Red Cross signs pact with UAE counterpart


THE Philippine Red Cross (PRC) over the weekend announced that it had entered into a partnership with the Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to provide recovery programs for communities greatly affected by Typhoon Pablo in Mindanao last year.

UAE Ambassador to the Philippines Moosa Alkhajah and the delegation from the UAE Red Crescent (UAERC) Society headed by General Manager Mohhamed Alhaj of the Dubai branch visited the PRC National Headquarters in Manila and discussed their proposed partnership with PRC Chairman Richard Gordon and Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang.

Also included in the delegation were members of the UAE media.

Based on PRC’s report, the UAERC will give financial aid amounting to $200,000 or P8 million to help rebuild devastated communities in Mindanao, particularly in Davao Oriental and Compostella Valley.

Alhaj assured that the UAERC will continue to support the PRC in giving assistance to victims of calamities.

The UAERC official said that they would continue to support the projects of the PRC by giving assistance to the local Red Cross since they greatly believe in its motto: “always first, always ready, always there.”

“The UAE cares for life. We are here to care for our brothers,” Alhaj said in a statement.

For his part, Gordon said that the PRC welcomes the partnership with other societies to enable it to assist more Filipinos who are in need of humanitarian assistance.

“This country is often visited by all kinds of disasters. We have typhoons, earthquakes, sea disasters, volcanic eruptions, insurgencies and other man-made disasters. Basically, the typhoon was just a slice of what is happening here,” Gordon said.

“We, in the Philippine Red Cross, have been working in these areas with the International Committee of the Red Cross and International Federation of the Red Cross. We welcome our new partner—the UAE Red Crescent Society. This partnerships are very healthy so we cater to the most vulnerable communities hit by disasters. The Red Cross is not a government agency. We raise own resources from national and international partners,” he added.

Meanwhile, PRC Secretary General Pang said that the partnership and the humanitarian assistance given by PRC’s partners worldwide for Pablo victims would help them provide better services for the typhoon’s victims.

“With your help, the Philippine Red Cross will be able to reach out and help more communities that were devastated by the typhoon to get back on their feet and go on with their lives, with their dignity restored,” Pang said.

Besides providing assistance to rebuild communities, Gordon also urged the UARRC to also consider cooperating with PRC in funding projects under the livelihood component since more than 150,000 families lost their livelihood when the typhoon destroyed banana and coconut plantations in the cited communities.

“Livelihood is one of the immediate needs of the people in the affected areas. There is a risk of these people taking the knife by going into banditry or kidnapping because they have no livelihood and could not support their families. It is of utmost importance to aid the suffering of these people. But the task of helping them is not completed by just distributing relief goods alone. We also have to help them get on with their lives with dignity and normalcy, which is why we keep finding ways to help them in different aspects. We thank our partner societies for always heeding our call,” he said.


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