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GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS - DEVELOPMENT AID
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 –
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
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:
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
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
RCA allocates Dh300 million for relief and developmental programmes in Palestine
posted on 03/02/2014
The UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) has earmarked Dh 300 million for its proposed humanitarian and relief initiatives in Palestine over the next three years to 2016.
Dr Hamdan Musallam al Mazrouei, Chairman of the RCA, stated that the funds would be channelled into health, educational, agricultural, environmental and services sectors which are most vital to address the critical economic circumstances of the Palestinian people.
He said the allocated budget reflected the commitment of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and RCA President, to extend a helping hand to the Palestinian people, adding that the Palestinian territories receive a top priority in the RCA's relief and developmental programmes given the economic and social hardships there.
Dr. Mohamed Ateeq Al Falahi, RCA Secretary-General, said proposed projects in education include establishing a campus of the Al-Quds Open University in Nablus, West Bank, to enrol 76,000 students and building five schools accommodating 2,640 pupils in addition to a number of kindergartens.
New health clinics, and mosques will also be built, he added.
In cooperation with the FAO, he said, the RCA will maintain underground water wells which provide fresh drinking water to 118 families. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
Sheikha Lubna discusses boosting cooperation in Int'l Development between UAE and Switzerland
posted on 31/01/2014
Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, has yesterday received Wolfgang Amadeus Bruelhart, Assistant State Minister and Head of the MENA Department in the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The meeting was also attended by Hazza Al Qahtani, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development and Sultan Al Shamsi, Assistant Under-Secretary of International Development in the Ministry.
During the meeting, Sheikha Lubna asserted the importance of boosting cooperation between the UAE and Switzerland in order to maximise the benefits of their contributions in supporting international development themes, and responding to the global humanitarian crises, indicating that the UAE spares no effort in providing all possible support and relief to affected people in humanitarian crises, supporting efforts of enhancing education, healthcare, and eradicating poverty in developing communities.
Wolfgang Amadeus Bruelhart affirmed the keenness of the Swiss government to enhance the mutual cooperation between Switzerland and the UAE regarding international and humanitarian development, based on the strong relationships between the two countries, also for the advanced status that the UAE has managed to achieve in the international development arena in developing communities, and its effective contributions in responding to humanitarian emergencies. He also commended the UAE's initiatives in education and healthcare in developing countries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
RCA provides over Dh 7.36 million to Birzeit University, Palestine
posted on 28/01/2014
The Red Crescent Authority (RCA) gears up to provide a financial support worth Dh 7.360 million to Birzeit University, Palestine.
The support aims to strengthen the University's academic capabilities in addition to solving its financial crises, due to the economic conditions, being witnessed by Palestine.
The move comes in implementation of the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, Chairman of the RCA. The directives come in response to the request of the University to the RCA.
Dr. Hamdan Musallam al Mazrouei, RCA Board Chairman emphasised that the directives of Sheikh Hamdan come in the light of the U.A.E'.s humanitarian initiatives towards the Palestinians in various educational, health, social and services domains.
He added that Sheikh Hamdan gives much care to the humanitarian conditions, and closely follows up the events in the Palestinian arena and their impact on the lives and conditions of Palestinians as well. - Emirates News Agency, WAM
Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment donates 20 ambulances to Sudan
posted on 27/01/2014
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Establishment has donated 20 ambulances to the Sudanese Al Zubair Charity Foundation (ZCF).
The two charities launched the health assistance project in the presence of Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail, Sudanese Investment Minister, Ibrahim Bumelha, Deputy Chairman of Board of Trustees of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Establishment, a number of Sudanese officials and UAE Ambassador to Sudan Hassan Ahmed Al Shehi.
Dr. Ismail highly valued the UAE's initiatives in the humanitarian and relief works, noting the UAE's leading role in this field has earned it a prominent place among the most advanced, civilised nations. He added the UAE establishment's humanitarian and developmental projects had spread across Sudan.
Earlier, Bumelha had met with Sudanese President Omar Al Bashier, who asked him to convey his greetings to the UAE leadership.
Bumelha said the latest 20 ambulances followed ten ambulances the Establishment has offered to the traffic department in Sudan to alleviate suffering at emergency situations.
