According to the Emirates News Agency, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid just ordered a private aircraft to transport humanitarian aid to ease the suffering of the Rohingya refugees who have fled from political violence and persecution to Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh.

The violence is ongoing in the state of Rakhine, home to some 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims.

The move from the UAE's leadership comes in support of efforts by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 

The Bangladesh-bound aircraft has been loaded with more than 100 metric tonnes of tents made available by UNHCR with the support of Dubai's International Humanitarian City (IHC). 

IHC made all adequate preparations for an efficient and fast response through providing the warehouses, coordinating airlifts, and arranging for easy and fast track access.

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UAE humanitarian workers loading Bangladesh-bound plane Source: WAM
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A young Rohingya boy Source: Partners Relief & Development

UAE humanitarian assistance to Rohingya families:

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UAE humanitarian workers loading Bangladesh-bound plane Source: WAM

This airlift, requested by UNHCR via IHC, responds to the needs of 8,355 refugees from 1,671 families who fled to the northern Rakhine state. 

The shipment has a total value of USD 733,569 (AED 2,694,472); the airlift cost is USD 225,000 (AED 826,470).

In the last two weeks, an estimated 270,000 Rohingya refugees sought safety in Bangladesh according to UN reports; scores of people are reported to have died, in addition to several thousand people who have been waiting to cross the border fleeing the large-scale violence in Myanmar. 

The estimated number of Rohingyas already living in refugee camps in Bangladesh now stands at more than 500,000 and the limited shelter capacity is already exhausted.

This is the second aircraft containing humanitarian aid UNHCR has sent to Bangladesh; the first relief cargo carried 91 metric tonnes of support items to respond to the needs of 175,000 people. 

It was also loaded with jerry cans, sleeping mats, tarps, blankets, and kitchen sets from the humanitarian aid items stocked in the warehouses of UNHCR at the International Humanitarian City.

Through the three main pillars of its humanitarian approach, the UAE has placed great importance on providing protection for humanitarian workers, as well as humanitarian assistance to those in need.

The three pillars involve protecting civilians in humanitarian emergencies, especially women and children, working closely with local and international organisations, and strengthening the global humanitarian system through meaningful cooperation.