ABU DHABI, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region, Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, has affirmed that the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is playing an essential role in reinforcing the development and reconstruction drive in the Yemeni Socotra Archipelago.

In statements following the ERC's execution of a number of developmental projects in the Archipelago recently, Sheikh Hamdan said the initiatives launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to improve the living conditions in Socotra "come out within a holistic humanitarian perspective away from any other considerations or individual interests."

The UAE and Yemeni peoples are bound by deeply-rooted and fraternal ties that are much stronger than any other considerations, he added, noting that the two countries have one common destiny and what the "ERC is doing on ground in Yemen stems from a pure humanitarian and ethical commitment toward brothers."

"The ERC will spare no efforts to continue to help the Yemenis survive their challenges in Socotra and its presence there has not started recently but it has always been serving the interests of our brothers, alleviating their suffering and improving their lives," Sheikh Hamdan added.

"ERC has always been in the forefront in meeting the call of duty after all natural disasters that hit the Archipelago, including hurricanes and other calamities, carrying out all essential projects needed to improve the lives of the Yemeni people in areas of health, education, housing and other infra-structure sectors.

"This is always the quintessential Emirati attitude toward our brethren, not only in Yemen but in all countries. It is the legacy we have inherited from late Sheikh Zayed, and which is closely followed by our wise leadership. It is this very legacy which has placed the UAE on the forefront of countries working for the higher good of humanity at large," he added.

ERC has recently opened Phase I of its developmental projects in Socotra amidst a wide acclaim on the part of all the island's officials and inhabitants and their appreciation of the humanitarian role played by the UAE in the Archipelago over the recent years.

The ERC projects include the establishment of Sheikh Zayed City which consists of 356 houses, including all needed health, educational and other types of services. Hundreds of families who fell victim to the dire sequels of Cyclone Chapala and Hurricane Meg and who were living in the areas of Estiro, Zahiq and F'arhu will benefit from the project.

The projects also include the establishment and maintenance of 42 classes in 14 schools and provision of all needed school equipment, notably computer sets and other study utensils, in addition to establishing a garden and rehabilitating 44 mosques and erection of a 75 km water network. Included also in the projects is the construction of a marine protected area for the fishery in Hudeibo and provision of 100 fishing boats for the inhabitants whose main source of income is fishing.

In a report it issued recently, ERC said the assistance provided to Socotra includes an airlift of 7000 food parcels to meet the needs of the crisis-stricken people there. ERC also sent delegations to supervise the distribution of aid and inspect the extent of damage triggered by the hurricane.

In addition, two public parks and two football pitches have been established besides two mass weddings; up to 40 couples have benefitted from the first while the second grouped together around 400 brides and grooms in late April, during which ERC paid all related expenses.

Source: Emirates News Agency