Ibrahim Abdul Halim, Secretary General of ZCF, praised the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Establishment for supporting Sudan at times of crises and disasters, pointing out that the Establishment's projects had covered vital humanitarian and living aspects. He paid tribute to the leadership and people of the UAE for the relief and humanitarian assistance provided to Sudanese people. - Emirates News Agency, WAM
ADFD supports transportation sector in Senegal
posted on 22/01/2014
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has signed a loan agreement by virtue of which ADFD will provide more than Dh 53 million loan to the Republic of Senegal. The loan will be allocated to funding major road in addition to some related tracks in the country.
ADFD's contribution in financing this vital project came from the belief in the important role played by the road networks in enhancing the performance of key economic sectors which improves living conditions in developing countries.
The signing ceremony was took a place in Emirates Palace with the presence of Macky Sall, the President of Senegal. The agreement was signed by Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD and Mohamadou Mactar Cisse, Minister of budget in Republic of Senegal.
Al Suwaidi said, "this agreement reflects the keenness of ADFD since the beginning of its activities in the Republic of Senegal to play an active role in supporting the efforts of the Senegalese government to improve the infrastructure sector in Senegal, as this is the mainstay of economic and social development, and the strong foundation for the growth of various sectors." "The existence of capable roads network to accommodate the rapid growth rates in the movement, is consider a vital element to the success of the ambitious development strategy adopted by any country, as providing modern and sophisticated roads system, will contribute directly and effectively in activating the economic movement and increase trade by facilitating the movement of people and transport of goods and products both for the domestic market or to regional and international markets,' he added.
Al Suwaidi also stressed the keenness of the UAE leadership on development and strengthening the cooperation with the Republic of Senegal, noting the good relations that combine the two countries, and standing next to the Senegalese government and supports them in various fields, especially economically through financing of developmental projects that back to the Senegalese people with positive impact.
For his part, Mohamadou Mactar Cisse, Minister of Budget in Senegal said, "The financial loan provided by ADFD will effectively contribute to supporting the efforts of Senegalese government to achieve a comprehensive development, as the constructing of the sophisticated network of road would help in activating the economic movement in Senegal, not only by facilitating the movement of people, but also through the recovery of major economic activities such as agriculture, fishing, tourism and facilitate the transport of products to domestic and international markets." He added that the Senegalese minister praised the leadership of UAE's role in solidifying mutual cooperation between the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Senegal and extends his gratitude and appreciation to the UAE for its continuous support and its keenness to back the march of development in his country.
He also expressed his high esteem for the efficient role played by ADFD in promoting development in Republic of Senegal by funding such vital development projects.
It is worth mentioning that ADFD's activity in the Republic of Senegal goes back to 1978. The Fund has since then offered three loans totaling to about Dh 140 million, allocated for three developmental projects, all devoted to enhance the agriculture and water sectors. - Emirates News Agency, WAM
Five Pacific countries to receive grants from UAE's $50m Renewable Energy Fund
posted on 21/01/2014
The UAE yesterday signed partnerships with five Pacific island countries to deploy renewable energy projects, financed from the US$50 million UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund.
The solar and wind projects - in Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu - represent one of the largest capital investments in the region's clean energy sector. With grant financing from Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), project completion is expected in late 2014.
All five projects will be co-designed and implemented by Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, in cooperation with each nation's government. The La'a Lahi 'Big Sun' solar plant in Tonga, commissioned in November 2013, was the first project to receive funding from the UAE.
During a signing ceremony held during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and CEO of Masdar, said: "Access to clean energy is a critical component of economic and social development. This is especially true in the Pacific, as island nations face some of the highest fuel costs in the world and clean energy delivers a tremendous impact in terms of savings and growth potential." The projects are estimated to save more than 1.2 million liters of diesel fuel annually and mitigate 3,030 tonnes of CO2 per year. They are also designed to demonstrate the viability of renewable energy in remote locations, where the International Renewable Energy Agency reports that renewable energy now outcompetes traditional diesel imports on cost.
