January 22, 2010
Posted: 05:29 PM ET
The great majority of Arab governments and leaders are slow to react to events – natural disasters included. Most Arabs react quietly, some might say inefficiently, and others would argue it’s out of modesty that they don’t “brag” about their giving.
More than nine days after the devastating quake, it is fair to conclude that with the exception of a few Arab nations, there is not much to be proud of in terms of official Arab outreach to help the victims of the catastrophic earthquake.
Here is what we know about some Arab donations or pledges to Haiti: Morocco, Kuwait and Bahrain pledged $1 million US Dollars each in aid to be delivered in various ways through each country’s Red Crescent organization. Jordan, which lost 3 peacekeepers in the quake, has sent two planes of aid and a medical team to set up a medical field facility in Port-au-Prince.
Qatar and Bahrain sent in planes each loaded with tons of food and medical aid. Lebanon flew in an official delegation that distributed aid, checked on the Lebanese community in Port-au-Prince and evacuated three Lebanese, ten Syrian nationals and five Palestinians. In addition to carrying tents, food aid and water, a Telecom engineer flew back to Haiti to join his colleagues who, according to Waleed Haidar, Foreign Ministry Consul who headed the mission, “insisted on staying in Haiti to help restore mobile services which are essential to the search, rescue and rebuilding efforts.”
At the same time, the Lebanese Red Cross and the Red Crescent in the Gulf region, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in particular, have launched campaigns to collect much-needed cash for Haiti. The United Arab Emirates has established a relief air bridge to Haiti and has already delivered tons of food and medical aid.
The charity ‘Dubai Al-Attaa’ is coordinating with NGO’s such as CARE and UNICEF to provide educational assistance to 200,000 Haitian children.
Filed under: Haiti Earthquake
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