In a gesture that Yemeni officials described as "outstanding humanitarian assistance", the UAE Red Crescent sponsored a three-day charity drive late last week to support Yemen.
By the time the campaign, titled "Sanadhom" (Their Support), ended on Sunday (July 1st), it had raised 18,237,000 dirhams ($5 million) for relief efforts in Yemen.
Abdo al-Janadi, Yemen's deputy information minister, welcomed assistance from the UAE.
"The government and the people of Yemen welcome and appreciate this assistance, which is not the first of its kind from the UAE. It reflects their sense of responsibility towards their brothers in Yemen," he said.
Al-Janadi said a large portion of his country's population is suffering from hunger and poverty.
"It comes at an opportune time and is outstanding humanitarian assistance because the Yemeni people are in desperate need of it at this time," he told Al-Shorfa.
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi donated 1.5 million dirhams ($408,000) to the campaign while the Al-Hilal Islamic Bank contributed 1 million dirhams ($272,000). The initiative also received donations from many UAE citizens and residents and was accompanied by local TV and radio advertisements.
In addition to the $5 million raised, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan donated 500 million dirhams ($136 million), which will be used to provide immediate assistance to needy Yemeni families.
To collect donations, the Red Crescent designated 167 commercial centres, banks, co-operative societies and other government and private facilities as donation sites. The sites were scattered throughout Abu Dhabi, Bani Yas, al-Ain, Sharjah, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain and the country's western region.
The campaign, which received support from the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, aimed to help Yemenis overcome their nation's severe food shortage.
"The [Red Crescent] will continue to receive in-kind and financial donations despite the fact that the media campaign on television and radio has concluded," Hameed al-Mazroui, chairman of the UAE Red Crescent Authority, told Al-Shorfa.
He said individuals and organisations can make donations through Red Crescent offices and branches in the UAE and through bank accounts by text message, the internet, Facebook and Twitter.
"This is not the first time the UAE has provided help to people in Yemen," al-Mazroui said, referring to the Friends of Yemen conference held in Abu Dhabi in 2010, which called on donors to honour pledges they made to support Yemen financially in 2006.
Saif al-Mazroui, a UAE citizen and private sector employee, donated to the relief campaign. He said Emiratis are always ready to extend a helping hand to the needy.
"The people of the UAE are rushing to alleviate the difficult humanitarian situation in Yemen, especially now at the onset of the holy month of Ramadan. We want to provide help to others and support them during their time of need," he said.
Mariam Abdullah, a UAE citizen and an employee at the Community Development Authority in Dubai, said the UAE made the provision of foreign aid a linchpin of its official policy.
This is "to establish it as a part of the culture and create a social norm that highlights humanitarian efforts in UAE society," she said.
Faisal Darem in Sanaa contributed to this report.