"Developing countries have the challenge of accelerating economic growth and social opportunities, while facing constraints on natural resources," said Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. "The deployment of renewable energy is a unique way forward decoupling energy access and equity from environmental impacts for the first time. We are honored to support these projects and to showcase the viability of this sustainable development model." The US$50 million UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund was launched in March 2013 by HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE's Foreign Minister, and is administered by the ministry's Directorate of Energy and Climate Change. The fund covers project feasibility studies, engineering design, plant equipment supplies and installation, construction and operation and maintenance training.
The Pacific projects further expand the UAE's efforts to deploy renewable energy as a form of development assistance. Other notable Masdar projects include: A15-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, which accounts for 10 percent of the country's energy capacity; A six-megawatt wind farm in the Republic of Seychelles that powers more than 2,100 homes (funded by ADFD); A project in Afghanistan that supplies 600 residences with off-grid solar photovoltaic systems; and A 500-kilowatt solar photovoltaic power plant on the island of Vava'u in the Kingdom of Tonga (funded by ADFD). - Emirates News Agency, WAM
IRENA and ADFD bring power to rural communities
posted on 20/01/2014
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) yesterday announced approximately US$41 million in concessional loans for renewable energy projects in developing countries.
The financed projects have a combined total capacity of 35 MW and will bring reliable and sustainable power to rural communities that are currently lacking access to modern energy services. The loans go to a geographically diverse set of countries, including the Republic of Ecuador, Sierra Leone, the Maldives, Mauritania, Samoa, and Mali.
"IRENA and ADFD selected projects bring power to isolated off-grid populations, in some cases for the first time. This will stimulate local economic development and raise living standards," said IRENA's Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin at a press conference in Abu Dhabi yesterday. "Financing is one of the key issues renewable energy is facing, particularly in the developing world. That is why IRENA and ADFD teamed up to de-risk investments in promising renewables projects." The UAE government has committed a total of US$350 million in concessional loans through ADFD to support the deployment and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy in developing countries. The current financing cycle is the first of seven. IRENA is assessing the socio-economic impact and technical merit of the projects, and ADFD is making its selection based on the Agency's recommendation. Projects selected need to be transformative, innovative and replicable.
"We aim to help communities in developing countries achieve highest levels of progress. We hope to be a partner and strong contributor in achieving sustainable development through offering concessional loans and administering government grants to finance development projects that affect vital sectors including renewable energy; an important pillar to achieving sustainable development," Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD, said.
"We believe in supporting developing countries and help them deploy renewable energy as a substitute to traditional energy that has negative effects on humans and the environment. We believe in the importance of encouraging investment in renewable energy and we launched this initiative to finance up to 50 per cent of each project in order to allow for the remainder to be financed by banks, international financial institutions and other development partners. This will mobilise the financing required from the private and public sectors, and help build local financial markets and create valuable know-how for the future," added Al Suwaidi. - Emirates News Agency, WAM
Mohammed bin Rashid clinic in Jenin serves more than 50,000 Palestinians
posted on 02/01/2014
Jenin: A new clinic, established by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Establishment in partnership with the Human Appeal International (HAI), will serve more than 50,000 Palestinians living in ten villages in west Jenin, West Bank.
In his opening address, Ahmed Al Tanaiji, Head of the UAE Representative Office to the Palestinian National Authority, affirmed the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, will always remain staunch supporter for the Palestinian people at international forums and their economic development.
'This support stems out the Arab and Islamic duty towards the Palestinian people,' he added.
Palestinian Health Minister Jawad Awad conveyed gratitude and thanks of Palestinian prime minister to the UAE for its efforts to support the health and social sectors in Palestine.
He said that Palestinian people still need more assistance under the current difficult economic hardships.
Ibrahim Rashid, Head of HAI Office in West Bank, said the medical centre, named after His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had generated 2000 job opportunities to the Palestinians. - Emirates News Agency, WAM
UAE carried out US$300m worth projects in Pakistan
posted on 31/12/2013
UAE PAP was launched on 12 January 2011 upon the directions of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with the intent to help Pakistan overcome the consequences of the destructive torrential rains by rehabilitating infrastructure. The project follows a comprehensive plan of rehabilitation that takes into account the rugged geographical topography and harsh weather conditions. The plan has four main pivots to rehabilitate the area and secure community development: roads and bridges, education, health and water supply. It also provides for additional efforts to offer humanitarian assistance to the unprivileged, poor and homeless.
In roads and bridges, two flood-wrecked bridges were rebuilt over Swat River, in addition to a number of modern asphalt roads in southern and northern Waziristan. In education, UAE PAP built, reconstructed and rehabilitated 60 projects including schools, institutes and academic technical colleges for male and female students in remote areas. In health, 8 projects were carried out to build hospitals, health clinics and medical institutes. In water supply, 76 water treatment and purification plants were set up and to extend potable water pipes extended and humanitarian assistance, including foodstuff, dates, school back bags, was extended. Serums were provided and anti-measles and infantile paralysis campaigns organised.
The total cost of the projects carried out under Phases I and II of the UAE PAP plan amounted to US$300.368.000.
The generous initiatives of 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 the continuous follow-up of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs , were the main factor behind the success of UAE Project to Assist Pakistan and also behind achieving the humanitarian goals, which aim to develop the infrastructure projects.
Characteristics of the Project The UAE PAP was launched with the aim of providing help and humanitarian assistance to the people of Pakistan and support their development initiatives for a better future.
Its mission is to execute development assistance projects that offer sustainability and continuous benefits to beneficiaries in the long run.
Development assistance projects of this kind are comprehensive by nature in order to help all sects, age groups and social classes of the Pakistani community, especially the orphans, handicapped, children, women, elders and the Pakistani people in general.
UAE PAP is a non-profit voluntary contribution project which offers multiple social, health, educational and economic assistance to the needy in various areas, cities and villages in Pakistan.
Its mission objectives include, but are not limited to, providing assistance to the people of Pakistan by developing poverty elimination programs, upgrading the educational system/environment, upgrading medical services and the community health environment and helping to create job opportunities for Pakistani nationals in order to eliminate unemployment and improve the economic conditions.
UAE PAP has a broad scope for projects throughout its mandated region of operation which include the building of modern roads and bridges to help establish inter-province/inter-city access points and secure means of easier travel for all people.
To build, maintain and restore schools, colleges and academic institutions while helping to upgrade the educational infrastructure and prepare students to earn academic credentials and obtain training experience.
To build, renovate, maintain and refurbish hospitals, clinics and medical institutes to extend badly needed modern medical care to Pakistani families in order to alleviate their suffering and protect them against diseases and epidemics.
To build water treatment and purification plants, extend delivery networks to provide remote towns and villages with potable water and eliminate the problem of undrinkable water.
To deploy humanitarian assistance to the poor, orphans, needy and homeless, provide food and healthcare to help them overcome their ordeal.
UAE PAP - Spirit of Solidarity UAE PAP adopted an all-out development plan to carry out vital projects to serve the Pakistani nation. The total cost of the projects in both phases, i.e. the first and second phases, have so far reached US$ 300,368,000.
Breakdown of projects Roads and Bridges Swat Valley and north-western areas of Pakistan were obliterated by the destructive seasonal floods which fully devastated the infrastructure, leaving the debris of destroyed bridges. It was impossible to travel across the Swat River, and the region was entirely cut off, making it impossible to deliver food, tents and medical supplies to the homeless in a timely manner. Inhabitants found it extremely hard to travel and had to suffer a real ordeal by having to use remote unmaintained roads and unconventional means of transport.
With no macadamised roads available, the inhabitants of South Waziristan suffered a similar ordeal, which had a heavy toll on them socially, economically and educationally. For this reason, the region lost any hope for development.
UAE PAP Road and Bridge Projects - Number of Projects: 4 - Cost: US$121.580.000 UAE PAP carried out four road and bridge projects at a cost of US$12,158,000, which included the reconstruction of two flood-destroyed bridges on the Swat River and building two new roads in South and North Waziristan.
