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Upon witnessing the hardship the Pakistani people are facing in the wake of the recent flood disaster, the UAE government and UAE foundations have rapidly mobilized to deliver food, shelter and other emergency relief supplies. In a speech to the United Nations on Friday, August 20, 2010, UAE Minister of State Reem Al Hashimi announced that the UAE has pledged $5 million to the UN’s Pakistan flood relief fund.
According to a report issued by the UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid, UAE assistance given to support international relief efforts in Pakistan includes:
• $3.5 million provided by the Sheikh Khalifa Foundation in food, tents, blankets, and medical supplies;
• $1.3 million from the UAE Red Crescent Authority donated toward emergency relief efforts, including a $1 million private donation by HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak and a $0.1 million in-kind donation through the Pakistan Red Crescent Authority;
• UAE Army assistance through daily aid missions by Chinook helicopter crews to help evacuate flood victims and airlift relief supplies to flood-engulfed areas;
• Furthermore, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment sent an aircraft carrying 11 tons of cover sheets and 4 tons of ready meals.
This emergency assistance has been conducted in the context of a long-standing aid relationship between the UAE and Pakistan, dating back to 1975 when the UAE Government extended a loan of $100 million dollars to support development programs. In 2009, the UAE pledged support of $300 million at the Pakistan Donors Conference in Tokyo. Additionally, the UAE contributed generously to the relief effort following the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir.