Abu Dhabi: The UAE has a valiant tradition of going out of its way to help those in desperate situations. It is about to open a fully equipped camp to house Syrian refugees as they pour into Jordan, escaping the violence overwhelming their homes. These people will need help at many levels as they left their homes with very little time to prepare. So they need basic requirements of shelter and food, as well as medical support. But they will also have to use these camps as a base from which to rebuild their lives and this may well take some time. So the camps need to prepare for people staying there for a considerable period of time, a UAE paper commented.
“Gulf News” in its today’s editorial entitled “UAE is leading the way in helping Syrian refugees” commended UAE’s philanthropic and charity work and said: “The UAE has good experience of helping refugees. During the fighting in Kosovo in the 1990s, it had built a substantial camp where Kosovars were able to seek shelter as Nato and the Serbs fought over their country. Later, in 2002, the UAE built camps in Pakistan to cope with the influx of Afghan civilians fleeing the war after the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001. A few years ago, when Pakistan suffered its worst flooding in decades, the UAE rushed to build shelters with effective medical support to help the people recover from the tragedy as it had done after the earthquake in 2005.”
Today’s requirements of the refugees from Syria were summed up by the UAE commander responsible for the country’s humanitarian activities in Jordan with these chilling words: “This is one of the worst situations I have ever seen. It is extremely hard for the Syrian families. They have no food, water, beds, blankets. Nothing. And now the winter is coming, so it is our duty to secure what they need.” The paper concluded: “The UAE plans to build a modern facility, including caravans with playgrounds, a hospital and much more, while it is already running a field hospital and two mobile hospitals in the country. It is of great credit to the country that it is prepared to make such a serious commitment to help others.