Sheikh Mohammed launches new initiatives, five sustainable policies at Year of Giving Higher Committee Meeting

Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Wednesday chaired a meeting of the Year of Giving Higher Committee to follow-up on the progress of the Year of Giving.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid also approved ten new initiatives and work policies to cement the UAE’s role as a philanthropic leader in the region through a sustainable framework that integrates both private and public sector institutions.

At the meeting, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said, "The Year of Giving precedes the Year of Zayed because the value of giving is mirrored in Sheikh Zayed’s spirit; the Year of Zayed will be a continuation of giving.

"We have three months left in the Year of Giving, this final stretch is the most important. Our goal is to expand further on our humanitarian policies, ensuring that we multiply our efforts to deliver even more goodness to all parts of the world."

"The Year of Giving has revealed and nurtured the philanthropic Emirati spirit. We have introduced the largest number of policies, legislations and sustainable initiatives for giving in the UAE," Sheikh Mohammed continued."

"We seek to sustain giving in the UAE with five new legislations, two national long-term plans and ten sustainable initiatives and policies in the fields of volunteerism, corporate social responsibility, CSR, and enhancing the role of humanitarian organisations and the development sector," His Highness explained. He also thanked the higher committee and all the institutions and volunteers for their effort during this year.

During the meeting, His Highness also lauded the dozens of successful initiatives implemented in 2017, and introduced ten new sustainable initiatives and policies, within clear legislative and executive frameworks, as part of various elements within the UAE National Strategy for the Year of Giving, to ensure the UAE remains a regional and global capital for humanitarianism, where philanthropy is deeply ingrained in the community.

He reviewed the achievements of the National Strategy for the Year of Giving as produced by the Higher Committee. Over AED1.6 billion was collected through CSR initiatives, as well as private and public sector and individual donations.

Over 2.8 million volunteer hours were registered, and 141 institutions offered 716 volunteer opportunities in various fields, along with almost 275,000 volunteers who registered nationwide through the National Volunteer Platform.

In line with the CSR objectives, he approved the CSR Smart Platform, a comprehensive electronic platform that provides public companies with the private sector opportunities to participate in development and community projects.

Within the framework of volunteering, His Highness also adopted a policy for the Specialised Volunteering Programme, with various incentives for skill-based volunteers.

He also approved two other programmes, 'Involving Government Employees in Volunteering', which includes setting up a new federal mechanism to encourage federal and local government employees to volunteer, and 'Opportunities in Government', in which a list of volunteer opportunities will be shared for all segments of society.

Within the pillar of the growth of humanitarian organisations and the development sector, His Highness adopted the 'Smart Platform for Developmental and Charity Work' an online platform with all pertinent information on humanitarian, charitable and developmental institutions in the country, with the goal of achieving integration between them.

His Highness also adopted the Giving Card, an initiative launched in co-operation with charities and banks, inspiring people to donate towards charitable causes. He also adopted Twinning between International and Local Development Institutions, a knowledge-sharing initiative between the world’s leading humanitarian organisations, as well as the Professional Diploma for Humanitarian and Development Work to develop altruistic national cadres and provide them with the best expertise and skills in the humanitarian fields.

The National Giving Survey was also adopted, aiming to evaluate and study the attitudes and actions toward philanthropy in the UAE, thus contributing to government efforts in developing programmes and plans for giving.

Under the pillar of the Development of a Legislative System, Sheikh Mohammed adopted five legislations that were finalised, making the Year of Giving the largest initiative to introduce legislations that guarantee the institutionalisation of giving and humanitarian work in the country, covering CSR, Volunteerism, Community Service and the establishment of a Coordinating Council for Charitable and Humanitarian Institutions.

The first legislation is the National Strategy for Volunteering 2021, which is prepared and implemented by governmental and private sector institutions, in accordance with an extensive study on volunteerism. Its goal is to promote and strengthen the role of volunteering in the UAE so it may become a regional and global leader in the field. The second strategy is the Development Plan for Humanitarian and Charitable Institutions, which seeks to enhance the role of humanitarian institutions to improve their performance, enhance their services and expand their scope and impact locally, regionally and globally.

The National Strategy for Giving is the first of its kind in the region, and the most comprehensive in terms of organising, sponsoring, supporting and guiding humanitarianism in the UAE, along with enhancing its impact and establishing regulatory mechanisms to ensure its sustainability in the public and private sectors. The strategy will include various initiatives, programmes and projects, which will be part of a major effort aimed at promoting the values of giving and humanitarian work in various aspects at the individual and community levels.

The Year of Giving was launched in 2017 by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and supported by High Highness Sheikh Mohammed, to institutionalise and ingrain the value of humanitarianism in the nation.

The Year of Giving includes six main pillars, which are CSR, Volunteerism, the Growth of Humanitarian Organisations and the Development Sector, the Role of the Media, the Development of a Legislative System, and Serving the Nation.

The Year of Giving Higher committee consists of national figures Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future and chairman of the Higher National Committee for the Year of Giving; Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy; Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation; Najla bint Mohammed Al Awar, Minister of Community Development; Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State; Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness; Shamma bint Sohail Faris AlMazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs; Dr Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazroui, Secretary-General of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi; Abdullah Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani, Secretary-General of the Executive Council of Dubai; Sultan Ali bin Butti Al Muhairi; Secretary-General of the Executive Council of Sharjah; Saeed Saif Al Matrooshi, Secretary-General of the Executive Council of Ajman; Dr. Mohammed Abdul Latif Khalifa; Secretary-General of the Executive Council of Ras al-Khaimah; Humaid Rashid Al Shamsi; Secretary-General of the Executive Council of Umm Al Qaiwain; Mohammed Saeed Al Dhanhani; Director of the Fujairah Amiri Diwan and Saeed Al Eter, Director-General of the Public Diplomacy Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, and the coordinator of the Higher Committee.