|03ABUDHABI1439||2003-03-25 13:03:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Abu Dhabi|
null Diana T Fritz 05/24/2007 04:45:14 PM From DB/Inbox: Search Results Cable Text: CONFIDENTIAL SIPDIS TELEGRAM March 25, 2003 To: No Action Addressee Action: Unknown From: AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI (ABU DHABI 1439 - UNKNOWN) TAGS: EAID, PREL, PGOV, PHUM, KPAL, KWBG Captions: None Subject: TFIZ01: UAE POISED TO PROVIDE HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO IRAQI PEOPLE Ref: None _________________________________________________________________ C O N F I D E N T I A L ABU DHABI 01439 SIPDIS CXABU: ACTION: POL INFO: RSO AMB DCM P/M ECON DISSEMINATION: POL CHARGE: PROG APPROVED: DCM: RALBRIGHT DRAFTED: ECON:CCRUMPLER CLEARED: CGD: ROLSON, ECON:TWILLIAMS, POL:STWILLIAMS VZCZCADI615 OO RUEHC RUCNRAQ RUEKJCS RUMICEA RUEKJCS RUEHDE DE RUEHAD #1439/01 0841303 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 251303Z MAR 03 FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9074 INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY RUMICEA/USCINCCENT INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI PRIORITY 2948
1. (U) Classified by DCM Richard A. Albright, for
reasons 1.5 (B) and (D).
2. (C) Summary and comment: Under the aegis of the
government-run Red Crescent Authority (RCA), the UAE is
gearing up to provide significant humanitarian
assistance to the Iraqi people. In addition to direct
contributions from the UAEG, the Emirati public will be
mobilized through a series of telethons, food drives at
schools and businesses, and other activities that will
emphasize popular participation. The UAEG carried out
similar humanitarian assistance programs for the
Palestinians last year, directly channeling public
frustration with events into positive activity. While
the UAE has a strong preference to work its
humanitarian assistance directly (vice via multilateral
organizations or programs), we will work closely with
the RCA to track its activities and assist/deconflict
as necessary and appropriate. End summary and comment.
Red Crescent Authority Spearheads Relief Effort
3. (C) UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and
UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) Chairman Shaykh Hamdan
Bin Zayid Al-Nahyan told the Ambassador on March 23
that the Abu Dhabi-headquartered RCA, with branches
throughout the UAE, would be responsible for the bulk
of UAE humanitarian assistance to Iraq, and would begin
distribution of food and supplies as soon as the
security situation allows aid workers to enter safely.
He agreed that the UAEG, at some point, would probably
need to coordinate with the U.S. military to move
humanitarian supplies and personnel into Iraq.
4. (C) Shaykh Hamdan noted that the RCA would
immediately purchase about $3 million USD in medical
supplies and other necessities on the local Iraqi
market, to ensure prompt distribution to the needy.
RCA already has provided more than $25,000 USD in
supplies to hospitals and orphanages in Iraq.
5. (U) According to press reports, the RCA has
established 115 posts throughout the UAE where
donations in cash and supplies can be received. RCA
Manager of Relief and Projects Dr. Salih Al-Taie said
the organization expects to provide tons of high-
calorie food items, including milk powder and biscuits
for children, and supplies such as tents and blankets
to the people of Iraq. Al-Taie said that the apparent
shortage of drinking water in the city of Basra
prompted RCA officials to purchase water filtering
equipment and electricity generators, in addition to
6. (U) An RCA delegation left Monday for Amman, Jordan
to assess the humanitarian situation of refugees there,
according to press reports. RCA officials are
organizing similar assessment visits to neighboring
countries that expect to receive an influx of Iraqi
civilians fleeing the war.
World Food Program Opens Its Doors In Dubai
7. (C) The UAE Foreign Ministry yesterday signed an
agreement with the United Nations World Food Program
(WFP) formalizing WFP's regional office in Dubai.
Shaykh Hamdan said that the WFP's regional office in
Dubai would service the Iraqi people, and begin
operations this week. (Note: This is apparently for
reasons of political cover. WFP has had a regional
office in Dubai for some time, and its operations are
not specifically related to the Iraq crisis, although
it will in fact support them. End note.)
Dubai Starts Its Own Iraq Relief Campaign
8. (U) The Shaykh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum
Charity and Humanitarian Foundation (whose patron is
the UAE Defense Minister and Dubai Crown Prince)
launched today a 12-hour telethon in support of the
Iraqi people on Dubai Television. The slogan of the
telethon is "The Campaign For Our Brethren In Iraq."
The Foundation is an umbrella organization of 16
charities in the UAE, and has launched a month-long
campaign to raise funds and supplies for the Iraqi
people. On 23 March, Shaykh Mohammed offered the
Foundation's assistance distributing food aid to Iraqis
(which he feels would be more acceptable to Iraqis than
direct USG assistance)(reftel).
9. (U) According to press reporting, Dubai Attorney
General and Vice-Chairman of the MBR Foundation Ibrahim
Bu Melha confirmed that the Foundation had opened two
bank accounts to receive donations, as well as
collection centers where donors can drop relief goods.
The Foundation is ready to send teams to Iraq to
supervise the distribution of goods.
10. (U) Bu Melha said that coordination with
international organizations in Iraq began before the
war. The Foundation stored 500 tons of dates and other
foodstuff in mosques around Baghdad a month ago.
Foundation officials had hoped that Coalition forces
would not destroy mosques. Prior to the onset of
hostilities, the Foundation made arrangements with
relief agencies in Iraq to begin distributing some of
these items -- more than 300 tons of dates have already
been distributed, he told the press.
11. (U) In the northern emirate of Ajman, a 3-day
fundraiser for Iraqi children started today as part of
the "Funtasia 2003" festival. However, a children's
festival in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah was
cancelled today to express solidarity for the
suffering of the Iraqi people.