These are amongst the most vital projects with a huge contribution to the development of infrastructure in remote areas in Pakistan. They also help in the social, economic, educational and health development of the targeted areas.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Bridge Of particular significance is the reconstruction of the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Bridge which was originally constructed 40 years ago but destroyed by floods, leaving many villagers cut off and without necessary relief or supplies. The bridge is the most important in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, a main artery for provincial inhabitants and a vital link to the provincial highway. The 330 meter-long, 10 meter-wide, 6 meter-high bridge has a capacity of more than 5000 vehicles daily and serves as many as 70,000 commuters.
As for the technical specifications, all metal works were fabricated in the United Kingdom, and special technical and engineering specifications were applied in the manufacturing and erection processes as per international standards, including seismic and flood resistance, by supporting river banks with a 900 meter-long water barrier. Anti-erosion, rust and humidity reinforced concrete bases support the bridge which was supplied with a solar powered lighting system. Management and operation facilities were built and a pedestrian lane, parallel to the vehicles', was added. The project cost US$12,460,000.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Bridge is a new architectural landmark in the heart of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, and its strategic location on the Swat River makes it an indispensable part of the Province's main road network and a tourist attraction, thanks to its unique aesthetic design which is similar to the one used for the Al Maqtaa Bridge in Abu Dhabi. It boasts a beautiful heritage-oriented look with historical crenelated fortress structures at both ends which incorporates age-old traditions of the UAE infused in a modern state-of-the-art design and manufacturing process.
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Bridge This vital bridge was named after the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as a sign of gratitude, recognition and appreciation of his significant generous development efforts to assist the people of Pakistan over the years. His Highness was a solid supporter of Pakistan and was keen to help Pakistanis achieve progress and development in various humanitarian, developmental and cultural aspects.
The Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Bridge was also destroyed by the floods, leaving many villagers cut off and without necessary relief or supplies. The bridge is also important in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, as it provides a main artery for provincial inhabitants and a vital link to the provincial highway. The 448 meter-long, 10.7 meter-wide, 7 meter-high bridge has a capacity of more than 4000 vehicles per day and serves as many as 2,000,000 commuters in an area of 1,235 square kilometres.
Again, special technical and engineering specifications were applied in the manufacturing and erection processes as per international standards, including seismic and flood resistance by supporting the river banks with a 1,300 meter-long water barrier. Anti-erosion, rust and humidity reinforced concrete bases support the bridge which was also supplied with a solar powered lighting system. Management and operation facilities were built and a pedestrian walkway was added. The project cost US$10,510,000.
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Bridge is now an architectural landmark and tourist attraction, thanks to its unique aesthetic design with a prototype of the Al Jahli Castle built at the entrance to the bridge. The castle design is historically attached to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as a facsimile of the one in Al Ain, close to where he grew up and spent his childhood. This marked the beginning of the leader's march that was crowned with the union of the UAE and the unity of all UAE people under the leadership of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Road Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Road is the largest and most important modern development project hosted by Pakistan. It is the first step toward progress and prosperity in South Waziristan where it will help stimulate social, economic, educational and health development, and have a direct bearing on the development and welfare of the local inhabitants in the region and FATA Province.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Road acquires its importance as one of the most vital macadamised roads which extends from Wana to Angoor Addah in South Waziristan. It has a positive effect on improving road transport and linking together towns and villages which, due to the extreme topography, have difficulty connecting to the main cities. It also reduces the travel expenses of individuals and their goods to their main distribution outlets. It encourages social communication and unity among locals, provides a quick but safe means of transport for hospitals, colleges, academic institutions and government agencies/directorates, and serves as a third strategic crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan, cutting the distance between Karachi and Kabul by about 400 kilometres.
The 50 kilometre-long, 9 meter-wide Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Road boasts ultra-modern engineering and technical specifications. It has 5 bridges, 105 sewers, side protection walls, 16.8 kilometre-long cement beams, and is 4,800-8,600 feet above sea level. Topography-wise, 50% of the road passes through valleys and 50% through mountainous terrain. The gross cost of the road amounted to US$38.01 million.
The geographically mountainous work site, rugged as it may be and with harsh weather conditions, especially in winter, was no obstacle to accomplishing the mission as per modern technical and engineering specifications to achieve world standards.
Today, the inhabitants of South Waziristan find life more convenient and are able to travel easily and enjoy the exquisite scenery along Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Road which provides them with a new artery for life and modern culture.
