WAM Abu Dhabi, 18 Jan. 2013 (WAM) — Motivated by the humanitarian vision and generosity of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Khalifa bin Zayed Foundation has wrapped the 2012 with a bright record of achievements and a qualitative leap in its humanitarian initiatives towards the underprivileged. The programmes it launched last year brought comfort, ease and relief to those affected by natural and man-made catastrophes and calamities across the world.
The Foundation carried out a raft of humanitarian programmes in diverse sectors as health and education within the UAE and beyond, therefore earning itself a prominent place in the world map of humanitarian work. Allied with other stakeholder relief agencies, the Foundation has played a vital role to promote the UAE as a key world donor and provider of humanitarian and relief assistance.
H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Foundation, said humanitarian assistance provided by the UAE to needy population in different parts of the world is in implementation of Sheikh Khalifa’s humanitarian vision and demonstrates the UAE’s commitment to the spirit of tolerance and openness to other nations in a way that serves mutual interests and consolidates international security and peace.
The Foundation’s humanitarian and relief assistance and programmes reached out to poor and needy segments in more than 70 sisterly and friendly countries. Towards that noble end, the Foundation built strategic partnerships and bridges of cooperation with international peer organisations to coordinate relief operations to those in need.
One of the 2012 milestone in the Foundation’s proven record of success, was its cooperation and partnership agreement with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) to finance GAIN’s efforts to reduce deaths and disabilities associated with nutritional deficiencies in Afghanistan, particularly among women and children. GAIN will use the grant from the foundation to ensure increased consumption of fortified foods (wheat flour, vegetable oil and ghee, and salt), and fortified complementary foods for children aged between six and 24 months. The goal of the four-year project is to increase the amount of vitamins and minerals in people’s daily diets and to reduce disabilities related to insufficient nutrients by 30 per cent. The project will benefit 15 million people.
Locally, the Foundation undertook important initiatives : subsidised food items to UAE citizens, cash assistance to students, healthcare programme, Ramadan fast-breaking programme (1.7 million hot meals delivered through 109 sites), and Khalifa bin Zayed Village for Social Care in Umm Al Qaiwain.
A total of 130,000 students from more than 700 schools nationwide benefited from the school assistance programme in the last five years. In the 2012-2013 academic year alone, financial assistance were offered to 22,850 students.
The Foundation footed bills of treatment for more than 700 patients regardless of their nationality, religion and ethnics, and provide medical supplies and equipment to both government and private health facilities.
In the social sector, the Foundation funded the 940,000 cubic feet village of 40 villas in Umm Al Qaiwain for up to 300 orphans and children of unknown parents.
Internationally, the Foundation sponsored a mass wedding of 224 couples in Bahrain, established the 1,470 square metre Khalifa bin Zayed Hospital in the island of Socarta, Yemen, supported the Khalifa bin Zayed School in Bait Lahia, Gaza Strip, for the third running year, and sponsored mass wedding of 436 Palestinian couples. In Lebanon, financial assistance were offered to the health sector. The Foundation also donated 12 ambulances and 50 medical devices to Tunisia. It also offered medical supplies and equipment to health facilities in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen, Tunisia, Sudan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The AED 500 million food assistance programme, ordered by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to Yemen, was among the most vital relief operations the Foundation implemented in the last year. The aid programmes offered food items to 85,000 needy families in Yemen and is still going on.
Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Muslim-minority Rohingya in Mynamar were also supported by the Foundation.
Population affected by floods and earthquakes in Palestine, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Yemen, Philippines, Indonesia, Haiti, Somalia, Libya and Turkey were comforted by generous relief assistance provided by the Foundation.
Other major projects executed by the Foundation included the construction of 20 dams in Somalia, the Khalifa bin Zayed Bridge in Pakistan and the Khalifa bin Zayed Vocational Education Centre in Senegal.