Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and WAHA International, the international non-profit, nongovernmental organisation, have teamed-up to transport disaster relief kits to Somalia.

The relief kits, destined for two refugee camps and two hospitals in the Somali capital Mogadishu, contained 474 tents, 50 education boxes, and three tons of electrical material.

Currently, 3.7 million Somalis, or 50 per cent of the population are facing acute food shortages and a lack of proper shelter and livelihoods. Some 1.5 million people are classed as internally displaced persons (IDPs), with more than 400,000 living in Mogadishu and its environs.

Working closely with WAHA International, UAE Red Crescent and the Shelterbox France charity, Etihad Airways coordinated the consignments from various points in Europe through the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub.
David Kerr, Etihad Airways Vice President for Cargo said: “Acting as a bridge between Europe and Africa, our team at Etihad Airways, both on the passenger and freighter side of operations, worked closely with WAHA International, UAE Red Crescent and Shelterbox France to ensure the safe arrival of these relief kits in the UAE, before their eventual shipment by WAHA International to Somalia.

”This successful operation further proves Etihad Airways’ ability to provide secure logistical solutions for our partners and customers through Abu Dhabi, and we are delighted to have played a role in part-coordinating these much needed relief supplies to Somalia.”

Dr Sinan Khaddaj, WAHA International Secretary General said: “These relief kits will make a dramatic difference to the well-being of hundreds of Somali families in dire need of assistance in Mogadishu.

“The support of Etihad Airways in transporting these supplies has been instrumental in ensuring their timely arrival on the ground so that WAHA’s team can begin their distribution to those in urgent need.”