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The UAE Foreign Aid Coordination Office (FACO) held an emergency coordination meeting with UAE donor organizations at the FACO offices in Abu Dhabi yesterday. The meeting was attended by representatives from 10 donor organizations that responded or are preparing a response to an appeal issued on October 2 by the President of FACO, HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi.
The appeal called for urgent efforts from the UAE aid community to assist those affected by a powerful earthquake in Indonesia and massive storms in the Philippines that took place last week.
“As the central coordinating body for UAE aid interventions abroad, FACO’s objective in organizing this meeting was to approach the relief operation in a collaborative and coordinated manner. This will ensure emergency aid reaches all those in need at an accelerated pace and maximize the impact of aid efforts among the victims of these natural disasters,” said Hazza Al Qahtani, FACO Director General.
Organizations represented at the meeting included Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Charity Foundation, Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, UAE Red Crescent Authority, Dubai Cares, Dubai Charity Association, Sharjah Charity Association, Fujairah Welfare Association, Human Appeal International, Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities and Abdul Jalil Al Fahim and Family Endowment.
FACO presented a Situation Report that shared the latest updates on ground realities in the Philippines and Indonesia, identifying humanitarian issues requiring the most urgent attention. An update was also provided on contact established with UAE Embassies in Manila and Jakarta that is expected to facilitate the channeling of relief efforts. Donor organizations then presented their independent reports and response plans towards the crises, in the interest of identifying duplication of aid efforts and driving optimization of available emergency supplies and resources.
The Red Crescent Authority and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation have already sent teams into the field to make assessments and deliver aid, while other UAE-based organizations have begun sending cash donations to the affected areas. Still others have started campaigns to collect donations for the victims of the earthquake and storms.
FACO is in the process of collecting all the data related to the emergencies and will update donor organizations with daily reports that will cover the actual needs of the communities hit by these natural calamities. In addition, FACO will collate and distribute data regarding the type of aid activities each organization is undertaking, to reduce duplication of efforts.
Participants were positive about the outcome of this meeting, which was the first of its kind to be scheduled by FACO.
Esmail Abdo Ali Al-Ghbari, Relief and Projects Coordinator, UAE Red Crescent Authority, said, “The meeting was very productive, and the coordination process which we are undertaking is very important. We are keen to work under FACO’s umbrella. This will allow us to coordinate our aid efforts and give each government humanitarian organization the opportunity to play a specific role during emergencies.”
Obaid Mohamed Ali, Director of Fujairah Welfare Association, said, “Coordination between Emirati organizations is crucial to highlight the importance of the humanitarian role that UAE plays around the world. It is incredibly important for us to work in a coordinated way, as the UAE is a leading donor society in the world. This meeting is a very important initiative by FACO and we look forward to more initiatives like this in future.”