Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed launches UAE-wide volunteer campaign

Initiative designed to unite organiations across the country in fight against coronavirus

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Courtesy MoFAIC

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, has launched a UAE-wide volunteer initiative to help combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Sheikh Abdullah stressed the need to unite the efforts of different volunteer groups and develop a clear framework to regulate volunteering in the country, with many residents and citizens keen to help others.

It is hoped that the new Higher National Committee for Regulating Volunteering during Crisis will help co-ordinate the activities of all those eager to give their time freely, so that their efforts are as effective as possible.

The committee has held its first remote meeting, chaired by Sheikh Abdullah.

"The UAE is the home of all citizens and residents, and we are able to address any challenges we face with cohesion and co-operation," Sheikh Abdullah said.

"We look forward to collaborating with the competent authorities to document our national experience, and history will remember the exceptional role of various organisations, personnel, and volunteers for their sacrifices and efforts to overcome the current situation.

"We are stronger now, thanks to the unity and co-operation of our people, as well as the solidarity of all residents to preserve the advancements of our homeland and the safety of citizens and expatriates."

The UAE Volunteers campaign is a national initiative to recruit and support volunteers, and was launched in co-operation with government departments, voluntary groups and private businesses.

The campaign aims to use the skills of members of society to protect at-risk groups.

At its first meeting, Sheikh Abdullah stressed the importance of monitoring public sentiment and opening channels of communication with the community in a way that would reinforce the leadership’s vision and support the government’s priorities, according to a report by state news agency Wam.

Among the government departments that are part of the initiative are the Ministry of Community Development, the Ministry of Cabinet and Future Affairs and the Ministry of Education.

Other partners include Abu Dhabi Media, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, SEHA, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company,  Etisalat and Etihad Airways.

The vital campaign is just the latest effort by UAE authorities to tap into the talent and goodwill of the public to help combat the spread of the virus.

Residents with a background in medical practice have been urged to register as volunteers to help the UAE government tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

People with experience working in healthcare centres can upload their details through the portal.

So far, more than 1,000 people have signed up to help and are working in hospitals, quarantine zones and hotels across the UAE.

Training has been provided by Sanid, an Emirates Foundation programme.