Makeen-Miranshah Road Makeen-Miranshah Road is a modern development project being carried out in both South and North Waziristan. It is a vital transportation project that links Makeen in the north of South Waziristan with Miranshah in the northern FATA Province, and serves the inhabitants of 3 towns and 20 villages.
The 72 kilometre-long, 9 meter-wide Makeen-Miranshah Road cuts through one of the most difficult and rigid mountainous areas, and crosses over 10 bridges, each being 10.4 meters wide. The bridge, which has 172 sewers, side protection walls, and 26.2 kilometre-long cement beams, cost US$60,600 million.
Breakdown of projects Education Educational premises were severely hit and devastated by seasonal floods and military operations, leaving local students short of schools and forced to study in the open air, in tents, on roof-tops or in make-shift venues. The situation worsened in winters due to the harsh weather conditions.
Students had to move as they could not afford excessive living costs, and with the transportation infrastructure severely damaged, it would take them hours to get to make-shift schools. It became even worse for girls who could not commute to distant schools. Ambitions and dreams of a better life were washed away by floods, thus making students of stricken areas suffer the loss of a full academic year due to lack of schools, universities and institutes.
UAE PAP Education Score Sheet Number of Projects: 60 Cost: US$41,519,000 UAE PAP took the initiative to help Pakistan by building and equipping 60 educational projects as per modern international standards. This initiative was taken upon the directives of UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to support and upgrade the educational infrastructure in Pakistan and build proper facilities for students to study in a convenient environment.
The directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed resulted in the sponsorship of 53 projects as a first stage to absorb 30,000 students. As many as 43 primary to secondary schools and 10 technical colleges and institutes were built under this project.
Stage II is being carried out to set up and upgrade 3 colleges and 4 new women's rehabilitation centres at a total cost of US$14.4 million.
Educational projects were carried out in a number of regions in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, South Waziristan, Bajaur and Mohmand Agency, where students had lost their schools and had to make an exhaustive trip on a daily basis in order to reach schools in remote locations.
Under the plan carried out by the UAE to upgrade primary, higher and academic education in Pakistan, newly built schools, colleges and institutes were equipped with the latest educational aids and academic and computer labs to enable students to learn modern science on the latest equipment from primary up to higher-studies stages. Workshops equipped with practical and technical training equipment and all the requirements for diploma-level students were also provided.
Schools built in those regions represent a huge contribution by the UAE. The generous humanitarian initiatives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa played an active role in the academic and cultural rehabilitation and upgrading of the individual - a role these educational institutions will pursue and extend to a new generation of the Pakistani people - one adequately capable of meeting future challenges.
Swat-based Women Vocational Training and Rehabilitation Centre (WVTRC) The Women Vocational Training and Rehabilitation Centre (WVTRC), the first of its kind, was set up in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at a total cost of US$481,649. The 25,000 square feet centre was equipped with the latest specialist machines and equipment to train women in sewing, embroidery, leather ware, design and decoration. The centre also offers training courses in designing artefacts, sewing and tailoring, beauty and wax making, cooking and first aid.
The centre serves to empower Swati women and help them run their houses financially by acquiring modern training-based skills.
Upon female trainees' request, and to ensure their safe travel from and to the centre in difficult conditions, a new bus was gifted by UAE PAP management to alleviate their suffering.
Bajaur College of Technology (BCT) Bajaur College of Technology (BCT) was designed to contribute to the all-round development of the individual and the community in Pakistan. It is a valuable essential asset to improve the living conditions of the youth and open the labour market for them. BCT's mission is to train and raise the skills of high school graduates and prepare them to be effective elements in the community, capable of raising their own technical and practical skills and becoming self-dependent. BCT is also destined to play a leading role in boosting industrial and agricultural development to the highest level possible. Key to this development is to prepare and upgrade well-trained manpower which is capable of handling modern technology in various specialties - a mission accomplished by BCT which boasts the latest educational aids, programmes and vocational training.
BCT, which cost US$3.418 million, spans 45,000 square feet and accommodates a number of halls, workshops and laboratories equipped with the latest education and training machines and equipment, in addition to specialist departments for mining, mechanics, industry, electricity and technical skills. BCT is qualified to train and graduate as many as 500 students every year.
