• UAE Ambassador to the Philippines Alzaabi requested the delivery of essential items to aid those affected by Mayon's volcanic activity
  • Philippines' DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian thanked the UAE government for the donation
  • The UAE and Philippines marked 48 years of diplomatic ties in 2022

The UAE government has donated 55 tons of food and other essential supplies to the Philippines to aid families affected by the unrest of the Mayon Volcano in the Province of Albay.

The humanitarian aid arrived early Monday morning at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 via an Etihad Airways plane.

UAE Ambassador to the Philippines Mohamed Obaid Salem Algataam Alzaabi also came to the airport to deliver the donation, which was received by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista and DSWD Undersecretary Dianne Cajipe, according to CNN.

In a statement, Gatchalian expressed his gratitude to the UAE government for the humanitarian assistance. "We thank the UAE government and the royal family for their generosity in sending the much-needed humanitarian aid for those affected by Mayon's volcanic activities," he said, as per ReliefWeb.

Gatchalian also revealed that Ambassador Alzaabi had requested the delivery of the essential items from the UAE to the Philippines amid the forced evacuations in Albay due to the eruption of the Mayon Volcano. According to the DSWD secretary, UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan immediately responded to the call and ordered the shipment of 50 tons of humanitarian aid to the country within 24 hours.

"The UAE's interior minister, who is a personal friend of DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos, also helped in the swift arrival of the humanitarian aid," Gatchalian added. He also noted that the donation was in support of the Philippine government's efforts in disaster response and preparedness.

The UAE and the Philippines share deep-rooted bilateral relations, having marked 48 years of their diplomatic ties in 2022. The UAE was also among the first countries to extend assistance to the Philippines during the height of the pandemic, donating 7.3 metric tons of personal protective equipment (PPE) gear, medical supplies and 100,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to the country.

Meanwhile, at least 13,000 residents from eight towns have been evacuated from the 6-kilometer radius danger zone since the Mayon Volcano has shown signs of magmatic unrest on June 8. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has also placed the volcano on Alert Level 3 and declared Albay under a state of calamity.

Mount Mayon
An image of Mount Mayon in Albay, Philippines