Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) has launched a humanitarian aid mission in support of Rohingya refugee families. The campaign commenced with the distribution of garments, dry food packages, and blankets to more than 3,000 Rohingya families in Bahukhali Bazar in Bangladesh.
The initiative is funded by the generous miles donations of Etihad Guest members, in addition to donations made at various Abu Dhabi-based sporting and social events, as well as the electronic Dirham initiative.
The mission also included humanitarian aid distribution at a hospital jointly operated by Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The EAG delegation included Khaled Al Mehairbi, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Etihad Airport Services - Ground, and CSR Strategy, Ali Al Shamsi, Vice President Global Airports, and Dougie Douglas, General Manager, commercial activities in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Earlier this year, EAG announced a year-long programme of activities and humanitarian initiatives to mark 2018 as the Year of Zayed.
Al Mehairbi said: “Today, the Rohingya are in dire circumstances and it is incumbent upon us to do all we can to support them. Driven by our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed’s decades-long charitable activities, Etihad Aviation Group is hoping to play a small role in alleviating the Rohingya’s current conditions.”
In recent months, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled violence to Cox's Bazaar - a district in Bangladesh. The vast majority are women and children, including new-born babies. It is known as the fastest-growing refugee emergency in the world. Many refugees have experienced extreme trauma, both from the attacks and the difficult journey to the Bangladeshi border. They arrive hungry, in poor physical condition and in desperate need of life-saving support.
Implemented via an agreement between EAG and the UAE Embassy in Bangladesh, this humanitarian mission was undertaken in cooperation with the Emirates Red Crescent and the Bangladeshi Red Crescent.
The UAE government has already pledged US$7 million in support of the Rohingya community.
During the past five years, EAG has also supported refugees in Greece, Serbia, Lebanon and Jordan.