Despite the UAE’s relatively small size in terms of territory and population, it was ranked as the world’s most generous donor in both 2013 and 2014. The country has proven […]
Despite the UAE’s relatively small size in terms of territory and population, it was ranked as the world’s most generous donor in both 2013 and 2014. The country has proven itself as a key actor in the assistance and relief of people affected by crises and natural and man-made disasters. From its foundation in 1971 until 2014, the UAE has become a role model in the world by providing $47.1 billion in foreign aid to 178 countries during its existence. Asia and Africa have been the main recipients of its help, with $21.62 billion and $20.53 billion spent in each continent, respectively. The UAE government has made great contributions to humanitarian causes, with 70% of the foreign aid coming directly from government institutions. The largest donors were Abu Dhabi Development Fund with a $1.55 billion contribution, Emirates Red Crescent with $1.55 billion, and Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation with $790 million. Some of these were established in the late 1970s and the early 1980s, but as the UAE has experienced rapid growth, there are over 40 organizations working outside and inside the country.
Therefore, seeing the UAE’s expertise and generous contribution to the world’s prosperity, it is no surprise that in October 2015, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the launch of one of the biggest development and community foundations in the Middle East region, Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Initiatives. Asia and Africa have long enjoyed the UAE’s assistance; however, in light of the massive challenges that the Arab region is facing, HH Sheikh Mohammed is working toward educating people in the Arab region to help them build a better future through this new foundation. The foundation will implement over 1,400 human development programs in over 116 countries across the globe through 28 different organizations. The foundation’s initiatives focus on four sectors that are crucial for improving human life: fighting poverty and disease; spreading knowledge and culture; empowering communities; and entrepreneurship and innovation. The foundation will reach 130 million people in the Arab region and will be directed by a Board of Trustees that includes all organizations involved in the foundation. Some of the targets that it has established across the different sectors include enabling 2 million families to become self-sufficient within the next 10 years, providing 500,000 jobs over the next few years to support young entrepreneurs, and encouraging the translation of key works into Arabic by translating the top 25,000 titles from various languages and printing more than 10 million books. The entrepreneurship and innovation sector plays an important role within the foundation by investing $400 million in scientific, educational, and knowledge initiatives, as well as $1.5 billion in creating an environment for innovators and entrepreneurs up to the highest global standards. In addition, $136.12 million will be spent on research projects to find a solution for water shortages in the region, which are expected to worsen in the coming decades. Moreover, in line with the UAE’s vision of an alternative, future-oriented ideology, the foundation is designating over $163.35 million to encourage transparent media communication in order to allow communities to live in harmony with each other, outside of extremism, sectarian, or religious discrimination.
Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Initiatives will create the biggest incubator for Arab innovators, researchers, and scientists in order to develop a new generation of young leaders that support real change and good governance in the region. The foundation leaves its doors open to all organizations, international foundations, or countries that wish to bring new hope to the Arab region.
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