UAE’s sterling role in Afghan evacuation - GulfToday

UAE’s sterling role in Afghan evacuation

Afghan evacuation

Afghan and foreign nationals sit in a military aircraft for evacuation out of Afghanistan.

The insecurity in Afghanistan is just not of the political kind. The takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban has triggered an unspeakable fear of the unknown among the residents, particularly among the women. The Taliban have vowed to respect the rights of women and assured the people that they will not revert to their old repressive ways.

However, the distressed Afghans do not seem to be very sure of this and are making their own arrangements. They are simply desperate to leave the country at any cost. Images of the Afghans, both men and women with babies and children, making a last dash for freedom and the ensuing chaos at Kabul airport, are quite distressful.

Amid this doomsday scenario, the move by the UAE to temporarily provide safety to 5,000 Afghan nationals evacuated from Afghanistan is simply remarkable, to say the least. The Afghans were on their way to third countries.

The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced that, following a request from the United States, it would host the Afghans for the time being, after which time they would travel on to other nations.  The evacuees will travel to the UAE from the Afghan capital of Kabul on US aircraft in the coming days.

The UAE has facilitated dozens of flights carrying hundreds of foreign citizens from Afghanistan, including diplomats and support staff from a range of nationalities and non-governmental organisations to UAE airports. The UAE has also facilitated the evacuation of approximately 8,500 foreign nationals utilising its aircraft and airports from Afghanistan.

The latest initiative was evidence of its commitment to strengthening international cooperation, particularly in time of need.

The UAE will remain a staunch supporter and advocate of refugee issues across the world, affirmed Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, and Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), in a statement ahead of the World Refugee Day.

Contributing to innovative and appropriate solutions to help refugees, and limiting resulting humanitarian and development effects, is a longstanding principle in the UAE’s approach.

In this regard, Sheikh Hamdan noted that many innovative initiatives recently adopted by the UAE contributed to improving the conditions of refugees, the most important of which is the health campaign currently being implemented by the ERC to vaccinate refugees in Jordan and Iraq against the COVID-19 virus and address its spread in their camps.  This, he added, is in addition to the distance education initiative and the digital school that has been implemented in several refugee-hosting countries, by creating smart and flexible educational channels.

He commended the initiatives launched by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), to improve the conditions of refugee women.  The Sheikha Fatima Fund for Refugee Women has been working to empower refugee women economically, socially and psychologically in developing communities.

World Refugee Day is observed every year on 20th June. This year’s World Refugee Day theme, “Together we heal, learn and shine” aims at people belonging to all faiths, all over the world, working together to welcome stateless persons, displaced people, refugees and others who have been forced to flee their homes.

The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has launched Phase II of its programme to vaccinate refugees against COVID-19 in the camps of Kurdistan, Iraq. The dedicated efforts of Sheikha Fatima and Sheikh Hamdan support the UAE’s goals and initiatives that aim to help refugees overcome the pandemic. Providing vaccines to refugees and to countries facing challenges is part of the country’s global efforts to contain the pandemic.

The UAE has been assisting various countries in transporting their nationals to their destination. Particularly the flights operated by Western nations for their countrymen. In times of crisis, a helping hand is like drops of rain on a parched earth.

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