United Arab Emirates and IFRC strengthen ties, humanitarian aspirations

Published: 1 June 2012 15:38 CET

Networks that include the IFRC and National Societies together will result in more effective humanitarian interventions. This was the message that President Konoé promoted on a recent mission to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in April where he met with leaders from the UAE Red Crescent  Society and was informed of its activities, both domestic and international. He invited the UAE Red Crescent to play a leadership role in helping to build stronger ties between Red Cross and Red Crescent and the IFRC, locally and globally.

“The UAE Red Crescent plays a leadership role in the region and globally as an active member of the Governing Board. I encouraged the UAE Red Crescent to share their inspiring success stories more widely,” said Konoé. “The UAE is the first non-western nation to be included in the global list of top 10 aid donors as measured by population, where official development assistance exceeds the UN target of 0.7% of GNP. Against this backdrop, the UAE Red Crescent has become one of the leading humanitarian actors in the world, supporting both domestic and global programmes.”

President Konoé visited one such domestic programme called the ‘Ewaa Shelters for Women and Child Victims of Human Trafficking’. The programme was established by the Red Crescent to provide care to victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, including housing, health, repatriation, legal and travel support in cooperation with public authorities, UNHCR and IOM. Since 2008, the shelters have supported more than 160 victims from across Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. The President also viewed a documentary film by the UAE Red Crescent called ‘A Teardrop for Rain’. The documentary, which focuses on the drought in Somalia, won numerous awards at this year’s New York International Television Festival.

President Konoé also met with His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the representative of the UAE President in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, and also the President of the UAE Red Crescent. At this meeting, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan commended the IFRC’s service to millions of people around the world and expressed the UAE's ongoing support to the IFRC in serving the vulnerable