UAE sends an aid plane to Italy to deliver medical supplies

Siobháin Spear
Apr 6, 2020

The United Arab Emirates seeks to bolster global efforts in the fight against COVID-19.

In an effort to support countries who have been severely affected by the spread of the novel coronavirus, the United Arab Emirates has sent an aid plane to Italy. The plane, carrying approximately 10 tonnes of medical supplies, was dispatched to assist a country experiencing extreme suffering as a result of this humanitarian crisis.

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The supplies sent from the UAE to Italy should benefit over 10,000 healthcare professionals and help to curb the spread of the virus.

Speaking about the assistance, the UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Italy, Omar Obaid Al Shamsi said: “Since its founding as a nation, the UAE has committed to extending assistance to countries and peoples in distress, and the COVID-19 crisis has affirmed the effectiveness of this approach. This is evidenced by efforts to help a number of countries to which the pandemic has spread, reflecting that the UAE humanitarian approach prioritises support for the leadership and people of countries experiencing challenges.”

The Ambassador pointed out that UAE assistance to Italy will enable medical staff to safely perform their professional duties in combating the virus’ spread. He underscored that the leadership and people of the UAE stand with Italy and all countries affected by COVID-19 as they work to overcome this humanitarian crisis.

“This aid comes within the framework of numerous other initiatives undertaken by the UAE Government to combat the spread of COVID-19. These initiatives include emergency assistance collaborations with the World Health Organisation, WHO, as well as the provision of aid to various countries, including China, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Seychelles to help them overcome this crisis,” Al Shamsi added.

According to WAM, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said that aid granted by the UAE symbolises solidarity between the two countries and represents critical assistance being provided to Italy’s doctors, nurses, and medical staff. In the name of the Italian people, Di Maio thanked the UAE Government and its people, noting that the donation would enable thousands of Italians to protect themselves as they work to save the lives of others.

Citing Italy’s experience of pandemic as a “war against an invisible enemy”, Di Maio stated that the medical supplies provided by the UAE are the equivalent to weaponry in the fight against the virus: “We are currently experiencing a phase that can only be described as war against an invisible enemy waged by our medical personnel, and the personal protective equipment provided today by the UAE to Italy is our weapon in this battle. We consider this gesture to embody solidarity in practice and on-ground assistance. Italy will never forget the countries that supported it during this difficult period, which is not only a health crisis but an economic and community one as well.”

Not only is the UAE Government pledging its support to other countries, but its airlines are also seeking to do their bit in carving out a path forward. The UAE’s national airline, Etihad Airways, yesterday announced an initiative allowing Etihad Guest Miles to be donated to refugees.

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