More than Dh1 billion in aid handed out under Mohammed bin Rashid Global Initiatives

Ruler's charitable foundation reached more than 80 countries in challenging year

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More than 83 million people in 82 countries benefited from Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives' (MBRGI) humanitarian and social projects in 2020, the foundation's annual report revealed.

As the coronavirus pandemic broke out, the charitable organisation worked on Dh1.2 billion ($330 million) worth of humanitarian, social and development projects to help the vulnerable and empower disadvantaged communities during the biggest health crisis of the century.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, set out the year in review in a special event at the Union House in Dubai.

"The global Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated that strategic and sustainable humanitarian work is the best way to serve people in times of crisis," he said.

"Despite the obstacles caused by the pandemic, our projects and initiatives rose to the challenge and, in line with our expectations and ambitions, touched over 83 million lives in 82 countries."

"Besides its influential economic and political role, the UAE is also a humanitarian entity and a beacon of hope in the region."

Praising the team’s efforts, he said: "Over 121,000 volunteers and personnel showed competence, courage and determination in the face of the pandemic."

He said that "we will continue creating hope across the world, regardless of any circumstances. We will heed the call of humanity wherever it takes us."

10 million meals rises to 100 million

In particular, Sheikh Mohammed highlighted the generosity of the public and government and private institutions when it came to donating money, time and resources to helping the less fortunate.

Last Ramadan, as the pandemic affected families in UAE, leaving many out of work, the 10 Million Meals initiative was launched.

This year, the 100 Million Meals programme was expanded to cover more than 20 countries in the region.

Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Secretary-General of MBRGI, said: "Despite the precautionary measures and the abrupt shifts in the nature of humanitarian work, MBRGI cemented its pioneering role in creating bridges between nations, establishing solidarity, supporting vulnerable communities and aiding millions of people in need.

“The UAE, under the direction and guidance of its leadership, will continue its pivotal role in charity and humanitarian work to help provide relief to the vulnerable, empower people in need and answer the call of humanity.”

International Humanitarian City

Sheikh Mohammed also praised the work of organisations and people at International Humanitarian City.

Many global NGOs and charities operate from the desert facility, which can rapidly mobilise in response to international disasters at a moment's notice.

Sheikh Mohammed "praised the pivotal role played by the International Humanitarian City (IHC) in Dubai as a hub for transporting urgent aid, medical supplies and essential food items to various parts of the world in collaboration with UN agencies and non-governmental organisations," MBRGI said.

"Through its efforts, the IHC helped place the UAE at the forefront of urgent relief work during the first waves of the Covid-19 pandemic."