Jahanzeb Post Graduate Degree College (JPC), Swat Jahanzeb Post Graduate Degree College (JPC), the oldest educational institution in Malakand, was established in 1952 to grant degrees in 7 specialist branches, and it accommodates 300 students. JPC was rebuilt on an area of 3,577 square meters to house modern academic departments. The new facility has a main lecture auditorium, 10 classrooms, 4 laboratories, 16 teaching and administrative staff offices and an administration building. The project was completed at a cost of US$1.209 million.
Warsak College, Peshawar Warsak College is a new institution built near Peshawar to offer specialised education to top high school achievers to prepare them to enter the fields of medicine, engineering and computing. The 600 student-College celebrates the graduation of 120 students yearly, and offers a 5 year-course of study leading to High School Certificate duly certified by the Peshawar Preparatory and Secondary Education Board qualifying graduates to enrol in university Bachelor degree courses.
The facility consists of an academic department, gymnasium, a mosque, a main lecture room, 12 classrooms, 3 laboratories, 8 teaching and administrative staff offices, teacher-student dormitory and a dining room. The project cost US$2.017m and Stage II of development was started at a total cost of US$3.025m.
Wana College, South Waziristan Wana College is a new facility, the first of its kind in South Waziristan, which offers a specialist education to top secondary school students to qualify them to join colleges of medicine, engineering and computer science. The 3,623 square meter college, which accommodates 500 students, offers a 5 year-course of study. The facility has an academic section, a gym, a mosque, a main lecture hall, 6 classrooms, 4 laboratories, 12 teaching and administrative staff offices, teacher-student dormitories and a dining room. The project cost US$2.383m. Work is underway for Stage II at a total cost of US$3.025m.
Spinkai Raghzai College Spinkai Raghzai College is situated in Gand Wala, Southern Waziristanm, where English and Urdu are the chosen languages of teaching. The College curricula were prepared by the Preparatory and Secondary Education Board in Deirat Ismail Khan. The College has 3 majors for medical, engineering and computer science prequalification for prep grade students who must have finished grade 7 and be 12-13 years old in order to be eligible for admission.
The College accommodates 400 students, of whom 80 graduate yearly. It offers a 5 year course of study leading to High School Certificate duly certified by the Peshawar Preparatory and Secondary Education Board qualifying graduates to enrol in university Bachelor Degree courses. The College, which serves the locals in Southern Waziristan, Tank, Gandola, Deirat Ismail and Banwa, has an administrative department, two academic departments, 4 dormitories for students, a dining room, lecture rooms, a hospital, a mosque, administrator-teacher dormitories, sports grounds and an equestrian club.
Wadudia Model School (WMS) Wadudia Model School (WMS) was built as a first-of-its-kind facility in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province to accommodate 685 students. The 1,545 square meter, 2 story-school has a main lecture room, 16 classrooms, a computer lab, 3 science laboratories, teacher-administrator offices and modern sports grounds. The school has been equipped with modern educational aids, computers and science lab equipment. WMS cost US$500,000.
Wana Model School Wana Model School was built as a first-of-its-kind facility in South Waziristan to accommodate 150 students. The 774 square meter, 2 story-school has a main lecture room, 5 classrooms, a computer lab, library, teacher-administrator offices and modern sports grounds. The school was equipped with modern educational aids, computers and science lab equipment. The school cost US$500,000.
Health Even before the devastating floods struck Pakistan in 2010, not all inhabitants had access to proper health services. Women and children were the most deprived of comprehensive medical care, bringing about a high mortality rate due to lack of medical supervision in maternity cases, lack of serums, medicine and malnutrition.
Floods were the final stroke to the remaining medical services, and delay in delivering first aid supplies caused many avoidable deaths. Pain and sorrow were rampant due to a severe lack of medical supplies and rescue teams. Patients had to walk several miles to reach medical clinics, with many - especially women, children and the elderly - unable to travel or afford medical treatment because of the deteriorating economic conditions.
