The UAE’s Humanitarian Aid and Efforts to Combat COVID-19


United States

The UAE Government and Etihad Airways worked with the US Mission to the UAE to repatriate 25 American citizens who were unable to travel due to the coronavirus outbreak. Additionally, UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and conveyed a mes-sage of support and solidarity from HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minis-ter of Foreign Affairs and International Coop-eration.

The UAE Embassy in Washington was an initial donor to the Children’s National Hospi-tal, which launched DC’s first drive-up- /walk-up COVID-19 testing location for children and young patients. The UAE is providing charitable support to Chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen, which is distributing 50,000 packaged fresh meals to communities in need. The UAE Embassy is also supporting Feed the Fight, an organi-zation distributing meals to healthcare work-ers and first responders, and Good Food Markets, which is providing groceries to Washington, DC residents in need.

United Kingdom

The UAE turned ExCeL London, the capital’s largest venue for exhibitions and confer-ences wholly owned by Abu Dhabi Govern-ment, into an emergency field hospital for the treatment of patients infected with COVID-19. Named  the  NHS Nightingale Hospital, the new facility will have a capacity of 4,000 beds and will be able to provide a comprehensive range of medical support facilities. The UAE is covering the costs asso-ciated with the operation of this center and is providing the center rent-free.

On April 5, the UAE facilitated the repatria-tion of 345 British tourists visiting the UAE. In response, British Ambassador to the UAE Patrick Moody said, “I also wanted to give a huge thank you to Emirates, to the Emirati authorities who have helped make this happen…”

South Korea

On March 19, the UAE facilitated the evacua-tion of 80 individuals from Iran in response to a request by the South Korean Govern-ment. Among the evacuated individuals were 74 South Korean nationals residing there, in addition to 6 Iranian family mem-bers. The individuals were flown to the UAE and then traveled onward to Incheon Interna-tional Airport in South Korea.


The UAE donated 13 tonnes of medical supplies to Greece on March 26, consisting mostly of special coveralls for medical protec-tion, medical gloves, and sanitizers. In a state-ment, Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis remarked: “The friendship and trust we share with the United Arab Emirates are dear, and especially during these difficult times the solidarity of our allies is evident—also shown through the delivery of valuable medical supplies today.”

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Following the initial COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, the UAE provided medical supplies, including facemasks and gloves, to China. On January 26, HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, tweeted: “We’re closely follow-ing the Chinese government’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus. We’re confident in their ability to overcome this crisis. The UAE is ready to provide all support to China and cooperate with the international community to tackle this virus.”

On March 4, as part of the UAE’s Homeland of Humanity Initiative, the UAE evacuated 215 people of different nationalities from China’s Hubei Province to the Emirates Humanitarian City in Abu Dhabi, where they received the necessary medical evaluation and care.


In collaboration with the World Health Organiza-tion (WHO), the UAE sent an aircraft carrying 7.5 tonnes of medical supplies, as well as five WHO experts, to Iran on March 3 to help 15,000 healthcare workers and 100,000 workers. In a March 15 call with Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan affirmed the UAE’s support to the Iranian people as they manage this crisis.

In the second supply of medical equipment to Iran on March 17, the UAE sent over 33 tonnes of critical medical supplies, including gloves and surgical masks, as well as other protective equipment. Aid to Iran was delivered with the aim of helping 33,000 healthcare workers.

Commenting on the aid dispatched, HE Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, said:  “The UAE’s efforts in carrying out a second medical aid flight to Iran are consistent with our country’s founding humanitarian principles, which guide our belief that providing life-saving assistance to those experiencing distress is essential to serving the common good.”

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The UAE donated a total of 10 tonnes of medi-cal equipment to Belgrade on March 29. The first part of the donation from the UAE includ-ed 13,750 protective suits, 15,000 hospital suits, 500,000 gloves, 30,000 shoe protec-tors, 20,000 masks, and 6,000 sanitizers. Ventilators were slated to arrive in the next delivery. The shipment was received by Serbi-an Minister of Defense Aleksandar Vulin, Minister of Health Zlatibor Loncar, and UAE Ambassador to Serbia Mubarak Saeed Al Dhaheri.


The UAE donated 13 tonnes of medical supplies to the Seychelles Government to assist their fight against COVID-19. The humanitarian aid included coveralls, gowns, gloves, masks, and other medical items. The shipment from the UAE arrived on March 25.


The UAE donated 13 tonnes of medical equip-ment, including masks, to Croatia following a recent devastating earthquake on March 22 that has been described as the strongest to strike the country in 140 years.


The UAE sent medical equipment and supplies to Kuala Lumpur on March 29. Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and UAE Ambassador to Malaysia Khalid Al Ghaith came together to share best practices in addressing the pandemic.


The UAE dispatched an urgent medical aid shipment to Afghanistan containing testing units and equipment to examine thou-sands of people.


On April 1, UAE airline Emirates flew 500,000 COVID-19 test kits from China to Sao Paulo. It was the first of two special Emirates SkyCargo charters carrying medi-cal supplies to Brazil.


The UAE sent 13 tonnes of medical supplies to Kazakhstan on April 6 to bolster the coun-try’s response to COVID-19, benefitting over 13,000 healthcare professionals in the process.


A UAE plane carrying approximately 13 tonnes of medical supplies was dispatched to Italy on April 5 to assist the country in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, benefit-ting over 13,000 healthcare professionals.


The UAE sent 13 tonnes of medical aid to Ukraine on April 10 to support over 13,000 healthcare professionals. The flight also repa-triated 113 Ukrainian citizens from the UAE.

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On April 14, the UAE sent an aid plane carry-ing 8 tonnes of medical supplies to Cyprus, benefitting nearly 10,000  healthcare professionals in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.


The UAE sent a plane carrying 18 metric tons of medical and food aid to the Islamic Repub-lic of Mauritania on April 19, benefitting approximately 10,000 healthcare workers.


The UAE sent 10 tonnes of medical supplies to Colombia on April 8 to aid the country’s response to COVID-19, benefitting over 10,000 healthcare professionals. The flight also repatriated 63 Colombian citizens from the UAE.


On April 12, Bulgarian Minister of Economy HE Emil Karanikolov met with UAE Minister of State HE Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh in Abu Dhabi to discuss further cooperation between both countries. An exchange of goods between both countries also took place.


In collaboration with the World Health Orga-nization, the UAE dispatched an aid plane carrying approximately 27 tonnes of medi-cal supplies to Somalia on April 14. The aid, which consisted of 7 tonnes from the UAE and 20 tonnes from WHO, will help approxi-mately 27,000 healthcare workers in com-bating COVID-19.

South Africa

The UAE sent an aid plane containing 7 metric tons of medical supplies to South Africa on April 20, benefiting approximately 7,000 medical professionals.


On April 13, a UAE aid plane carrying approxi-mately 33 tonnes of medical supplies was dispatched to Ethiopia to assist approxi-mately 33,000 healthcare professionals. The aid plane transported 15 tonnes of aid provided by the UAE to Ethiopia, as well as 3 tonnes provided by the UAE to the African Union and 15 tonnes of aid provided by the World Health Organization to help Ethiopia and 30 other African countries combat the COVID-19 pandemic.


The UAE delivered a first batch of crucial medical supplies to Pakistan on April 2. UAE Ambassador to Pakistan Hamad Alzaabi tweeted: “Our commitment for humanitarian approaches and principles to help people in delicate situation has no limits.”

On April 5, the second batch of 11 tonnes of medical supplies provided by the UAE arrived in Islamabad.