The worth of a nation can be gauged from its ability to correctly differentiate between a time to talk and the time to act. In announcing a global food aid programme for crisis-hit zones across the world, the UAE has, once again, shown how admirably it gets its priorities right. Its first delivery of a 100,000 high-quality, halal meals to the people of the conflict-ridden Gaza will happen in the coming days, providing a vital resource to these traumatised and destabilised people.
With the conflict continuing with no real end in sight, and with more than a 1,000 Palestinians having been killed so far by Israel’s brutal military, the political ramifications of this crisis are threatening to distract the world’s attention from acknowledging the scale of human tragedy unfolding on a daily basis. In such a scenario, the UAE’s Salma food aid programme — named in honour of Salma Al Sharhan, UAE’s first nurse — under the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, offers a stark counterpoint to the failure of the international community to similarly rise to the occasion. What Gazans need right now are concrete measures to alleviate their suffering because diplomatic efforts alone do not put food into the mouths of the starving and dispossessed in a war zone.