Médecins Sans Frontières sends essential supplies for Rohingya refugees via Dubai’s air bridge

13 Oct 2017
Press release
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October 13, 2017 – Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) sent essential supplies for the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh via the fifth rotation of the Dubai's air bridge. This air bridge was established on the order of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai.

Mohamed Bali, MSF Executive Director in the UAE said:

“Since 25 August over 515,000 Rohingya refugees have crossed into Bangladesh, fleeing violence in Rakhine state, Myanmar. Camps are severely congested and refugees are in urgent need of food and clean drinking water. A massive scale-up of humanitarian aid in Bangladesh is needed to avoid a public health disaster”.


A flight carrying relief items including essential non-food items such as blankets and sheets to address the needs of Rohingya refugees, departed from Dubai International Airport at 6:00 am on Friday.

“Most of the newly arrived refugees have moved into makeshift settlements without adequate access to shelter, food, clean water, or latrines,” said Bali. “Our medical facilities are completely overwhelmed. Between 25 August and 17 September, we received a total of 9,602 outpatients, 3,344 emergency room patients, 427 inpatients, 225 patients with violence-related injuries, and 23 cases of sexual violence.”

Since 2008, MSF has used Dubai as the primary logistical hub to provide medical assistance to people in Afghanistan, which remains one of MSF’s largest operational programmes, with more than 2,300 full-time staff and 366,000 outpatient consultations conducted in 2015. In recent years, MSF's logistics hub in Dubai has also played an essential role in supporting our emergency response in other contexts like Nepal.

“We are exploring the potential to expand MSF’s logistical capacity in Dubai to support its emergency logistical delivery regionally and beyond” says Bali. “Dubai’s geographic location and well-established infrastructure could support our medical humanitarian logistics and supply chain.”


MSF has logistics & supply offices in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Kenya and the UAE.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) - regional branch office in UAE

MSF has been in the UAE since 1992, under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan and is a member of International Humanitarian City. MSF’s work in the UAE includes support for medical humanitarian assistance and operations in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Yemen and Lebanon.

The International Humanitarian City (IHC)

Founded in 2003, the International Humanitarian City is the largest humanitarian hub in the world. It provides tremendous logistics support to all its members and boosts their capacities to respond to crises. Dubai’s commitment, through HH Sheikh Mohammed, facilitates emergency response, including aid airlifts to address humanitarian needs rapidly and efficiently. Visit: