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UAE president approves law to secure food supplies in emergencies

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has passed a new law to ensure that enough food supply in the country at any point in time, including during emergencies. President Sheikh Khalifa approved the Federal Law No. 3 of 2020 to regulate food supply in the country.

The law requires retailers to allow monitoring of their inventories, while merchants, who hoard food supplies or do not adhere to the regulations of the law, will be penalised. All registered merchants, including retailers, have to abide by the law and those who fail to do so risk huge fines and jail terms.

The Ministry of Economy will implement the law and work with the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) to make sure the food supply meets the demand.

The retailers will have to distribute their food stock as directed by the NCEMA in case of a crisis. The law also requires retailers to stick to the regulations governing the location and standards of storage.

Those who fail to do so will be given a fine of between Dh500,000 and Dh2 million. Retailers must also allow online monitoring of their supplies, food stock and storage conditions.

Offenders will be punished with a fine of between Dh100,000 and Dh1 million. In emergency and on NCEMA’s directive, retailers, who do not open their warehouses will be fined between Dh1 million and Dh5 million, and can be jailed.

Meanwhile, UAE government has sent aid flights to several countries currently facing the pandemic. A plane carrying approximately 10 tonnes of medical supplies was dispatched last week to assist 10,000 healthcare professionals on foreign soil.

This initiative is part of the UAE’s commitment to cooperate with countries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak to bolster global efforts to curb the virus’ spread.

“Since its founding as a nation, the UAE has committed to extending assistance to countries and peoples in distress, and the COVID-19 crisis has affirmed the effectiveness of this approach. This is evidenced by efforts to help a number of countries to which the pandemic has spread, reflecting that the UAE humanitarian approach prioritises support for the leadership and people of countries experiencing challenges.”

“This aid comes within the framework of numerous other initiatives undertaken by the UAE government to combat the spread of COVID-19. These initiatives include emergency assistance collaborations with the World Health Organisation (WHO) as well as the provision of aid to various countries worldwide,” the authorities said.


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