Real solutions to address global issues

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives is a step forward on the right path

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the launch of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiative in Dubai. Photo courtesy Dubai Media Office
Powered by automated translation

Solving problems in education, water scarcity and access to medical treatment is the great puzzle that habitually plagues international aid efforts. A large part of the challenge is that the best solution often lacks the punch of immediacy. Rather, constructive paths forward require long-term and patient commitment. While this reality might be largely devoid of excitement, it is crucially important in eradicating the problems our planet faces.

We warmly welcome the decision by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, to launch a new development foundation to fight poverty, spread education, build communities and encourage growth in more than 100 countries. It was announced on Sunday that the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives will bring 28 existing aid organisations, including Dubai Cares and UAE Water Aid, under one umbrella to expand their reach with an annual operating budget of Dh1 billion.

The foundation will begin with 1,400 programmes across 116 countries. There will be a special focus on the Arab world. Education, water scarcity and medical research will top the list of priorities with several goals set for 2025, including a target of educating 20 million children along with treating eye disease for 30 million people. Additionally, more than 10 million books are planned to be distributed and 25,000 foreign-language titles translated into Arabic. It is exactly these types of long-term commitments that are desperately needed to advance issues of global importance.

Moreover, encouraging sustainable development and growth with regard to human development is a primary defence against violence and terrorism in our region, as Sheikh Mohammed declared at the launch of the foundation. When people lack access to education or medical treatment, they are more susceptible to extremism.

Building on the goals of the foundation, we must also focus on upgrading global and local initiatives that encourage economic and social growth in less privileged communities. Ultimately, the international community will be a safer and more productive place if we encourage communities to grow and sustain themselves.

At this time of regional upheaval, the goals of the foundation are a key part of the path forward to a prosperous future.