ABU DHABI, The UAE has supported Yemen, especially the Socotra archipelago, for many years, as part of the directives of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The UAE's historic support for the Yemeni people reflects its commitment to unify the country and improve the conditions of its governorates and cities.

The UAE has supported many causes through its developmental and relief organisations, and has helped Socotra recover from political instability, neglect and the effects of natural disasters.

In Mach 2000, the UAE sent a team from the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, to provide Socotra with aid and relief materials, as well as tents and the basic needs of its residents, after the floods that damaged buildings and agricultural lands.

During "Cyclone Chapala", which struck the archipelago in May 2015, Emirati humanitarian and relief organisations rushed to help Socotra's people. The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation built an air-bridge, through which it sent 16 cargo planes and four cargo steamships that carried some 12,000 tonnes of food and relief materials, such as tents, for the archipelago's residents.

The ERC also offered urgent assistance to those aggrieved and distributed over 35 tonnes of urgent relief assistance, which was followed by two planes that carried many more tonnes of additional relief aid.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment donated AED2 million to the ERC, to help its relief efforts in Yemen and support infrastructure projects.

The UAE also provided medical assistance to Socotra in 2005 and constructed a dam to eliminate the spread of malaria. The ERC organised a campaign to combat the disease, launched specialist centres, and provided 15,000 covers against mosquitos, 500 kilogrammes of insecticide spray, 21 advanced microscopes, 3,000 examination slides and other materials.

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.

In December 2012, the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital was opened in the Socotra. The hospital has two operation theaters, an intensive care room and departments of gynecology and obstetrics, pediatrics and emergency care, all with sophisticated medical equipment.

In November 2016, The first fleet of four-wheeled vehicles, donated by the Khalifa Foundation, was delivered to the police department of Socotra.

Source: Emirates News Agency