Dubai aid fund helps more than 17 million people worldwide in 2019

About Dh262m was spent on projects to build schools, wells and housing, distribute food and support businesses

Wells are built by Suqia, as part of the projects under Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives. Courtesy MBRGI
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More than 17 million people worldwide were last year helped by the wide-ranging humanitarian drive, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives.

About Dh262 million ($71.3m) was spent on projects, mostly in the developing world, to build schools, wells and housing, distribute food and support businesses.

An annual reported released on Thursday detailed the work carried out by more than 30 government bodies, NGOs and philanthropic groups under one of the fund's five pillars, humanitarian aid and relief.

It aims to “improve lives, foster a culture of hope, transform challenges into opportunities and invest in the human capital as a nation’s most precious resource", said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai and vice chairman of the charity fund's board of trustees.

“Making a difference in one person’s life can lead to a better future for an entire society.”

Making a difference in one person's life can lead to a better future for an entire society

The four other pillars are health care and disease control, spreading education and knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurship, and empowering communities.

About 2.6 million people worldwide were helped by projects run by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, which develops sustainable programmes in vulnerable communities.

The organisation built houses, schools and wells across eight countries, including Benin, Tajikistan, Senegal, Uganda and Nigeria.

It also built and renovated schools in Pakistan and Chad. School supplies were distributed to 30,000 pupils across 13 countries including Brazil, Egypt, Mali, Ghana, Lebanon and the Philippines.

Nine million people were helped by the UAE Water Aid Foundation, or Suqia, which provides clean water for communities suffering water scarcity and pollution.

Over the past year, Suqia has dug wells to provide clean drinking water and installed pumps, clean-water distribution networks and purification stations.

The report said more than 13,488 tonnes of food was donated to the UAE Food Bank in 2019, a fivefold increase from 2018.

The collected food was then distributed to those in need across the Emirates.

More than 17 million people worlwide benefitted from Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiative projects last year. Courtesy MBRGI
More than 17 million people worlwide benefitted from Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiative projects last year. Courtesy MBRGI

The report said Dh246m worth of aid and relief was sent by International Humanitarian City in 1,070 shipments to disadvantaged countries.

“Our mission of creating hope continues and our journey of giving persists as long as there’s need in the world," Sheikh Hamdan said.

"Through our humanitarian work, we aim to improve lives in every corner of Earth."

On Thursday, a second report was released detailing the total spending under the healthcare and disease control division, which helped more than 7.5 million people last year through its projects.

The projects aim to eradicate infectious diseases that threaten well-being and hinder development in disadvantaged societies, by providing medical services to vulnerable groups.

The programmes were delivered through Al Jalila Foundation, which focuses on developing medical treatment capacities in the UAE and abroad, and Noor Dubai, which prevents blindness and visual impairment in developing countries.

Last year, MBRGI also began financing medical research and invested Dh4.9m in 38 studies on cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and mental health.

Through Al Jalila Foundation, Dh1.4m in medical scholarships were offered to postgraduate and undergraduate students.

The foundation also administered 1.4 million maternal and neonatal tetanus vaccines.

At least six million patients received free treatment for trachoma, an infectious disease that leads to blindness, by Noor Dubai.

And 20,486 patients received free medical services in Bangladesh and Senegal last year through Noor Dubai’s mobile eye camps.

More than 260 children underwent life-saving heart operations in Tajikistan, Bangladesh and Morocco through the Nabadat (heartbeats) initiative.

Finally, Dh88m was raised at the Arab Hope Makers grand variety show to support the construction of Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre in Egypt .

“Healthcare is the cornerstone of societies,” said Saeed Al Eter, assistant secretary general of MBRGI.

"The numerous initiatives and projects that aim to combat diseases and support the health sector in disadvantaged communities are central to the foundation’s work.

“We aim to create healthy and productive societies that, in turn, enhance social stability and achieve sustainable development in countries across the globe.”