His Excellency Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, expressed his deep appreciation for the UAE’s global humanitarian and relief efforts, manifested through the work of the Emirates Red Crescent and described them as “really impressive”.
His statement came during a brief speech delivered on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, during the opening of the three-day ‘Humanitarian Aid for Stability’ exhibition at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. The event was organized by the Emirates Red Crescent in coordination with the Federal National Council (FNC), the parliamentary body of the UAE.
The opening of the exhibition drew the participation of Her Excellency Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, Speaker of FNC, His Excellency Fahad Abdelrahman Bin Sultan, Deputy Secretary General for International Aid at the Emirates Red Crescent, members of the European Parliament, and several ambassadors.
His Excellency Antonio Tajani called for joint action between the UAE and Europe to deal with illegal immigration, expand cooperation in this regard to the Middle East and Africa, and strengthen collaborative efforts to combat terrorism and enhance security. He added that ensuring stability and promoting development efforts in the world are common goals for the UAE and the EU.
His Excellency Antonio Tajani stressed that the refugee crisis is a global challenge, and therefore humanitarian aid must be a collective task that engages nations and peoples.
Furthermore, he thanked Antonio López-Istúriz White, Secretary General of the European People’s Party and member of the European Parliament, for his initiative in holding the exhibition that presented a novel opportunity to showcase the endeavors of valued partners of the EU to help alleviate the devastating effects of war. He added that war and natural disasters are the reasons for thousands of migrants trying to seek refuge in Europe.
His Excellency Antonio Tajani said: “The exhibition carries the positive message of hope. Yes, hope, because helping each other, providing a roof for people in need is providing hope, and hope is the fuel for a better tomorrow.”
In closing, he invited guests to view the exhibition that included a model of the Mrajeeb Al Fhood camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan and an interactive world map of areas in which the Emirates Red Crescent operates. He also highlighted the EU’s humanitarian commitment to helping refugees that places it at the forefront of humanitarian aid providers globally, and called for reinstating stability and security in the refugees’ home countries to overcome this global challenge.
Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the exhibition, His Excellency Fahad Abdelrahman Bin Sultan said: “The humanitarian and development aid offered by the UAE to the world amounted to US$32.01 billion from 2013 to 2017 and benefited millions of people across the globe, including 10 million Yemenis.”
He added: “This exhibition is the first of its kind outside the UAE and was organized at the request of the European Parliament to explore the UAE’s international humanitarian, relief, and development role that is based on the country’s noble values and enhances the global humanitarian ecosystem.”
His Excellency Fahad Abdelrahman Bin Sultan stressed that the UAE humanitarian and development aid focuses on meeting the needs of refugees and displaced civilians in volatile areas, such as Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Palestine, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He pointed out that the UAE has gained international respect and trust, and placed first globally for the fifth consecutive year for its contribution of humanitarian and development aid relative to national GDP.
He noted that more than 100 countries have benefited from aid provided by the UAE, adding that the Emirates Red Crescent has 14 offices in countries such as Yemen, Somalia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Albania.
His Excellency Fahad Abdelrahman Bin Sultan outlined the distribution of the UAE humanitarian aid as follows: US$4.92 billion to Yemen from April 2015 to December 2018, around US$174.6 million to Libya from 2013 to 2017, around US$963.5 million to the Syrian people from 2012 to November 2018, around US$641.5 million to the people of Erbil (Iraq) from 2013 to 2017, around US$233.3 million to Somalia from 2013 to 2017, US$489 million to Palestinians from 2013 to 2018, and US$333.3 million to Afghanistan from 2013 to 2017.