In the wake of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, Emirates is setting up an airbridge with the International Humanitarian City (IHC), to transport urgent relief supplies, medical items and equipment to support on-ground aid efforts and search and rescue activities in both countries.
The first shipments are due to go out today on EK 121 and EK 117, consisting of high thermal blankets and family tents from UNHCR, followed by World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Food Programme (WFP) relief cargo of medical kits and shelter items, co-ordinated by the IHC in Dubai.
In the coming days, more consignments of blankets, tents, shelter kits, flash lights, water distribution ramps and trauma and emergency health kits will be transported on Emirates.
Emirates SkyCargo plans to dedicate cargo space for around 100 tonnes of humanitarian relief goods over the course of the next two weeks across its daily flight operations to Istanbul. The critical emergency supplies carried on Emirates will then be delivered by local organisations to affected areas in southern Turkey and northern Syria, supporting on-ground responders and providing much needed aid to the hundreds of thousands of people impacted by the earthquakes.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates’ Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “We stand with the Turkish and Syrian people and are working with experts like the International Humanitarian City to help provide urgent relief to those affected and displaced by the earthquakes, as well as support the complex recovery efforts on the ground. Emirates has extensive experience in supporting humanitarian relief efforts, and through its three daily flights to Istanbul will offer regular and consistent widebody capacity for relief items and medical supplies. Emirates also supports the UAE’s ongoing humanitarian efforts to support Turkey and Syria, and Dubai’s unique position as the world’s largest international aid logistics hub means that we can efficiently reach disaster stricken areas and the most vulnerable people as quickly as possible.”
His Excellency Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Chairman of the Supreme Committee for the Supervision of IHC: “The IHC remains committed to providing the people affected by the earthquakes with the humanitarian support and resources they need. We are taking urgent action by facilitating airlifts of vital medical supplies, shelter items and other relief goods from the UNHCR, World Health Organization (WHO) and World Food Programme (WFP) to address the pressing demand for aid in the affected regions.”
The freight division of Emirates has a long-standing partnership with the IHC, enabling the airline to nimbly and quickly lead on numerous relief missions, deploying humanitarian supplies to communities around the world impacted by natural disasters, medical emergencies, global outbreaks and other crises.
In 2020, the airline facilitated relief efforts to Lebanon in the aftermath of the Port of Beirut blasts. In 2021, Emirates set up a humanitarian airbridge between Dubai and India to transport urgent medical and relief items to support the country in containing the COVID-19 outbreak. Last year, the airline offered cargo capacity to organisations working with the IHC to transport critical equipment and supplies directly to five cities in Pakistan devastated by flooding.
Over the years, Emirates has also supported humanitarian flights in partnership with the Airbus Foundation, and since 2013, Emirates A380 ferry flights have transported over 120 tonnes of food and vital emergency equipment to those in need.