MBRGI’s AED1.3 billion humanitarian and social projects, initiatives benefit 71 million people globally in 2019

Photo: WAM

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) touched the lives of 71 million people across 108 countries with Dh1.3 billion worth of humanitarian and social projects and relief campaigns in 2019.

During the first-of-its-kind virtual event, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, revealed the MBRGI "Year in Review 2019" report that highlights the key humanitarian achievements of the Foundation’s diverse entities and initiatives throughout last year.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum chaired the board meeting of MBRGI through video conferencing to review the latest figures and impact of last year’s programmes and address ways to expand the scope of the Foundation’s work to reach largest number of beneficiaries globally.

Commending the Foundation’s achievements, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, "I would like to thank the hundreds of full-time employees working together with over 120,000 volunteers to carry out our humanitarian initiatives across the world."

He added, "Improving lives brings us happiness and empowering anyone in need brings us honor. Creating hope is a successful investment that will reap outstanding results in our society and the world."

"We launched more than 30 humanitarian and charitable organizations, and we are ready to launch more."

Discussing the repercussions of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic during the board meeting, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, "Crises pass and serving humanity endures."

He urged MBRGI’s teams to "continue advancing your humanitarian efforts to improve as many lives as possible."

"We wish everyone safety, success and prosperity as we further our commitment to helping others."

More than 30 entities and initiatives under the umbrella of MBRGI carry out hundreds of projects and programmes to improve lives across five main pillars of Humanitarian Aid & Relief, Spreading Education & Knowledge, Healthcare & Disease Control, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and Empowering Communities.

The remote meeting and event saw the attendance of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of Dubai Executive Council and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of MBRGI; His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF); and Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, member of the Board of Trustees of MBRGI, along with other members.

During the meeting, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum reviewed future plans to ensure the continuity of humanitarian work and mechanisms put in place to maintain the safety of employees and volunteers joining efforts to deliver the initiatives and programmes without delays.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum stressed on dedicating greater efforts on Healthcare & Disease Control programmes this year. He called for unwavering focus on developing local and regional medical cadres, supporting medical research and scientific experiments on viral diseases, setting proactive strategies to detect and combat pandemics, and forging active partnerships with regional and global research organisations.

The event, which was open to the public for the first time, was broadcast live on Dubai TV and its social media platforms.

The five main pillars In 2019, Dh1.3 billion was spent on various humanitarian, relief, development and social initiatives and projects that benefitted 71 million people across 108 countries, compared to 70 million beneficiaries in 86 countries in 2018. Around 125,000 volunteers from all over the world joined hands with the Foundation’s 574 full-time employees to provide the support necessary to implement the humanitarian and social projects and campaigns on ground.

Humanitarian Aid & Relief In 2019, around Dh262 million went towards Humanitarian Aid & Relief projects and programmes that touched the lives of more than 17 million people around the world, of whom 9 million people benefitted from clean water projects of the UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia) in developing countries. Suqia drilled wells and developed water distribution and purification networks across the world to address water scarcity throughout last year.

Around 2.6 million people across the world benefitted from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment’s (MBRCH) projects and initiatives centered on empowering youth. The Establishment bolstered its youth-centric services by supporting education and building schools, and implemented several developmental initiatives to improve lives in disadvantaged societies and improve future outlook for success.

Aid operations continued from the International Humanitarian City (IHC) to aid communities stricken by natural disasters, crises or conflicts. Through advanced infrastructure and strategic location in Dubai, the IHC members of 76 United Nations organisations, international non-governmental organisations and intergovernmental organisations dispatched 1,070 shipments with more than Dh246 million worth of humanitarian relief to countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. IHC supported an additional 13 shipments carrying over 1,000 tonnes of aid worth Dh18 million, which cost Dh14.5 million to transport.

The UAE Food Bank collected 13,488 tonnes of food from the hospitality sector, food establishments and restaurants before redistributing it to those in need across the country in 2019.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy, which aims to serve humanity through empowering awqaf and endowments to respond to urgent social needs, launched a series of innovative endowment funds to assist young people in marriage, employment and university scholarships, women, children and people of determination.

Endowment funds to back academic research and studies in the fields of medicine, engineering and other sciences benefitted 4,348 students in UAE, Egypt, Tanzania and Thailand.

