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H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, was briefed on Abu Dhabi's social sector efforts for the first six months of 2020, in particular, their ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic effectively, through integrated initiatives to support and combat the challenges facing Abu Dhabi’s community.
Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development, DCD, highlighted to His Highness the initiatives that have been implemented that reflect DCD's vision to quality of life for everyone in Abu Dhabi, and the social sector strategy for the coming years.
Sheikh Khalid was briefed on the initiatives provided to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. These initiatives were designed based on community feedback and engaging, with more than 100,000 community members participating in DCD surveys such as the 'Life during Coronavirus survey', 'Life After Coronavirus Survey', and 'Working Survey'. The outcome led to the creation of 29 awareness campaigns, 15 initiatives targeting key groups in society, 13 support and contribution initiatives, and 13 interactive initiatives with the society.
Sheikh Khalid gave directives to continue prioritising and enhancing the quality of life of everyone in Abu Dhabi, by introducing policies and initiatives based on surveying the public’s opinion and listening to their needs to ensure a quality of life for everyone.
H.H. also instructed the social sector entities to carefully supervise the methods of providing social services and benefits in Abu Dhabi, and to work continuously to enhance the quality of these services to keep pace with changing needs and requirements.
Sheikh Khalid commended the success of the community participation initiatives that were launched during the pandemic, and gave directives to start developing an integrated and sustainable framework for social contribution, building on these successes.
His Highness also directed DCD to strengthen social cohesion framework in Abu Dhabi, focusing on supporting and empowering vulnerable groups in various fields, especially the social, education and health sectors.
Sheikh Khalid also reviewed the achievements of the Together We Are Good programme, launched by the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma'an. The programme enables the community the chance to support the efforts to address current health and economic challenges, bringing together the community by opening the door for financial and in-kind contributions to offer a helping hand for everyone in Abu Dhabi.
The programme received more than 30,000 contributions, and supported more than 400,000 affected people during coronavirus pandemic. All the contributions were directed according to the social priorities set by the Abu Dhabi Government in order to direct responses to the areas where it is needed most. Ma'an, alongside multiple partners in the programme, channeled all the contributions towards providing educational and medical aid, as well as food supplies and basic living needs.
Sheikh Khalid also viewed the achievements of Fit@Home, an Abu Dhabi Inspires initiative organised by Abu Dhabi Sports Council under the supervision of DCD. The initiative aims to raise awareness on the importance of fitness exercises using remote learning technology, and has attracted more than 15,000 participants across 35 activities.
The Family Development Foundation, FDF, presented the "Your Food to Your Home" initiative, that aims to support Senior Citizens in obtaining their basic needs without having to risk getting infected, making it easier for them to order food from distribution centres in the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City. "Together to Support You" is another initiative launched by FDF that responds to the various needs of those infected with COVID-19 and their families through multiple means of communication to support their mental health.
Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination, ZHO, provided a vital remote-services package for People of Determination, including educational and therapy classes during the pandemic with more than 38,000 hours of sessions provided.
ZHO also launched a consulting services initiative called "Hemam Consultations" that aims to understand the needs of People of Determination, limit their potential for exposure to the virus, and provide the necessary social and psychological support for them and their families.
DCD also highlighted its contributions in engaging with places of worship for non-Muslims in line with Abu Dhabi’s efforts to support all aspects of the community during the pandemic.
DCD presented its plans to expand social contributions and the non-profit sector by 2030. The Non-profit sector is considered an important pillar in the social and economic development of the emirate and will contributes to supporting GDP and creation of new job opportunities.
Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of DCD, stated: "All the social sector entities have worked together in harmony to achieve an important principle, which is that community development is a shared responsibility between the government and the community, and the results and the outcomes of this cooperation during the coronavirus pandemic were positive."
Al Khaili added: "The social sector in Abu Dhabi had a significant role in addressing and facing challenges alongside the health and economic sectors, and these contributions have reflected positively on all citizens and residents of Abu Dhabi."
Hamad Ali Al Dhaheri, Undersecretary of DCD also attended the meeting, with Mariam Mohammed Al Rumaithi, Director General of the Family Development Foundation, Aref Al Awani, Abu Dhabi Sports Council's General Secretary, Abdullah Abdul Ali Al Humaidan, Secretary-General of Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination, and Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Authority of Social contribution – Ma'an.
DCD with its partners, such as Abu Dhabi Housing Authority, Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority, Authority of Social contribution – Ma'an, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination, Family Development Foundation, Social Care & Minors Affairs Foundation, Zayed House for Islamic Culture, Dar Zayed for Family Care, Abu Dhabi Shelter and Humanitarian Care Centre "Ewa'a", and Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority, will together enrich the lives of everyone in Abu Dhabi, and provide a dignified life for everyone.
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