Abu Dhabi: An aid plane carrying approximately 10 tonnes of medical supplies was dispatched by UAE to assist Italy in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
This initiative, which will benefit over 10,000 healthcare professionals, is part of UAE's commitment to cooperating with countries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in order to bolster global efforts to curb the virus’ spread, UAE News Agency (WAM) reported.
"Since its founding as a nation, the UAE has committed to extending assistance to countries and peoples in distress, and the COVID-19 crisis has affirmed the effectiveness of this approach," UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Italy Omar Obaid Al Shamsi said.
"This is evidenced by efforts to help a number of countries to which the pandemic has spread, reflecting that the UAE humanitarian approach prioritises support for the leadership and people of countries experiencing challenges.
"This aid comes within the framework of numerous other initiatives undertaken by the UAE government to combat the spread of COVID-19," he added.
"These initiatives include emergency assistance collaborations with the World Health Organisation, as well as the provision of aid to various countries, including China, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Seychelles to help them overcome this crisis."
The ambassador pointed out that UAE assistance to Italy will enable medical staff to safely perform their professional duties in combating the virus’ spread.
He underscored that the leadership and people of the UAE stand with Italy and all countries affected by COVID-19 as they work to overcome this humanitarian crisis.
For his part, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said that aid granted by the UAE symbolises solidarity between the two countries and represents critical assistance to Italy’s doctors, nurses, and medical staff.
In the name of the Italian people, Di Maio thanked the UAE government and people, noting that the donation would enable thousands of Italians to protect themselves and work to save the lives of others.
"We are currently experiencing a phase that can only be described as war against an invisible enemy waged by our medical personnel, and the personal protective equipment provided today by the UAE to Italy is our weapon in this battle," Di Maio said.
"We consider this gesture to embody solidarity in practice and on-ground assistance.
"Italy will never forget the countries that supported it during this difficult period, which is not only a health crisis but an economic and community one as well," he concluded.