DUBAI — In a dusty, industrial nook of Dubai, removed from the town’s gleaming skyscrapers and marbled buildings, bins of child-sized physique baggage are stacked in an enormous warehouse. They can be shipped to Syria and Turkey for earthquake victims.
Like different support companies, the World Health Organization is struggling to succeed in individuals in want. But from its international logistics hub in Dubai, the U.N. company tasked with worldwide public well being has already loaded two planes with crucial medical provides, sufficient to assist some 70,000 individuals. One airplane is destined for Turkey and the opposite for Syria.
The group has different hubs around the globe, however its facility in Dubai, with 20 warehouses, is its largest by far. From right here, the group is sending planeloads of medication, infusions for intravenous drips and anesthesia, surgical devices, splints and stretchers, to assist with crushing-type accidents from the earthquake.
Color-coded labels assist determine which kits are for malaria, cholera, Ebola and polio for international locations in want around the globe. Green labels are reserved for emergency well being kits — these for Istanbul and Damascus.
“The ones that we used in response to the earthquake are primarily trauma and emergency surgery kits,” says Robert Blanchard, the workforce lead in Dubai for the WHO’s emergency operations.
The kits may be delivered straight to a well being care middle to right away start treating sufferers.
“Each kit is designed for 50 surgical interventions,” he says.
Blanchard is a former firefighter from California who labored within the Foreign Service and U.S. Agency for International Development earlier than becoming a member of the WHO in Dubai. He says the group is dealing with immense logistical challenges reaching victims of the earthquake, however their Dubai warehouses assist ship support quickly to international locations in want.
International support employees battle to succeed in individuals affected by the quake
Aid has begun flowing into Turkey and Syria from around the globe, however organizations are struggling to succeed in probably the most susceptible. Rescue groups are racing to succeed in survivors in frigid temperatures, even because the hope of discovering individuals alive is diminishing with each hour.
The U.N. is making an attempt to get into the rebel-held northwestern a part of Syria by way of a humanitarian hall. Some 4 million internally displaced individuals there have little heavy equipment of the type that could be present in different elements of Turkey and Syria, and hospitals are poorly outfitted, broken, or each. Volunteers are digging by way of rubble with their naked palms.
Blanchard describes the scenario as “very uncertain.”
“The weather conditions are now not looking so great. So it just depends on the condition of the roads, the availability of the trucks and then the permission to cross the border and deliver the humanitarian aid,” he says.
For government-controlled elements of northern Syria, support teams are largely sending help to the capital, Damascus. From there, the federal government is dealing with aid efforts into hard-hit cities like Aleppo and Latakia. In Turkey, poor roads and aftershocks have sophisticated aid efforts.
The WHO’s personal workers within the southern Turkish metropolis of Gaziantep are struggling amid the destruction.
“They’re not able to go home because their homes have not been cleared by an engineer as being structurally sound,” Blanchard says. “They’re literally sleeping and living in the office and trying to do work at the same time.”
Dubai is a global support logistics hub
The WHO’s warehouses are a part of a 1.5 million square-ft. zone of Dubai often known as International Humanitarian City, the most important humanitarian hub on this planet. The zone can also be residence to warehouses for the U.N. refugee company, World Food Program, Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations, UNICEF and others.
The authorities of Dubai covers the price of storage amenities, utilities and flights carrying aid gadgets into affected areas. The stock is procured by the companies themselves.
“The goal is to be ready in case of emergency,” says Giuseppe Saba, the chief govt of International Humanitarian City.
Saba says $150 million value of emergency inventory and help is dispatched yearly to between 120 and 150 international locations. That consists of private protecting tools, tents, meals and different crucial gadgets wanted in local weather disasters, medical emergencies and international outbreaks, just like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aid from this location is distributed to international locations reminiscent of Yemen, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Uganda and Haiti.
“The reason we are doing quite a lot and the reason why this hub became the largest one in the world is exactly because of its strategic position,” Saba says. “From Dubai, in a few hours’ flight, you can serve two-thirds of the world’s population living in Southeast Asia, Middle East and Africa.”
Blanchard describes the assist as “truly vital.” The hope now’s that provides will attain individuals inside 72 hours of the earthquake hanging.
“We would like it to go faster,” he says, “but these were such large shipments. We needed a full day to build them out and prepare them.”
Due to an issue with the airplane’s engine, WHO provides for Damascus have been nonetheless grounded in Dubai as of Wednesday night. Blanchard says the group is making an attempt for direct flights to Syria’s government-controlled airport in Aleppo, a scenario he describes as “evolving by the hour.”