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New push to help Yemen’s war-hit

Bahrain News
Mon, 08 Feb 2016
By Raji Unnikrishnan


Bahrain: People in Bahrain will soon be able to donate food and medicine to war-torn Yemen by simply purchasing them from local supermarkets and pharmacies. 

The initiative is being spearheaded by a newly formed 16-member group at the Bahrain Red Crescent Society (BRCS), which aims to collect food and medicine for people in Yemen. 

The contribution, according to BRCS secretary-general Dr Fauzi Abdulla Amin, will be separate from food and medical supplies that BRCS will purchase with a BD15,000 budget set aside for the Yemen Relief Fund. 

“Our aim is to make this project popular so that it becomes a donation from the people of Bahrain, apart from the official help funded by the government,” he told the GDN

The project is part of a GCC humanitarian plan, which has invited all Red Cross and Red Crescent organisations to contribute and co-ordinate with King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre in Saudi Arabia to support relief projects for Yemen. 

“Even before the war people in Yemen were in need of relief aid, which we collected but had difficulty in reaching them on the ground,” said Dr Amin.  

“The war has made conditions worse and we were not able to figure out how to send our donations to Yemen and the King Salman Centre’s move to co-ordinate the efforts is encouraging. 

“As we know, United Nations figures say that 21 million of the 26m population in Yemen require help and relief. 

“Our main focus will be on food and medical supplies and our aim is to help the public join our campaign without any burden on them like offering financial aid or having to take up the responsibility to reach it to organisations of relief aid workers. 

“All they need to do is to buy some extra food at the supermarkets towards the Yemeni relief aid project and the market managements will do the rest. 

“The same would apply to medicine like common antibiotics or medical supplies, which could be done similarly at pharmacies.” 

However, details of the project’s operations were still under discussion, said Dr Amin, who urged people to donate dry food including macaroni and biscuits, along with antibiotics and painkillers. 

Consignment

“We will soon announce the names of the supermarkets and pharmacies which will accept donations,” he added.  

“The donations will be periodically collected and packed and sent through King Salman Centre by air or ship. 

“We also plan to make this an ongoing project and not limited to Yemen because today it is Yemen and tomorrow it could be any other country and a strategy in place for such relief aids is always helpful.” 

The latest official consignment of humanitarian aid to Yemen from Bahrain was handed over to the command of the Arab coalition in Aden in May last year. 

The aid, which was part of Bahrain’s contribution to the Restoring Hope programme, was co-ordinated by the Royal Charity Organisation and the BRCS.

raji@gdn.com.bh

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