DUBAI: The UAE’s Ministry of Defense has started operating an air bridge to transport humanitarian aid to Pakistan, Emirates News Agency reported on Monday.
The relief aid includes shelter materials and food and medicine parcels for those affected by unprecedented torrential rains and floods in the Asian country.
Tens of millions of people across swathes of Pakistan are battling the worst monsoon floods in a decade.
The move comes after the UAE’s President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan issued a directive to provide various forms of support to the people of Pakistan on Sunday.
The UAE’s ambassador to Pakistan Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi said the first Emirati plane loaded with aid flew out to Pakistan on Monday morning, and that it would be followed by a number of other planes carrying aid over the coming days.
Al-Zaabi said the support highlights the strength of relations between the two countries, adding that the UAE has contributed to alleviating the severity of many humanitarian crises experienced by Pakistan in the past.
The ambassador added that the UAE’s humanitarian support extends to all affected communities around the world based on its global humanitarian role and principles.
Pakistan’s Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman said on Monday that a third of the country was under water, creating a “crisis of unimaginable proportions.”
Officials say 1,136 people have died since June when the seasonal rains began, but the final toll could be higher as hundreds of villages in the mountainous north have been cut off after flood-swollen rivers washed away roads and bridges.