Timely UAE support for Australia - GulfToday

Timely UAE support for Australia

UAE's timely help for Australia

The monster fires have caused extensive damage across Australia.

It is heartening that humanitarian organisations in the UAE are joining forces to raise funds and help those impacted by the unprecedented bush fires raging across Australia.

The UAE has always stood by friendly nations at their time of need.

The monster fires have caused extensive damage across Australia, scorching through more than 10.3 million hectares of land, an area the size of South Korea, killing several people and destroying thousands of buildings.

University of Sydney scientists estimate one billion animals have been killed in the fires. The figure includes mammals, birds and reptiles, but not frogs, insects or invertebrates.

In fact, Australian authorities have urged another mass evacuation across the heavily populated southeast on Thursday as a return of hot weather fanned huge bushfires threatening several towns and communities.

While the authorities have warned that the huge fires, spurred by high temperatures, wind and a three-year drought, will persist until there is substantial rainfall, sadly, the weather agency has indicated that there is no sign of that for months.

As per Moody’s Analytics, the cost of the fires could easily surpass that of deadly 2009 Black Saturday fires that destroyed 450,000 hectares of land, which cost an estimated A$4.4 billion.

The damage to environment is also worrisome as the fires have emitted 400 megatonnes of carbon dioxide and produced harmful pollutants, according to the EU’s Copernicus monitoring programme. Scientists insist that the drought-fuelled blazes are being worsened by climate change, which is increasing the length and intensity of Australia’s fire season.

Almost 150 fires are said to be still burning in worst-hit New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, the huge continent’s most populated regions.

In this background, the extension of support by the UAE is appropriate and creditable.

As stated by Reem Bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, a grassroots movement is growing in the UAE community to support Australia at this time.

Burj Khalifa, Etihad Airways, Emirates Airlines and many others are showing that ‘#mateshelpmates.’’

Al Hashemy has also held talks with the Australian Minister of Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, and heads of other entities in Australia, to coordinate with them and determine the type of support needed.

Dr Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, Emirates Red Crescent Secretary-General, has also stated that discussions have been held with the Australian Red Cross on how best to help those who had lost loved ones, homes, and livelihoods as a result of the fires burning across Australia.

The two organisations have decided to launch an appeal across the Emirates to raise funds for bush fire victims.

The joint appeal comes just a day after His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, discussed the fires in a telephone call to Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, and told him the UAE was ready to support the Australian people under the guidance of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region.

The Acting Ambassador in the Australian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, Julie Shams, has also welcomed the support that Australia has received in the UAE.

In her own words: “I’m very grateful to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed, and all UAE entities for their kind offers of support, and I know all Australians will be touched by this generosity from our friends on the other side of the world.”

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