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Food packages were delivered to Filipinos in Abu Dhabi.

PHOTO BY PHILIPPINE EMBASSY


Covid-hit Filipino expats in UAE get food aid

 

DUBAI – Coronavirus-hit Filipinos who called for “urgent assistance” received food relief with the help of the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Emirates Red Crescent (ERC).

“They are on strict quarantine due to COVID-19 and cannot go out to get food,” according to the Embassy.

The Filipinos showed symptoms of Covid-19 and were strictly quarantined, which is why they could not go out to buy essentials.

“We pray that with this assistance, our next Covid test results will be negative, and that we will be on the road to recovery,” one of the Filipinos said.

The Filipinos praised the quick action of the embassy, which has been working to provide food aid to displaced Filipinos in the UAE.

Volunteers from the Embassy and ERC packed essentials into boxes that were delivered to 22 Filipinos as part of the Covid-19 Bayanihan initiative.

“It shows how the Emirates community cares for Filipinos in the UAE as truly their own brothers and sisters, made even more significant as the celebration of the holy month of Ramadan begins,” Philippine Ambassador Hjayceelyn Quintana said, thanking the ERC for its support in the initiative.

The ERC-Embassy partnership also saw the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Filipino groups in Ras al Khaimah, Fujairah and Dubai.

Filipino private donors offer help

Private Filipino donors across the UAE also helped address the needs of compatriots in the UAE, particularly those who are on visit visa or tourist visa and do not qualify for the ongoing government aid programmes for Overseas Filipino Workers displaced by Covid-19.

Good Samaritan Filipinos from Abu Dhabi to Ras Al Khaimah have been helping distressed compatriots since the Covid-19 pandemic became more pronounced in March.

Expat Media CEO Mars De los Santos sent “boxes of love” for Filipinos and other expatriates who sent distress messages to Expatmedia.net, with aid reaching those badly affected in Dubai and Sharjah.

“It’s not everyday you read messages from hundreds of people asking for food just to survive the pandemic. We wanted to help ease their worries with the little help we can give,” De Los Santos said, adding that private individuals also sent their support in the next batches of food aid.

Sharjah-based OFW advocate and business woman Warpeace Arnold, who is currently in Cebu, Philippines, mobilized her team in the UAE to provide food assistance to Filipinos in Dubai and Sharjah, including 11 who showed symptoms of Covid-19 in Dubai.

Filipinos in the UAE help provide food aid to compatriots in need

“They couldn’t go out to buy food, so I sent food supplies,” Arnold said, adding that she just wanted to help Filipinos badly affected by the pandemic, as well as “ease the burdens of the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in her own little way”.

“Even though I am currently in Cebu, I feel like I am still in Sharjah because of the number of WhatsApp messages I am getting every day. But I can’t turn them down because just reading their distress messages breaks my heart,” Arnold told Expatmedia.net.

In Dubai, businessman Michael Da Costa, husband of popular radio personality Louie Da Costa, also gave away “bags of hope” that his family helped pack for dozens of people who sent messages asking for food assistance. The bags were distributed by a courier company to recipients in the UAE.

“These are tough times for us all but we know some are struggling more than others. Despite our household struggling, we thankfully still have enough to put food on our table and enough to share,” Da Costa told Expatmedia.net.

Michael Da Costa and family pack food aid for Filipinos

“Let’s bring back the ‘bayanihan’ spirit that Filipinos are very well known for across the world,” he added. ICA/Expat Media

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