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Dh20 billion initiative launched by UAE President expands country’s philanthropic legacy

Dh20 billion initiative launched by UAE President expands country’s philanthropic legacy
1 Apr 2024 09:11

Khaled Al Khawaldeh (Abu Dhabi)

President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s announcement of the Dh20-billion humanitarian initiative in honour of the Founding Father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, has drawn wide praise from all walks of life from the region.

A tribute to the Founding Father’s legacy of support for global humanitarian and relief actions, the initiative will provide funding to vulnerable communities around the world. “On Zayed Humanitarian Day and the 20th anniversary of the passing of the late Sheikh Zayed, we continue to uphold the legacy of the UAE’s Founding Father through our ongoing commitment to support communities worldwide,” the UAE President said in a post on X.

“Reflecting Sheikh Zayed’s enduring values of care and compassion for the welfare of others, today we announce the launch of the Zayed Humanitarian Legacy Initiative, a Dh20 billion initiative to support humanitarian projects around the world,” His Highness said.

The announcement has been welcomed both locally and around the world as a continuation of the enduring legacy of the UAE’s humanitarian efforts, and as much needed relief in times of struggle. Dr. Mohammad Al-Momani, a member of the Jordanian Senate, hailed the new initiative and said it would only add to the already well-established track record of the UAE that was particularly well respected in the Arab world.

“The humanitarian work of the UAE state is widely appreciated in the Arab and Muslim world. And it signals the great values and the great gestures of the leadership and population of the UAE,” Al-Momani told Aletihad.

“There’s much needed humanitarian work in the Muslim and the Arab world and the international community and the work of the UAE in that front is highly appreciated and respected by all.”

Suhail Jashanmal, the CEO of Link Design FZE, the founder of Green Abu Dhabi, and a long-time resident of the UAE, said the latest funding is in good hands, hailing the nation’s previous success in large-scale philanthropic projects and the positive results they were able to achieve.

“In general, as a country, we have a pretty healthy return ratio on charities, meaning most of the money ends up aiding the end user. I remember the initial launch of Dubai Cares, that was also in the billions of dollars. Within the first four years, it did massive changes across Africa,” Suhail told Aletihad.

“Whenever they launch something new, whatever it is, it’s going to be well-run, with healthy oversight and lots of good intentions, considering the size of the initiative, and that we have a new charity law in the UAE that has even more oversight than in the past. Considering all those factors, I can only imagine that this Dh20 billion initiative is going to go to some considerable good use.”

Suhail noted that there are a whole myriad of causes, both domestically and internationally, in desperate need of attention and funding, and hoped that the size of this initiative would allow it to capture and focus on as many initiatives as possible.

“Sheikh Zayed did so many things; he cared about agriculture, he cared about job employment, he cared about skills, he cared about the environment, he cared about poverty, he cared about the Palestinian cause. There are tonnes of things that he cared about.”

Certainly, it appears that the initiative will help cover a wide array of charitable initiatives that are critical to the continued sustainable development of the region and broader global community.

EU Climate Pact Ambassador and President of the World Council for Public Diplomacy and Community Dialogue, Andy Vermaut, praised the UAE’s initiative, and lauded the country for its strong dedication and major donations to the humanitarian needs across the globe, describing the nation as a breeder of hope and a brighter future to the world.

“The culture of charity and compassion of the UAE is reflected in programmes like the Mohamed bin Zayed Water Initiative and ‘Mothers’ Endowment’ campaign of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, which shows its world-leading role in humanitarian activities,” Vermaut told Aletihad.

“Zayed Humanitarian Day has already gone, but the lasting legacy and spirit of generosity promoted by the UAE sets an example and directs our joint endeavour towards a more compassionate and humane world.” Vermaut emphasised the importance of these projects in developing the forward-thinking solutions to problems around the world and building towards future sustainable development goals.

He said this was particularly apparent during the holy month of Ramadan, where the UAE’s readiness to deliver relief to countries in distress had become crystal clear, showing its consistent support for humanitarian initiatives. Vermaut also highlighted the UAE’s strategic approach to humanitarian aid, which has steered about Dh90.5 billion in development and humanitarian assistance to over 117 countries.

For Emiratis, these initiatives give them a source of pride, and reassurance that their nation continues to be on the right side of history. This was perhaps best exemplified by the first Emirati in space, Astronaut Hazza Al Mansoori who celebrated his nation’s legacy of charity online.

“Millions of lives improved, thousands of projects and initiatives launched, and hundreds of countries benefited – this is the legacy of our Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” Al Mansoori said in a post on X.

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