mark World Refugee Day, which falls on June 20.
UNHCR, the international organisation dedicated to saving lives and protecting the rights of refugees, recently declared an emergency in the country’s Central Sahel region for the protection and assistance of over 600,000 internally displaced people, a number that is at risk of rising significantly.
The chartered cargo plane left Dubai International Airport for Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, on June 19 with 100 tons of aid, including 88 tons of core relief items from UNHCR. The assistance includes 12 tons of COVID-19 aid made available by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The UNHCR Global Stockpile, based in the International Humanitarian City warehouses in Dubai, offers a strategic option to deliver urgently needed aid by air to support emergency operations around the world in general and particularly in Africa. UNHCR is planning to move 24,200 plastic tarps from the Dubai Global Stockpile.
“This contribution is very timely, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lean season. It will support UNHCR’s response to the massive displacement driven by armed violence against civilians in Sahel region that hosts more than three million refugees, internally displaced persons and returnees,” said Nadia Jbour, Head of the UNHCR office in the UAE.
“UNHCR just launched the ‘Sahel Crisis Appeal’ to provide life-saving assistance to its persons of concern, focusing on shelter, core relief items, prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence, education and the environment,” she said.