Sun 17-05-2020 19:40 PM
ABU DHABI, 17th May, 2020 (WAM) -- The United Arab Emirates has affirmed its commitment to partnering with the World Health Organisation, WHO, and strengthening global health security cooperation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, stated, "The UAE Government is acutely aware that the COVID-19 pandemic is much more than a public health emergency; it has wide-reaching social, economic, humanitarian and human rights impacts, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable people."
Sheikh Abdullah added, "The UAE firmly believes that the best way to address the pandemic is through global solidarity and cooperation, as well as by ensuring domestic health and basic services to all members of society."
He said the UAE has adopted a multifaceted domestic response to the COVID-19 pandemic grounded in the principles of public trust, transparency, and the provision of testing and treatment for all. Furthermore, H.H. noted, the Ministry of Health and Prevention includes mental and psychological support among its services, and the UAE has highlighted research as part of its treatment approach, including on stem cell use.
Sheikh Abdullah remarked that UAE policies accord with the WHO’s belief that the most effective way to prevent infections and save lives is to break the chain of transmission through testing. The UAE Government has implemented one of the most ambitious and accessible testing programmes globally, with over 10 percent of the population tested to date through over 1.3 million tests.
Noting the UAE Government’s commitment to strengthening public health, Sheikh Abdullah stated that the government has focused on gender in its COVID-19 response through targeted outreach to women, such as services related to protection and psychological welfare, and has similarly prioritized special assistance for people of determination, including free home testing and medical checks.
Highlighting the UAE’s commitment to international cooperation to address the pandemic in the spirit of solidarity and shared humanity, H.H. underscored that the UAE to date has airlifted more than 486 tonnes of medical aid, protective gear, and supplies, such as testing kits, to over 45 countries on five continents to support the critical work of nearly 500,000 medical professionals.
Addressing the strong, effective partnership between the UAE and WHO, Sheikh Abdullah noted that the UAE is proud to collaborate closely with the organisation in a multilateral response by providing in-kind contributions of personal protective equipment and airlifts, as well as facilitating aid deliveries through Dubai’s International Humanitarian City, DIHC.
In conclusion, the UAE Foreign Minister welcomed the opportunity to deepen strategic dialogue with WHO on pandemics by building on the UAE’s international and domestic efforts and expanding cooperation around services and facilities at DIHC, enhancing guidelines for vulnerable populations, and sharing knowledge and expertise on testing approaches and technology.