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06ABUDHABI3374 2006-08-20 15:01:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Abu Dhabi
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1. (SBU) The UAEG pledged $20 million in assistance to
Lebanon early in the crisis, and has now committed an
unspecified amount to rebuild Lebanese hospitals and schools.
MFA's Assistant Under Secretary for International
Cooperation Ambassador Mohammad Abdul Rahim Abdul Jalil told
the Charge August 19 that the money for hospitals and schools
would be in addition to the previously committed $20 million
and that the UAEG was now looking for an appropriate
mechanism to implement the decision. UAE President Khalifa
bin Zayed al-Nahyan has also ordered the resumption of a
longstanding UAE-sponsored operation to clear an estimated
130,000 mines from southern Lebanon (left from the previous
Israeli occupation).

2. (U) Private citizens resident in the UAE reportedly have
contributed over Dh54 million ($14.7 million) to Lebanese
relief efforts. The quasi-official UAE Red Crescent Society
(RCS) and Muhammad bin Rashid Charity and Humanitarian
Foundation (MbR Foundation) have been the primary conduits
for private donations (in addition to their own institutional
contributions). The RCS sponsored a telethon and collection
campaigns in malls, hotels, and the Lebanese Embassy. Press
reports on August 20 claimed the RCS had disbursed
approximately Dh35 million ($9.5 million), largely through
distribution centers the society has established in Lebanon
and on the Lebanon-Syria border. The MbR Foundation
reportedly has allocated Dh40 million ($10.9 million) for
Lebanon. It maintains its own air bridge and at least 18
makeshift camps for distributing aid to refugees, including a
special focus on Lebanese refugees in
Syria. RCS and MbR Foundation relief shipments continue to
arrive in Lebanon almost daily (including an RCS-coordinated
ship loaded with 2,500 tons of supplies).