By HE Sultan Al Shamsi, UAE Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development Affairs, MOFAIC
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the essential, but often hidden, roles played by global transit centers. The UAE is one of a few global “super-connector” hubs, linking production and consumption centers across five continents. At the beginning of the pandemic, the UAE’s transport networks helped get hundreds of thousands of stranded passengers back home. As Covid-19 shut down international passenger traffic, the same infrastructure was used to keep supply chains moving. The UAE used its air logistics infrastructure to deliver Covid-19-related humanitarian aid: To date, the UAE has delivered over 1613 metric tonnes of personal protective equipment (PPE) to 120 countries in need, supporting more than 1.6 million medical professionals in the frontline of the fight against the pandemic. During the pandemic, the UAE used its accumulated expertise, research and investment capacity to speed the development of prospective Covid-19 treatments and vaccines. And since the beginning of the pandemic the UAE has had been preparing for the time when we would be called upon to help end of the pandemic, by delivering billions of vaccine doses to all corners of the world, quickly, safely and at highly controlled temperatures. It’s a massive effort, made more complex by the fact that the world’s limited cargo capacity is already stretched. Thus it is no surprise to see the development of Covid-19 logistics hubs in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The Hope Consortium, which includes the Abu Dhabi Department of Health, Etihad Cargo and the Abu Dhabi Ports Company has already begun, moving five million vaccines this month. Arguably what we have seen over the last year is the birth and accelerated development of a new field, that of global humanitarian logistics – the application of advanced logistical services, networks and technology to serve all of humanity, all at once. The UAE is extremely proud to be at the forefront of these developments, which isn’t limited to terrestrial activities; by helping pushing the boundaries of space exploration, as we have done with the Mars Hope Probe, we are contributing to the body of knowledge that will help us face new logistical, medical and environmental challenges at home.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs