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GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS - DEVELOPMENT AID

UAE-funded training project to train 100,000 young males and females launches in Egypt
posted on 18/04/2014

Cairo: Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State yesterday said a new training-for-employment project funded by UAE will train more than 100,000 young Egyptian males and females to qualify them for using the latest technical programs according to the needs and requirement of the different industrial sectors to get them into the job market and provide decent job.
Al Jaber was speaking in a joint press conference with Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, Egypt Minister of Trade, Industry, and Investment to announced the initiation of the project according to an executive agreement.
Al Jaber said, "We learned from the late founding father of UAE that man is the foundation of any civilisation, that caring for man is the focus of any real and continuous progress, and that the best investment of money is man." "Directives by UAE wise leadership on projects and initiatives in Egypt are aimed at producing direct and sustainable benefits to Egyptian citizens as well as raising awareness of vocational and technical training." We agreed with the Egyptian government on taking care of the young job seekers in order to enable them to start careers so as to contribute to the building of their country, as human capital development represents the main drive in the development of different economic sectors. Man is the centre, tool and target of development." "The training programme will be customised so as to meet the needs of labour market, improve the capabilities and efficiency of Egypt's industrial sector in order to contribute to effectively reduce unemployment rate and provide decent living for Egyptian workers," added minister Al Jaber.
"According to the programme, a modern and sustainable system will be created to monitor, maintain and analyse a database of the requirements and the skills needed in the industrial sector and for strategic industrial planning, operating and training. The platform will connect job seekers and employers," Al Jaber said.
The training project will serve various industries such as garment manufacturing, food, engineering, construction materials, leather, chemical industries, printing, packaging, trade sector, services, and tourism. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Gaza's Zayed City development provides solace to Palestinians
posted on 18/04/2014

The Zayed City housing project of the UAE in Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, has provided homes to hundreds of families in this besieged territory of 1.7 million people that suffers from a chronic housing shortage.
The housing project, a US$62 million gift to the Palestinian people from the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, was designed to relieve the suffering of people as well as to offer affordable housing to newly married couples.
Since its completion nine years ago, the community's 71 buildings have stood firm amid Israeli artillery barrages and tank incursions, and house more than 6,000 people, double the intended number, which were offered free of charge to Gaza residents whose homes had been destroyed, or who had been bereaved or wounded during the conflict with Israel.
Like the rest of the territory, the city has not been spared the ravages of war with Israel. Because it is located in the far north, in the city of Beit Lahiya, Zayed City is close to the concrete wall that rings Gaza and from where Israeli forces often raid.
Residents recall several Israeli airstrike that struck one of the city's buildings during Israel's three-week war on the territory that began in December 2009 and killed as many as 1,400 Palestinians.
Zayed City has helped relieve Gaza's chronic housing crisis, Naji Sarhan, Gaza's Deputy Housing Minister told UAE daily, The National.
"We need more, many more projects like Zayed City, because support from outside is crucial to relieve our housing crisis," the Minister said, adding, in reference to Gaza's housing crisis, "We are short 70,000 apartments and we still need an additional 13,000 every year just to keep up with population growth." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Lubna Al Qasimi calls for collective international effort to address international development challenges
posted on 17/04/2014

Mexico City: Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Co-operation has emphasised the need to mobilise international efforts to address international development challenges and issues like poverty, spread of diseases, lack of education, inequality, promotion of transparency and accountability and absence of clear plans to boost capacities of developing nations to devise future development strategies.
Sheikha Lubna noted that UAE's commitment to deliver Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 has received international commendation as instructions of the UAE wise leadership seek to make the UAE an active member in the international community and a key enabler for achieving stability and prosperity of the State by focusing on extending development aid to developing countries and poor communities while its humanitarian and donor agencies commit to back international efforts by launching qualitative initiatives.
Sheikha Lubna made her statement while she was leading the UAE delegation to the first High-level Meeting of Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, which started in Mexico City yesterday. The UAE delegation comprises representatives from Dubai Cares, Khalifa bin Zayed Foundation and Emirates Foundation for Youth Development.
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto Tuesday opened the first High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, attended by some 1,500 international leaders. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and OECD Secretary General Angel Gurr'a joined President Pena Nieto to open the High-Level Meeting with broad support for sustained global efforts in how effective development co-operation can lead to a stronger fight against poverty both now and in the post-2015 landscape.
At the opening of the two-day event in Mexico City, Pena Nieto said, "Mexico, as host country of this first meeting, seeks to promote dialogue and the building of accords between different government and non-governmental agencies to strengthen and promote efficient cooperation for development." Ban also addressed the gathering, urging the international community to earmark more national resources and financing to cut poverty and reach the UN-sponsored Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs) by the preset deadline, 2015.
"It is necessary to mobilise resources from all sources: national, international, private and public, to more effectively reduce poverty and reach the Millennium Development Goals," said Ban.
Tariq Al Gurg, CEO, Dubai Cares, took part in the focus session ; the innovative and inclusive engagement with the philanthropic sector, brings together CEOs of foundations and senior government/multilateral organisation representatives to discuss how they can engage more effectively and inclusive.
'We believe that effective partnership with UN agencies, NGOs, governments and the private sector remains the backbone of the effective humanitarian work in Dubai Cares.' – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Guinean President praises US$5m medical aid provided by UAE
posted on 17/04/2014

Conakry: In implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has supplied medical equipment to Guinea valued at more than 5 million dollars.
Professor Alpha Conde, President of Guinea, praised the assistance provided by the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation to the Guinean people during an official ceremony in Conakry, especially noting the medical aid that contributed significantly to the improvement of health services in the country.
During the ceremony which was held for the handing over of the medical aid to his country in the presence of the UAE delegation headed by Eid Al Mazroui from Khalifa Foundation, along with other officials and UAE representatives, the Guinean President said, "This precious gift that we have received from the people of the UAE strengthens the ties between the two countries and comes at a time when our country is in dire need of such assistance." He expressed his appreciation for this great medical support.
Professor Conde asked the official UAE delegation to convey his greetings to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Chairman of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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RCA offers Makassed Charity Hospital in Jerusalem Dh450,000 to buy medicine
posted on 16/04/2014

The UAE Red Crescent Authority has provided a grant worth Dh450000 to the Makassed Charity Hospital in Jerusalem to buy drugs to enable the hospital to perform its medical and humanitarian commitment to Palestinian patients residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Humaid Rashid Al Shamsi, Acting Deputy Secretary-General of the International Aid in RCA, said that the grant comes as part of an existing programme of aid, continuously implemented by the Authority in the Palestinian territories since many years. He pointed out that previously, the authority provided health assistance to Palestinians to buy expensive medicines for patients with Thalassemia He added that the Red Crescent aid to Palestine, especially Jerusalem, is aimed at alleviating the economic hardships that Palestinians suffer and to support health and education programmes. He pointed out that RCA projects in the Palestinian territories include education, health and relief programmes, orphanages, building houses, providing facilities for the needy and supporting people with disabilities. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Akhbar Al Sa'a: Active Emirati role in supporting efforts of global development
posted on 14/04/2014

The Akhbar Al Sa'a (News of the Hour) Bulletin, has affirmed the importance of the role of the UAE in supporting global development, as it spares no effort in helping international organisations and institutions related to development work on a global level.
The bulletin, issued by the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, ECSSR, under the title "Active Emirati Role in Supporting Efforts of Global Development", pointed out that the UAE is now one of nine countries contributing the most funding for development projects in less developed economies, where its direct investment outflows, estimated to be about US$2.5 billion dollars a year, contributes more than a third of the total direct investment outflows from the Middle East and North Africa.
Noting that additionally the UAE is offering grants, non-refundable aid and soft loans to poor countries valued at up to US$5.2 billion annually, thus putting the UAE in the first rank among the world's donor countries according to the latest rankings released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The bulletin pointed out that the UAE also has a vital role as an engine for development at the regional level in the Middle East and North Africa, due to its success in empowering the private sector through providing it with the opportunity to participate and invest in many activities and sectors that were previously the preserve of government investment. Thanks to these efforts, the sector now contributes approximately 65% of the funding effort for investment projects in the national economy of the UAE in general.
The bulletin concluded that the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has praised the role of the UAE in the field of supporting global development in general, describing it as a gateway for investments in industrial, commercial, agricultural, services and tourism, which shows the importance of the UAE's role as a model to support global development in a way which is more inclusive. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE envoy commends UAE's funding of Kharoub dam in Morocco
posted on 12/04/2014

Tanja: UAE Ambassador to Morocco Saeed Ahmed Al Dhahiri, has said the UAE's financing of the construction of Kharoub dam reflects distinguished relations between the two sisterly countries.
He told the Moroccan News Agency on the occasion of the directives of His Majesty Mohammed VI of Morocco to commence the building of al-Kharoub dam that the dam will benefit the area and surroundings, adding that it is "an example for existing relations between the UAE and Morocco." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE's leadership position on map of humanitarian aid is sincere expression of country's values: Anwar Gargash
posted on 10/04/2014

Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, has highlighted that the UAE's assuming of its leadership position on the map of humanitarian aid is a sincere expression of the society's and country's values, the homeland of goodness, and the wisdom and humanity of its leadership.
In tweets on "Twitter", commenting on the UAE's achievement of reaching the first position as the world's largest donor country of official development assistance (ODA) in 2013, with the highest Official Development Assistance/Gross National Income ratio (ODA/GNI ratio), Dr. Gargash said that the UAE's leading humanitarian position comes "in the context of a holistic vision, which we seek to consolidate, with internal development while striving to communicate positively with the world." He added that there is nothing to make a person more happy than the fact that his homeland is valued and appreciated as a leading and successful model, both in regard to giving to its citizens or its moral responsibilities towards those who are less fortunate.
Dr. Gargash concluded his tweets by tweeting, "Let's meditate on the moment, in which we will appreciate the UAE, express our pride to belong to this good land and realise our responsibilities in moving forward in developing this legacy of kindness." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Al Jaber: UAE provides a unique model in the field of official development assistance
posted on 10/04/2014

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, has said that it's not surprising that the UAE has achieved first position as the world's largest donor country of official development assistance.
He added that this is the approach instilled by the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a path which is followed by the UAE leadership in the light of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates and His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Commenting on the UAE's achievement of reaching the first position as the world's largest ODA donor country in 2013, with the highest Official Development Assistance/Gross National Income ratio (ODA/GNI ratio), Al Jaber said that this outstanding achievement is the result of the unremitting efforts of a large number of officials and institutions which deserve thanks and appreciation, adding that these efforts will continue to keep the UAE's name present in all positive and constructive initiatives. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE is the world's largest donor country of official development assistance (ODA) in 2013
posted on 09/04/2014

UAE has achieved the first position as the world's largest donor country of official development assistance (ODA) in 2013 with the highest Official Development Assistance/Gross National Income ratio (ODA/GNI ratio) making a historic record leap in the history of foreign aid from its 19th position in 2012.
Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in a press release, announced that based on the initial data on official development assistance (ODA) of donor countries for 2013, UAE has achieved the first position globally as the largest donor of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in proportion to its Gross National Income (GNI), as the country's development assistance in 2013 amounted to US$ 5.2 billion.
DAC added that U.A.E's foreign aid in 2013 is considered the world's largest Official Development Assistance/ Gross National Income ratio (ODA/GNI ratio) of donor countries. It noted that UAE's foreign aid in 2013, increased by 375% since 2012.
DAC said this data represent an initial analysis, adding that another announcement will be issued upon receiving the rest of the detailed data relating to the Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the other members of the committee.
Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Co-operation extended her warmest congratulations and expressed her appreciation and gratitude to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for their sound directives to provide aid and support to peoples and countries in need in 2013. She said their directives enabled UAE to achieve this high rank as the world's largest donor country in term of ODA/GNI ratio.
Minister Al Qasimi valued the direct and incessant follow up from H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and affirmed that his unlimited support to UAE's foreign aid sector had enabled the country to assume its role and deliver its message in the optimal way.
She added, "UAE's achievement of the world's first position in terms of foreign aid was not an accidental. Rather it was a the result of our wise leadership's directives and the strategic planning of the optimal way for allocating and channelling UAE's foreign aid in order to assist peoples of poor countries and to help them achieve their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)." "UAE continues its work with its international donor partners in line with the directives of our wise leadership in order to enhance the sustainable development in the Third World Countries and eradicate poverty," Minister Al Qasimi concluded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM



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Mansour bin Zayed: UAE's becoming world's generous donor country in 2013 reflects wise leadership's humanitarian vision
posted on 09/04/2014

H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs has affirmed that the UAE's achievement of the first position globally as the most generous donor of official development assistance (ODA) in 2013 is an historic achievement which reflects the humanitarian vision of the country's wise leadership and the values of solidarity and compassion upheld by UAE and sends a strong message to the world that humanitarian values should prevail in relations between states and that backing brothers in times of crisis is the way to achieving peace and stability.
H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed said, "According to the data released by Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), our country has set a global precedence as its total foreign aid in 2013 increased by 375 percent to Dh19.1 billion. This confirms that our country under the wise leadership continues to follow in the steps of our late father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in providing relief for the relief for grief-stricken people, supporting the needy and providing decent living for the underprivileged." H.H. Sheikh Mansour added, "I seize this historic occasion to express heartfelt congratulations to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces on this recognised achievement which earned UAE global appreciation for its efforts to promote the values and practices of human fraternity, as well as its commitment, since the establishment of the UAE Federation, to the vision and path of its leadership." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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IHC makes UAE capital of philanthropic work
posted on 09/04/2014

The International Humanitarian City, IHC, in Dubai, which was established by directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make the UAE and Dubai the capital of humanitarian work, is the world's biggest area of humanitarian organisations today serving both within the country and outside.
"The UAE takes its responsibility in the humanitarian landscape very seriously," says Shaima Al Zarooni, IHC CEO. "Our primary activities involve facilitating emergency relief. Thanks to the collective enabling factors of IHC facilities, the support of both federal and local government authorities, and the continuous efforts of our most active member organisations, aid is being successfully delivered to crisis-hit areas." Al Zarooni says Sheikh Mohammed established the IHC as a permanent economic model that would relieve the financial burden of large-scale aid delivery, from taxes to transport to office and warehouses cost. "This is a very unique contribution of Dubai and the UAE to the humanitarian community, in addition to flexibility and freedom to carry out humanitarian operations using the free-zone status privileges." Since 2011, aid shipments worth approximately Dh1 billion have been dispatched.
Currently, the majority of the aid is to Syria and its neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. Since the beginning of 2012, over US$45 million worth of aid has been sent for Syrian victims and refugees. The items sent include clothes, shoes, sleeping mats, tarpaulins, hygiene kits, and nutrition and medical supplies.
"As the crisis in Syria [completes] three years, millions of lives [have been] devastated, and the refugee influx has reached incredible heights, with millions of women displaced and more vulnerable than ever," Al Zarooni told the Khaleej Times daily. "Our members have not stopped aid delivery, both inside Syria and to the neighbouring countries who host large refugee populations." She says it's a great challenge to deliver aid inside Syria.
Aid is also going to African countries like Chad, the Central African Republic, Niger, Congo, Sudan, Mali, and Somalia. Recent aid for the crisis in the Central African Republic from IHC's UN agency member organisations surpassed US$3 million.
During the refugee crisis in Ethiopia in 2012, the IHC donated more than 10,000 articles of clothing in response to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' and the International Olympic Committee's clothing collection project, "Giving is Winning".
Al Zarooni says the time, situation and unforeseen disasters determine where aid will be sent. "For example, towards the end of 2013, over 1,500 tonnes of aid was sent to the Philippines in response to the devastating typhoon. In 2010, the main focus of resources was on Haiti in response to the earthquake. Over US$30 million of aid was sent from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in IHC on behalf of partners and member organisations. The humanitarian organisations operating from the IHC are the ones who decide on the locations and size of response according to the need and the priorities." Among the IHC responses to some of the worst humanitarian crises, Al Zarooni includes the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, the recurring drought in the Horn of Africa, and the civil unrest in Afghanistan and Darfur in western Sudan.
When the UN offices in Kabul and Islamabad came under attack by terrorists, and again during the Arab Spring upheavals, the IHC helped evacuate staff and offered temporary offices so the agencies could continue their work.
The IHC has also brought the spotlight on the humanitarian engagement in Dubai and the UAE. "For the past two years, we have been marking World Humanitarian Day in Dubai, among the humanitarian capitals (New York and Geneva) on August 19th in commemoration of the bravery and sacrifice of humanitarian workers around the world," Al Zarooni continued.
Dubai's strategic geographic location enables aid providers to reach two-third of the world's population within eight hours by air.
Within Dubai, the IHC is strategically located 18km from the new Al Maktoum Airport's cargo facilities and 21km from Jebel Ali Port, the world's largest man-made port and biggest shipping centre between Rotterdam and Singapore. The IHC gives members the ability to move shipments from sea to air in as little as 10 minutes. In addition, a customs corridor between the two further eases the way. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Immunisation is the best investment for our children's future, says Lubna Al Qasimi
posted on 06/04/2014

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, has said that the UAE donated US$ 33 million to GAVI Alliance over a four-year period to reduce child mortality and morbidity.
She added, "In 2011, His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, donated US$ 33 million to GAVI over a four year period to reduce child mortality and morbidity in Afghanistan through vaccines."
Sheikha Lubna noted, "This donation was matched by the Bill '&' Melinda Gates Foundation, bringing the project to a total of US$ 66 million, and is a clear example of how investment in vaccines and immunisation can save the lives of children."
She made the remarks in her article titled: "Immunisation, the best investment for our children's future". The article will be published tomorrow by GAVI Alliance website and press.
The full text of the article below: "
Since assuming my position as UAE Minister of International Cooperation and Development in March 2013, I have had the opportunity to learn more about the work of the GAVI Alliance (formerly Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation), a public-private global health partnership set up in 2000 with seed money from the Bill '&' Melinda Gates Foundation. The impressive achievements of the Alliance to date have convinced me that immunisation is one of the best investments that we can make in our children's future.
Increasing access to vaccines and immunisations is crucial to eradicating many communicable diseases and, ultimately, saving lives in some of the world's poorest countries. I am delighted to hear about the rate of GAVI's progress, as the Alliance is on track to achieving its target for the 2011-2015 period of immunising around 250 million children, saving at least four million.
When the international community focuses on improving education and health, much can be done to eradicate the diseases that relate to ignorance and lack of appropriate health services. It is essential that we all work together to achieve our goal of eradication of diseases. The ready availability of vaccines and mechanisms to apply them are critical to our combined efforts.
The UAE has a long-standing commitment to supporting the global healthcare sector, and has provided valuable contributions in supporting the efforts of GAVI to move towards a world free of vaccine-preventable diseases. In 2011, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, donated US$ 33 million to GAVI over a four year period to reduce child mortality and morbidity in Afghanistan through vaccines. This donation was matched by the Bill '&' Melinda Gates Foundation, bringing the project to a total of US$ 66 million, and is a clear example of how investment in vaccines and immunisation can save the lives of children.
In Afghanistan, a country of particular interest to the UAE due to its proximity and critical humanitarian and development situation, it is gratifying to note that around two million children have been vaccinated so far because of the UAE contributions. By decreasing the morbidity rate for these children, they may go on to enjoy healthier and better lives. Many will now live, where death at a young age was once the terrible alternative.
GAVI plays an indispensable role in this regard, helping to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines at affordable prices. At the end of last year, for example, the pneumococcal vaccine was introduced into Afghanistan.
Despite the advances that we have made, much remains to be done to prevent the resurgence of debilitating and destructive diseases. We all - states, corporations and civil society alike - must unify our efforts to reduce this threat to international peace and stability. This is of particular concern in countries, such as Syria, that are experiencing prolonged humanitarian crisis and chronic emergency, with the inevitable spill-over effects into neighbouring countries.
It is today's children who will ultimately boost economic development. No nation can thrive without good health. So we must all do our part to ensure that life-saving vaccines reach all children, no matter where they live." Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development United Arab Emirates. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UNRWA welcomes UAE support to Palestinian refugees in Syria
posted on 05/04/2014

Amman: The Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Pierre Krahenbuhl, has welcomed the announcement, earlier this week, of a US$ 15 million contribution from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to support UNRWA emergency programmes in Syria.
Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Co-operation, announced on 1 April that of the total US$ 50 million UAE pledge for UN operations inside Syria, US$ 15 million was for UNRWA.
Krahenbuhl said, "This generous pledge from the UAE will help UNRWA to deliver crucial assistance to the suffering people of Yarmouk and other Palestine refugee camps in Syria." He added, "We appreciate the trust that the UAE has placed in us to deliver aid inside Syria. With our 3,700 workers, we are managing to deliver assistance to almost 400,000 Palestinians in Syria." The Commissioner-General noted, "More than half of the Palestinians have been displaced, and many have lost their livelihoods. In Yarmouk, we have managed in recent days to get food in and a few sick people out, but now operations are interrupted again. We need to have consistent access and this is what we are pressing for all the time." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE supports UNICEF's Nutrition and Health Programmes for Syrian Children
posted on 03/04/2014

The Ministry of International Cooperation and Development in the UAE announced 7 million in funding to support UNICEF's nutrition response for children in Syria.
"This recent contribution cannot be more timely," said UNICEF Gulf Area Representative Dr. Ibrahim El Ziq. "Malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies -so-called "hidden hunger" - undermine children's ability to develop properly. With the support of the UAE, UNICEF will be able to scale up nutrition response to reach many more Syrian children in need to be able to have a healthy growth." As the conflict in Syria enters its fourth year, children continue to pay the heaviest price. A crumbling health system combined with deteriorating water, sanitation services and a deteriorating economic situation has impacted families' diets. Doctors in Syria reported that they are seeing ten cases of malnutrition every week compared with less than one case per month before the conflict.
To date, UNICEF has provided 90 thousand children with supplementary feeding for moderate malnutrition, and almost 14,000 more were provided with therapeutic feeding for treatment of Severe Acute Malnutrition.
This latest funding from the UAE will enable UNICEF and partners to screen children for malnutrition, distribute preventive and therapeutic nutrition commodities, and educate caregivers on feeding and nutrition.
"In line with our mission and responsibility in the UAE We continue to work with the international community to help the displaced and the refugees all over the world" said Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Development and Cooperation," We in the UAE, regret the painful impact the humanitarian crisis in Syria is having on mothers and children particularly who are suffering beyond reason. This is why we allocate seven million dollars to the United Nations Children's Fund "UNICEF"." Sheikha Lubna also added:" The UAE would like to express its deep appreciation for the tremendous efforts being made by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the valuable message carried by their great response to those affected by humanitarian disasters" – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Al Jaber: Development of Egypt's healthcare among the most important engines of growth and stability
posted on 02/04/2014

Cairo: Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State, yesterday emphasised that the development of Egypt's healthcare sector is among the most important engines of growth and stability as it protects and serves human capital, the country's major foundation for development.
Al Jaber made his remarks as he visited the biotechnology facility of Egypt's Holding Company for Biological Products '&' Vaccines (VACSERA), in Giza governorate. VACSERA is the only producer of vaccines and sera in Egypt and one of the country's main blood banks.
At the facility, Al Jaber inspected progress of a project to maintain and rehabilitate the company's vaccine and serum production lines. The project is funded by a UAE grant to Egypt according to an agreement signed by the two countries on October 26th 2013.
"The rehabilitation of the vaccine and serum production lines will contribute to the achievement of self-sufficiency in insulin production," said Mr. Al Jaber.
Minister Al Jaber noted that the directives of the UAE leadership demands that the standards for selecting projects agreed with the Egyptian government focus on all aspects of social development in Egypt.
The UAE-funded project will contribute to producing free basic vaccines for some two million children every year through the Egyptian Ministry of Health and the private sector.
Also, 55% percent of another new serum production facility has been completed. Upon full completion, expected by the end of November, the facility will provide fifteen different pharmaceutical products to Egypt's heath sector. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Lubna Al Qasimi discusses cooperation between UAE and International Humanitarian Organisations
posted on 28/03/2014

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Co-operation, has affirmed the importance of strengthening cooperation, partnership mechanisms, and exchange of views between the UAE and international humanitarian organisations to enhance the contribution of the international community to alleviate the repercussions of humanitarian crises and disasters in various parts of the world.
Sheikh Lubna also stressed the need for continuous assessment of the mechanisms and channels for delivery of emergency aid to people affected by these crises.
Sheikha Lubna made the remarks when she met with Kristalina Georgieva, the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, on the sidelines of her participation in the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD-2014), where the EU commissioner extended her thanks to the UAE and Sheikha Lubna for offering her an invitation to attend the event, stressing the appreciation of the international community and the European Commission for the honourable efforts exerted by the UAE in supporting development and humanitarian action.
The two sides exchanged views on ways of bolstering cooperation between the European Commission and the UAE with respect to humanitarian aid, as well as the exchange of personnel and experience between the European Commission and the Ministry of Development and International Cooperation.
At the end of the meeting, Kristalina Georgieva offered an invitation to Sheikha Lubna to attend the meeting of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA Donor Support Group, which will be held at the end of next June.
On the other hand, Sheikha Lubna has met with Ertharin Cousin, the Executive Director of the United Nation World Food programme (WFP). They exchanged views on the humanitarian situation in Syria and stressed on the importance of cooperation of all parties in delivering aid to Syrian refugees and displaced, particularly in light of the aggravation of the Syrian crisis, which has become one of the largest humanitarian crises of our time.
Sheikha Lubna commended the importance of the role played by World Food Programme to reach areas that are difficult for international donors to provide humanitarian assistance there.
The two sides also discussed joint programmes between the Ministry and the World Food Programme and the exchange of experiences and knowledge between the two parties.
Sheikh Lubna also received a delegation from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) led by Amin Awad, Director, Middle East and North Africa Bureau and Regional Refugee Coordinator.
Sheikha Lubna said that Syrian refugee crisis is a tragic humanitarian crisis and requires the international community to maximise efforts to contribute to elevating suffering of those who have been displaced from their homes and lost their minimum requirements of living and stability.
This, she added, comes in line with efforts and support provided by the UAE and its urgent humanitarian response for Syrian refugees under the directives of its wise leadership to continue working together with international organisations and institutions and all nations of the world to resolve that humanitarian crisis. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative to Clothe One Million Children reaches out to India
posted on 27/03/2014

Bangalore: India's Minority Affairs Minister, Rahman Khan, has commended the U.A.E.'s humanitarian and charitable initiatives in India, the host of second largest Islamic minority in the world.
The minister acknowledged the vital importance of the U.A.E.'s diversified humanitarian assistance to the Indian underprivileged during a ceremony held by the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative to Clothe One Million Children, in Bangalore, the capital city of the Indian state of Karnataka.
Coordinated with the Relief and Charitable Foundation of India (RCFI), the campaign has targeted 25,000 needy children in the state of Karnataka. Another consignment of 10,000 parcels of clothes will be distributed in the states of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and West Bengal.
Shibu Baby John, Labour Minister, Kerala State, said that 350 parcels of clothes were given to children in his state.
The RCFI said it would complete the distribution of 60,000 parcels of clothes across all states of India. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Noor Dubai concludes its Mobile Eye Camp in Pakistan.
posted on 24/03/2014

Noor Dubai Foundation, a non-governmental organisation based in Dubai, successfully concluded its mobile eye camp in Jhelum, Pakistan, that ran from 8th to 15th of March, 2014.
Funded by Dubai Islamic Bank, the week-long camp was a success despite the heavy rains and floods that took place during the same period.
About 380 people underwent surgery to regain their eyesight and more than 3600 patients were screened in Jhelum.
This is the first mobile eye-camp that Noor Dubai conducted this year and the third in Jhelum and ninth in Pakistan. "We are delighted with the results. The camp in Pakistan witnessed overwhelming response from patients of all ages, many of whom travelled long distances for this opportunity," said Essa Al Maidoor, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Noor Dubai Foundation and Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority.
According to figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO), 6% of visually impaired individuals live in Pakistan.
Dr. Manal Trayam, board member and CEO of Noor Dubai Foundation said: "Cataract is the leading cause of blindness in Jhelum specially among the elderly." Speaking of the challenges the team faced during this camp, Taryam said: "We faced unexpected heavy rainfall ; our camp was affected, especially the wards and the operation theatre. We had to stop the surgeries for one day and shift the theatre to a safer area." Noor Dubai's team travelled travels across borders to treat some of the world's poorest populations living in remote areas of Asia and Africa. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Abu Dhabi Fund for Development supports irrigated agriculture in Serbia with Dh356 million
posted on 10/03/2014

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, has signed a loan agreement with the government of Serbia, by which ADFD will provide Dh 356 million to contribute in financing a significant project in the agriculture sector, specifically irrigated agriculture.
The agreement was signed by Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD and Lazar Krstic, Minister of Finance in Republic of Serbia.
The project aims to carry out reclamation of 13 agricultural sites with a total area estimated at 24 thousand hectares in the province of Vivodena in Serbia. This project expected to contribute to giving a strong boost in terms of raising efficiency and productivity of the agricultural sector in the country.
Mr. Al Suwaidi said, "ADFD and the UAE government have put special emphasis on supporting the growth and development of the agricultural sector in developing countries, as this represents one of the most significant sectors for a number of reasons: the huge workforce employed in it, its role in satisfying the increasing local consumption of food and providing the foodstuff industry in the country with raw materials. The excess local production is exported to many regional and international markets, a trade that is one of the biggest foreign currency earners for the country." The ADFD Director-General also stressed on the UAE leadership keen on the development and strengthening of cooperation with the Republic of Serbia, noting the good relations that combine the two countries since ever, and support the Serbian government in various fields, especially economic and finance development projects that benefit positively the Serbian people
Mr. Krstic said, "ADFD has provided a loan to support the agricultural sector and through this important project will have a significant impact on supporting the efforts of the Serbian government in achieving food security, and the provision of basic needs of food for the Serbian people. Additionally, the project will contribute to stimulating a number of other sectors related to food industries in the country and thus will help the Serbian economy to recovery." The Serbian minister highlighted the depth of relations with the United Arab Emirates, stressing his country's keenness to develop its bilateral relations with the UAE and support everything that enhances the aspects of joint cooperation at all levels. He expressed the thanks and appreciation of Serbia's government and people for the leadership and people of the UAE for their continuous support to his country, and its eagerness to support the plans for economic and social development in Serbia. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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Dubai sends power to the people on the remote Pacific island of Fenualoa
posted on 04/03/2014

The Tuwo village on the remote Pacific island of Fenualoa is so quiet and poor it didn't have its own a source of electricity – until a grant from Dubai Expo 2020 helped solve the problem.
The villagers now have a reliable source of solar-generated power, which has helped change their lives for the better.
At first sight, Fenualoa is the epitome of a tropical island paradise. The second largest of the Reef Islands, a remote chain more than 1,700 kilometres north-east of Australia between the Coral Sea and the South Pacific, it is a palm-clad atoll that sits on the edge of an enormous lagoon.
Unfortunately, the things that make pictures of Fenualoa so beguiling are precisely the same factors that make life for the island's inhabitants so hard.
Like many islands in the South Pacific, Fenualoa is beset by problems associated with climate change – extreme weather events and rising sea levels.
"These people are the canary in the mine,” says Dr Peter Vine, the man responsible for making the unlikely connection between Expo 2020 Dubai and a community as far from the UAE as Antarctica.
"They are at the leading edge of what is happening with climate change, extreme weather events and rising sea levels globally.
"It was great that Dubai, one of the most modern cities in the world, would support such an isolated and comparatively primitive community so far away.”
Dr Vine works for the National Media Council as project director for the UAE pavilion at Expo Milan 2015. He is also a marine biologist and a trustee of OceansWatch, a maritime charity that has worked with communities in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands since 2008.
It was Dr Vine and OceansWatch's chief executive, the yachtsman and eco-entrepreneur Chris Bone, who secured the funding from Expo 2020 Dubai.
That US$50,000 (Dh183,000) grant enabled OceansWatch to install a 500-watt solar-power system in Tuwo with panels, batteries and inverters that convert the 24 volts to 240 volts. The effects have been profound.
As Mr Bone explains, the most immediate impact was that light now allows the villagers to continue with important tasks after sunset.
"The local people needed and wanted electricity,” he says. "Nobody could study, nobody could work after dark. Basically, life stopped. They were using coconut oil lamps.”
The introduction of power has also allowed Tuwo to make vital connections with the outside world.
"Now the community has started to be able to communicate with mobile phones. This provides them with access to markets, it empowers them by giving them access to information about local politics, it allows them to communicate with the eldest sons who have gone elsewhere for work or to be educated.”
But none of these connections has been more important than the VHF base stations with directional antennae that have been established in Tuwo and on Nendo, the nearest other island with power, 70km away.
"That is a seven-hour boat ride and, if it is rough, you can't do it,” Mr Bone explains. "When we arrived there were lots of people with mobile phones but most of the batteries were flat. They had no way of charging them and they had to sail to Nendo to do it.”
Even in favourable conditions, the journeys to Nendo often proved fatal.
"Once a boat had set out from Tuwo for Nendo, they had no way of knowing whether it got there,” says Mr Bone.
"The people at the other end had no idea that a boat was coming. They had to just set out and hope for the best. Over the past 30 years, 28 people have died on that trip.
"Now Tuwo and Nendo can talk to each other and know that a boat is coming and whether it has arrived. Within two weeks of setting that up, a boat had been saved.”
One of the reasons Dr Vine, Mr Bone and OceansWatch succeeded in securing the funds from Expo Dubai 2020 was because their proposal fitted precisely with the Expo's main theme "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.
The Expo's own outreach project, True North, sent a 70-foot sailing ship around the world as part of the bid.
"The effort to talk to maritime communities resonated with the themes of Expo 2020 Dubai and the committee wanted to see what would happen if they funded this kind of project,” says Dr Vine.
His introduction to coral reefs came in 1964 while working as a volunteer teacher in the Gilbert Islands, now Kiribati.
Dr Vine then completed a doctorate in marine biology, leading coral conservation expeditions in the Seychelles and becoming deputy director of the Cambridge coral research group in Sudan.
"I've always tried to find ways to help reef communities ever since then,” the media executive explains. He established OceansWatch after meeting Mr Bone on a sailing trip in New Zealand.
"We found that we were both working on the same idea, to harness yachtsmen and yachts to try to make a difference to the most remote, forgotten communities where there are no services and no facilities.”
Mr Bone's epiphany came while sailing from Australia to the Philippines.
"My crew jumped ship because they were frightened of pirates. That meant I had to stay in Papua New Guinea for quite a few weeks and while I was there, people kept asking questions: ‘Do you know about this?', ‘Can you help us with that?', ‘Our water doesn't work, can you fix it?'”
The defining moment for Mr Bone came just as he was about to leave, when members of the local community asked if he would return with help.
"It was a profound moment,” the quietly spoken yachtsman explains. "I realised that sailors who I had met over many years could have helped these people in many, many ways and that I had the skills and the contacts to help them.
"After that, I felt that it was almost beholden upon me to do something, so I gave them my word that I would come back. After that everything else just fell into place.”
For Mr Bone, the concept at the heart of OceansWatch is to fund, equip and populate expeditions to areas such as Temotu Province, the eastern region of the Solomon Islands that is home to Fenualoa, and beyond the reach of more traditional NGOs.
There is no airport near the island and it takes eight days to sail there from OceansWatch's base in New Zealand, a sea crossing that can extend to 12 days in bad weather.
"When larger organisations start to look at areas such as Temotu Province it becomes a logistical nightmare,” Mr Bone says. "There's no accommodation for a start. Our teams stay on their boats so they don't impose themselves on the communities they are working with.”
Luckily for OceansWatch, the charity is drawing on three resources – yacht owners, yachtsmen, and environmental scientists – where there is plenty of potential.
"If you look at marinas in the UAE, or in the Mediterranean, you see thousands of very expensive boats, owned by quite wealthy owners who probably don't use them very much.
"In that context, we think there are boat owners and yachtsmen who care about the ocean and we're trying to find a way to harness that good will.”
Of about 7,000 yachts sailing around the world, Mr Bone estimates one in 10 are willing and able to help in OceansWatch initiatives.
Within three months of launching the charity in 2008, a contact of his donated a yacht that is still used on OceansWatch expeditions while the charity has just been lent another for the next four years.
The charity also has no problem attracting highly skilled technical volunteers.
"Around the world now there is a surfeit of environmental scientists and marine biologists,” Mr Bone says. "They come out of university and they struggle to get a job because they haven't got any field experience. We give them the opportunity to get six months' on-the-job field experience.”
OceansWatch volunteers pay their own expenses and food, but the main challenge is funding like that provided by Expo 2020 Dubai, which makes the kind of broad-based support OceansWatch favours possible.
Mr Bone admits that the charity's commitment to providing whatever support a community needs is OceansWatch's strength and its ‘Achilles heel'.
"We don't just do marine conservation. When we engage with a community, we find out what that community needs and we try to provide services for all of their needs. We don't turn our backs on their needs.”
Mr Bone is working on OceansWatch's next expedition to Fenualoa in June, when the current hurricane season ends.
He is still trying to secure more funding to provide coconut oil processors to provide the villagers with funds and employment.
Among the community's other key requirements are water tanks, to help bolster the dwindling supplies of fresh water.
"We've been conducting surveys of the water in some of the other villages because some of those don't have any wells at all.
"They just run out of water for periods of up to 6 weeks and then all they have to drink is coconut water or they have to walk or paddle 6km to Tuwo to ask for water.
"But of course, Tuwo will also be experiencing a water shortage at the same time.
"We're not trying to provide everybody with fridges and cold drinks, we're just trying to provide the basics and build capacity. We're there to help with the most basic things,” Mr Bone explains.
"This is such a marginalised place, nobody else is going to help so I'm going to see this programme through. If Dubai stays involved we could certainly use the help but I wouldn't miss going back this season for anything. I love those people.” – The National – Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/expo-2020/dubai-sends-power-to-the-people-on-the-remote-pacific-island-of-fenualoa#full#ixzz2uyJLYvpr
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Abu Dhabi Fund for Development supports higher education system in Zambia
posted on 27/02/2014

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, has signed a loan agreement with the government of Zambia, by which ADFD will provide Dh 36.7 million to contribute in establishing 3 university colleges in the country.
The agreement was signed by Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD, and Pamela C. Kabamba, Permanent Secretary, Budget and Economic Affairs, in the Republic of Zambia.
This move is in line with ADFD's keenness to support and help developing countries face their development difficulties through the provision of financial resources needed to finance development projects that would enable the governments of these countries to uplift the living standards of their people.
The loan provided by ADFD will be distributed for the purpose of establishing three colleges with three different specialisations, namely; Mathematics and Science, Technology and Applied Arts. The 3 colleges will be located in three different regions in Zambia, and will help in raising the level of education within Zambian people and make it easier for them to obtain education, thus achieving social and economic development.
Al Suwaidi said, "The promotion of the educational sector through the provision of the necessary infrastructure is one of the main priorities of the development plans implemented by governments in developing countries, as educated youth are considered a solid base for sustainable development in any country. However, the lack of educational institutions and specialised education institutions deprive large segments of the population from completing their education and developing their skills to enable them to participate effectively in the development process.
"This loan substantiates the strong desire of the ADFD, driven by the directives and direct follow-up of its wise leadership, to extend its commitment to help developing countries in need all over the world by contributing effectively to support the development process, and help them overcome the difficult economic conditions by improving the performance the main economic sectors in those countries, leading to advancing sustainable development and the ability of its economies to create more employment opportunities." Al Suwaidi added.
Pamela C. Kabamba praised the Government of the UAE's role in solidifying mutual cooperation between the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Zambia.
She stated, "There is no doubt that the contribution of ADFD to finance the colleges will reflect positively on the increased opportunities for obtaining higher education in Zambia, hence well-educated and highly skilled people will be available to compete globally and meet the challenges that hinder the achievement of desired economic and social development. She also added that the Government of Zambia strives to develop ambitious development plans that are intended to enable Zambia by 2030 to become a middle-income country." The Zambian Permanent Secretary also expressed her high esteem for the efficient role that the Government of Abu Dhabi and the ADFD are playing in promoting development in the country by funding such vital development projects. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Mohamed bin Zayed names Lubna member at ADFD
posted on 26/02/2014

His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, has issued a resolution appointing Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Co-operation, as member at the board of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD). – Emirates News Agency, WAM – Read more:

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Education phase of Big Heart Campaign launched
posted on 11/02/2014

The launch of the education phase of the campaign took place on February 10 and will continue till February 20 at The Dubai Mall.
The initiative turns its focus on educating the displaced children of the Syrian crisis. After providing them with shelter, food, and health, the Big Heart Campaign has turned its focus on educating the displaced children of the Syrian crisis.
The charity, under the patronage of Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and the UNHCR Eminent Advocate of Refugee Children, has launched the fourth phase of the campaign called the ‘No Lost Generation - Journey of Hope'.
The launch of the education phase of the campaign took place on February 10 and will continue till February 20 at The Dubai Mall. Activities are in place for children from 10am to 10pm at The Dubai Mall, Souq Arena, Galeries Lafayette.
Mohammed Abu Asaker, Public Information and Communications Officer of UNHCR told Khaleej Times said: "After phase 1 and phase 2, where we focused on providing health and shelter to the Syrian kids, we have now turned our attention on ‘feeding the minds' of the kids.”
He added: "A little money will go a long way for the children. They have been displaced in the worst possible way and apart from books, stationary, uniforms, fees, and hiring teachers, we are also looking to provide infrastructure for building new schools.”
Asaker stated that the campaign is set to continue till May 7.
Although 2.4 million Syrian refugees have so far been registered by the UNHCR, the actual number of refugees is much higher. Currently volunteer teachers are doing their best, alongside teachers at government schools where double shifts have been introduced to accommodate refugee students after-hours, when the regular students have left. Asaker said: "Even now 53 per cent of the population of Syria is that of refugee children. So far our efforts have raised 130 million US dollars and we are aiming that this campaign will be a sustainable one, where the children can avail long-term benefits.”
According to a recent survey by the United Nations, every hour another Syrian baby is born a refugee, adding to over 1.2 million children who are already in desperate need of education.
"UNHCR is proud to have Sheikha Jawaher as an advocate to this cause. Because more and more people need to be made aware of the situation in Syria and raise funds for them,” said Asaker.
The campaign's event at The Dubai Mall saw crowds of well-wishers and donors showing their solidarity with Syrian children.
Parents were teaching their children to become young humanitarians by bringing them to The Dubai Mall to enjoy fun-filled charity activities like face painting and badge making. Adult activities include a ‘Wall of Big Hearts' where visitors leave emotional messages of peace and hope.
The campaign roped in popular musician and humanitarian Hussein Al Jassmi to perform and raise funds for the cause. Al Jassmi said: "As a musician I see this event like one beautiful chorus, where everyone comes together as one and works in perfect harmony. We are creating an amazing melody of humanitarianism.
This is not just about educating Syrian children, but also educating our own children to help their suffering brothers and sisters.”
The double tragedy for Syria is that on one hand there is massive ‘brain drain' as the country's most educated professionals like doctors flee to seek jobs in other countries and on the other hand Syria's brightest students have been uprooted from school, leaving a gaping hole for skilled professionals and graduates. The fundraising event at Dubai Mall will continue until February 20, and members of the public are invited to bring their families for a fun outing that benefits a good cause. – Khaleej Times – Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/nation/inside.asp?section=todayevent&xfile=/data/todayevent/2014/February/todayevent_February12.xml

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Etihad Airways' Charity Marathon raises nearly Dh500,000 in support of children with cancer
posted on 08/02/2014

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, raised almost half a million dirhams in support of the Children's Cancer Hospital Foundation 57357 in Egypt through the charity marathon held last week as part of its "Colour Their Lives" campaign.
The 57357 Hospital, located in Cairo, is one of the biggest hospitals specialising in children's cancer in the world and was solely built on donations. Funds raised will help the hospital build a new ward housing 300 beds and a new playground for the children.
Donations where collected through the sale of "Colour Their Lives" t-shirts at the marathon which was held at the Abu Dhabi Corniche and saw participation in four categories: adults, children, mother and child and children with special needs.
The winners were: Tawfik Alem and Latifa Sarook in the male and female adults categories; Abdallah Harazi and Mai Hisham in the children's category; Yasmin Al Hamooli in the mother and child category; and Hassan Tarek in the children with special needs race.
Winners of the adult category won two airline tickets to any destination in the Etihad Airways network. All other winners received exciting prizes including tickets to Yas Water World and Ferrari World, free access to Abu Dhabi public beach, as well as Ipads and other electronic devices.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hamdan Bin Mohamed Al Nahyan attended the race and distributed the prizes to the winners along with Abdulla Rashed Khalaf Al Otaiba, Chairman of the Department of Transport, and Major General Obaid Al Hairi Salem Ketbi, Deputy General Commander of Abu Dhabi Police.
Also attending the marathon were Mariam Saif Al Qubaisi, Head of Special Needs Sector at Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO), Talal Khouri, Head of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Ihab Hamouda, Egyptian Ambassador to the UAE, and Ehab Tawfeeq, the famous Egyptian singer.
Khaled Al Mehairbi, Etihad Airways' Chairman of the Sports and Social Committee and Senior Vice President of Government and AeroPolitical Affairs, said: "As the UAE flag carrier, we are pleased to reaffirm our commitment to society and give back to those in need.
"We hope we managed to make a difference in the lives of these young children by helping them on their journey to recovery, while at the same time raising awareness of treatment and prevention of this deadly disease." Along with the marathon many other activities were organised including free health screenings and medical advice, live entertainment, face painting activities for children, a lucky draw with various exciting prizes, and an auction for the trip of a lifetime to five exciting Etihad Airways' destinations including: Disneyland Paris, Maldives, Thailand and the Philippines.
A giant wall dedicated to the UAE's President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was one of the main attractions at the event, and saw visitors of all ages and nationalities join in wishing His Highness a speedy recovery and the best of health.
The marathon was held in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Abu Dhabi City Municipality, Abu Dhabi Airports, Ministry of Interior, Emirates Red Crescent, SEHA Emirates Hospital, Yas Water World and Canon. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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