Healthcare & Disease Control In 2019, spending on Healthcare & Disease Control initiatives and programmes totaled more than Dh118 million, benefitting around 7.5 million people worldwide.

Al Jalila Foundation and Noor Dubai are the two main entities that lead MBRGI’s Healthcare & Disease Control efforts through providing therapeutic and preventative treatment and enhancing health sectors in disadvantaged societies.

In 2019, Noor Dubai provided trachoma treatment for more than 6 million people, while 20,486 patients received medical services and critical surgeries through mobile eye camps in Asia and Africa. In the UAE, mobile eye clinics conducted eye examinations for 9,200 people in 2019.

Al Jalila Foundation provided 1.4 million maternal and neonatal tetanus vaccines in several African countries and invested Dh4.9 million to support 38 research studies on obesity, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and mental health. The Foundation also provided Dh1.4 million medical scholarships to postgraduate and graduate students in 2019.

Nabadat initiative, held by MBRCH in collaboration with the Dubai Health Authority, performed lifesaving heart surgeries to 261 children from less fortunate families in Morocco, Tajikistan and Bangladesh.

For the first time, the MBRGI adopted a humanitarian cause as part of the third edition of its Arab Hope Makers initiative. It raised Dh88 million through a grand variety show to support the construction of the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Center in Egypt that, once complete, will provide free-of-charge high-quality cardiac care to disadvantaged communities from all over the Arab region.

Spreading Education & Knowledge In 2019, spending on MBRGI’s education and knowledge programmes, initiatives and projects totaled Dh335 million, benefitting around 45 million people all over the world.

The large-scale initiatives and programmes aimed at Spreading Education & Knowledge strive to achieve MBRGI’s long-term vision of providing high-quality education to millions of children and youth around the globe.

Dubai Cares’ programmes empowered over 20 million people across 59 countries in 2019. The Organization invested more than Dh21 million on research to improve schools and the overall quality of education and launched 29 new educational programs in 23 countries.

Dubai Cares built and restored 2,046 classrooms and schools, distributed 6.9 million books, supplied meals for over 500,000 students and trained over 120,000 teachers in developing countries. It dedicated special efforts to support the education of children hit by natural disasters.

The Organisation implemented an international deworming programme to treat over 36 million students in India, Pakistan, Madagascar and Liberia.

The 5th edition of Arab Reading Challenge, the largest knowledge initiative to promote the culture of reading in the region, attracted over 21 million students from 96,000 schools under the guidance of 120,000 supervisors across 52 countries for the academic year 2019/2020. Its previous edition declared Hadeel Anwar as the Arab Reading Champion 2019 and distributed over Dh11 million worth of prizes to finalists and winners across various categories.

In December 2019, Madrasa e-Learning Platform launched the first phase of 250 Arabic lessons of the overall 1,000 videos. The Arabic lessons will cover 800 educational videos and 200 animated stories. The platform garnered over 65 million views and 2.4 registered users who benefitted from its free high-tech math and science videos.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) hosted the sixth edition of the Knowledge Summit under the theme ‘Knowledge: The Path to Sustainable Development’, attracting 4,100 thought leaders, students, academics, scientists and researchers. The Mohammed bin Rashid Knowledge Award honored winners with prizes worth Dh3.7 million.

The MBRF launched the Global Knowledge Index 2019 to monitor sustainable development in 136 countries and organized the inaugural edition of the ‘Literacy Challenge Forum’ in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The also MBRF launched the ‘Digital Knowledge Hub’, an updated version of the ‘Dubai Digital Library’ that allows free access to more than 2.6 million digital content items and around 250,000 book titles. In 2019, over 158,000 people across the world benefitted from the Hub’s services.

Throughout 2019, construction work continued on the Dh1 billion Mohammed bin Rashid Library. The library began stocking its shelves with over 1.5 million print, digital and audio books. Once complete, the library will host over 100 knowledge and cultural events annually, with expected 40 million visitors from all over the world every year.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship MBRGI’s total expenditure on various Innovation & Entrepreneurship initiatives and programmes amounted to Dh386 million, benefitting 744,000 people throughout 2019.

Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development (Dubai SME) supported 3,871 Emirati entrepreneurs and benefitted 1,470 national start-ups with Dh169 million incentive package.

The Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy provided training and diplomas for 6,862 individuals, while the ‘Mohammed bin Rashid Fund for SME’ funded 75 new projects.

With participation of top speakers from leading businesses and government entities, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award’s global conference was held in November 2019 to explore global best practices to deliver a rich customer experience.

The Dubai Future Foundation’s One Million Arab Coders initiative continued providing specialized training to equip youth with digital programming skills and prepare them for employment in high-tech industries. Since its launch in 2017 until end of 2019, the initiative attracted over 780,000 participants. In 2019, the initiative was expanded to Jordan and Uzbekistan to nurture a pool of young digital experts and, eventually, increase competitiveness of both countries.

As part of MBRGI’s efforts to address water scarcity in developing countries across the world, the second edition of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award, honored 10 individuals, companies and universities from 8 countries with prizes totaling Dh2.3 million in 2019.

Empowering Communities MBRGI’s total expenditure on initiatives and programmes dedicated to Empowering Communities amounted to Dh181 million, which benefited 510,000 people across the world in 2019.

The third edition of Arab Hope Makers, the largest initiative of its kind to honor philanthropic efforts, attracted over 92,000 participants from 38 countries. Five finalists received Dh5 million (Dh1 million each) to support their humanitarian endeavors.

Last Ramadan, MBRGI launched the ‘Well of Hope’ initiative to provide clean water to millions of people in disadvantaged communities. The initiative drew massive support of several public and private entities in the UAE, leading to a pledge to drill 150 wells in 34 countries and provide hundreds of thousands of litres of safe drinking water to more than a million people worldwide.

In line with declaring 2019 as the Year of Tolerance, the International Institute for Tolerance organized the second edition of the World Tolerance Summit, and launched the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Tolerance Award as the first global initiative to honor individuals and entities for their outstanding achievements in promoting tolerance. The Award’s first edition honored three influential personalities with prizes totaling Dh3 million.

Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding organized various cultural initiatives and events to introduce visitors and residents to the country’s historical and cultural landmarks and build bridges of communication and dialogue. the Center’s activities benefitted over 79,000 beneficiaries throughout 2019.

Last year, 32 participants graduated from the second cohort of the Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Leadership Development’s ‘Impactful Leaders Program’ that aims to nurture young aspiring leaders. The Center also launched ‘Global Secondment Programme for Emirati Leaders’ to equip young nationals with the necessary skills to assume top positions in global corporations.

The Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government offered 170 full or partial scholarships for government employees to join its programmes in 2019, while its postgraduate programmes attracted 155 new students, with 830 graduates from all the School’s academic and training programmes in 2019.

In December 2019, 12th edition of Arab Strategy Forum, held under the theme ‘Forecasting the Next Decade: 2020-2030’, drew nearly 500 global experts, analysts, academics, politicians and economists.

The 18th edition of the Arab Media Forum, attracted 70 prominent speakers from around the world and 3,000 senior media representatives, while the Arab Journalism Award honored 15 journalists across several categories in its 18th edition with more than Dh1 million worth of prizes.

The Middle East Exchange continued bringing together scholars, researchers, authors and prominent personalities to address critical issues in weekly articles, studies and analyses that drew over 3 million readers on a monthly basis in 2019.

Attending the MBRGI board of trustees meeting were Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future and Secretary General of MBRGI; Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairperson of Dubai Cares; Humaid Obaid Mohammed Al Qatami, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Noor Dubai; Mohammed Al Murr, Chairman of Mohammed Bin Rashid Library Foundation; Abdulla Al Basti, Secretary General of the Dubai Executive Council; Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Water Foundation Aid (Suqia); Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award; Dawoud Al Hajri, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of UAE Food Bank; Dr. Hamad Al Shaibani, Managing Director of the International Institute for Tolerance; Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Secretary General of the Arab Journalism Award; Dr Raja Easa Saleh Al Gurg, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Al Jalila Foundation; Ibrahim Bu Malha, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the MBRCH; Saeed Al Eter, Assistant Secretary General of MBRGI; and Jamal bin Huwaireb, CEO of the MBRF.

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