“Horns of Hope” solidarity initiative inspires global maritime authorities to follow suit

European and Middle Eastern ports have joined efforts to support maritime, healthcare and critical sector personnel battling COVID-19.

Recognizing the need for solidarity in times of crisis, global ports have joined together under the banner of Abu Dhabi Ports’ “Horns of Hope” initiative to show support for those engaged on the front lines with the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative calls on all ships in harbors around the world to sound their horns in 15-second bursts each evening, in recognition of the efforts of maritime, healthcare, and critical sector personnel, who are working diligently to ensure their respective communities remain safe and healthy.

Similar efforts have been observed in a number of ports across Europe, such as the Port of Antwerp, Rotterdam, Vauban, Monaco, and Barcelona, in addition to Ports in Germany.

In the MENA region, the long list of “Horns of Hope” participants — in addition to Abu Dhabi Ports’ maritime localities — includes Jebel Ali Port, Ajman Port, Jizan Port, Shuaiba Port, as well as Khalifa bin Salman Port in Bahrain. Egypt’s Port of Alexandria, Iraq’s Khor Al Zubair Port, the Port of Tripoli in Lebanon, along with Suez’s Al Ain Alsokhna, Adabiya, and East and West Port Said, have also joined the daily activity.

H.E. Dr. Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime (FTA), UAE, said: “The Horns of Hope initiative has given people across the region and around the world daily affirmation that all communities are standing together to overcome the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The persistence and dedication of frontline workers inspires all of us to fight, each on his own front.  Even as life as we know it has been brought to a halt by the pandemic, the courage and exemplary commitment of medical teams, port workers, police forces, and countless other essential workers has meant that food, medical care, and all other necessities are still widely available to us.

“For this reason, we will continue to sound the horns each evening in honor of their sacrifice, thank the world’s ports that have joined our effort, and welcome more ports to join us.”

The momentum behind the initiative has continued to pick up pace following an official commitment by both the Arab Sea Ports Federation and the International Maritime Organization, which includes representatives from 174 United Nations member states.

Serving as one of the few industries still active after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, the world’s maritime sector is playing a vital role in ensuring supply lines remain open and life-sustaining cargo is delivered safely and on-time.

Abu Dhabi Ports and other participating maritime authorities of the “Horns of Hope” campaign will continue to sound their horns daily at 18:30 until the COVID-19 crisis comes to a close.

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