UAE PAP Health Score Sheet Number of Projects: 8 Cost: US$125,887,000 UAE PAP sponsored health projects were top priority in the UAE PAP humanitarian plans as the UAE political leadership, represented by the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, firmly believed that there was dire need to support Pakistan's health sector in order to exercise its role in extending medical service and improve public health, especially in distant areas where the lack of basic and vital services was severe.
UAE PAP management sponsored a number of health programmes and projects to boost Pakistan's Health Ministry efforts and capabilities to upgrade medical services. The sponsorship provided for the setting up of, equipping and maintaining 8 hospitals/clinics in Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, South Waziristan and Bajaur at a total cost of US$125,887,000. These projects were carried out to modern international standards, architecturally and technically, to provide high class medical care, and enable hospitals to competently extend medical treatment to those in need. Clinics were fully supplied with equipment necessary to run medical examinations, offer modern diagnosis and extend a high quality, integrated service to the locals.
Special attention was given to extending healthcare to women and children as a cornerstone of family health. Two model hospitals were approved to offer treatment to women, children and emergency cases: Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital in Saidu Sharif, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Sheikha Fatima bin Mubarak Hospital which is being built in South Waziristan.
Emirates Hospital Built at a cost of US$108 million, the Emirates Hospital, one of the largest health projects built in Pakistan in recent years, is a specialist hospital in the capital, Islamabad, and is designed to receive critical cases referred by other hospitals. Equipped with the latest medical laboratories and equipment to provide the best medical care, the Emirates Hospital will be academically approved to train interns. It accommodates 1000 beds to receive 6000 patients daily (2 million each year) and 16 well-equipped operation theatres capable of executing 50 surgical procedures daily.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital The 5,430 square meter, 100-bed Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital was set up in Saidu Sharif, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It consists of departments as varied as general medicine, gynaecology, maternity, paediatrics and emergency, in addition to operation theatres, admission wards and intensive care units (ICU's).
Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Hospital The 4,330 square meter, 50-bed Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Hospital, which is being built in Sholam, South Waziristan, consists of an out-patient clinic, gynaecology, maternity, paediatrics and emergency departments. The Hospital boasts a kidney dialysis centre and a preventive medicine unit (both of these being the first of their kind in the region), infantile inoculation, operation theatres, admission wardens and intensive care units (ICU's).
Bajaur Hospital The 1,762 square meter, 70-bed Bajaur Hospital accommodates a number of specialised departments to conduct medical examinations for men, women and children. The 2-story Hospital has two patient units for quarantine, two for surgery, one for kidney dialysis, a brain image analysis unit (BIAU) and 14 patient care and nursing rooms. It has psychology, chest disease and urology departments, outpatient clinics and emergency wardens. The hospital serves around 800.000 patients in Bajaur, Lower Dir and Mohmand tribal areas.
Medical Institute, Saidu Sharif The Medical Institute, Saidu Sharif, holds academic courses in health, pharmaceuticals, dentistry, pathology, surgery, child care, physiotherapy, anaesthesia, X-ray, cardiology, psychology, contagious diseases, kidney dialysis, ophthalmology, emergency and neurology.
The two year course of study combines theoretical as well as practical training, and students, who must obtain High School Certificate (Science Section), are shortlisted on merit and competence basis. 50% of seats are set aside for females.
The Institute has 300 students who obtain, upon graduation, a health service diploma, and the Institute is planning to join with Khyber University where graduates would obtain Bachelor's degrees in Health Sciences.
Other Health Projects - Breakdown Water Supply Swat Valley was not spared by the heavy rain and floods which hit north-western Pakistan in 2010. Reinforced concrete bridges, roads and buildings were swept away by torrential rain, and the situation was worsened by fears of diseases resultant from stale water and infrastructure badly devastated by floods. Also hit were power supply networks, leaving water purification plants inoperative and inhabitants unable to get purified potable water. Making potable water available was crucial for the majority of inhabitants who had to travel several miles to secure their needs.
Floods triggered sewage problems which helped to spread serious diseases, thus making disease combat a top priority with cases of diarrhoea, hepatitis and cholera rising steadily.
UAE PAP Water Supply Projects Score Sheet Number of Projects: 7 Cost: US$6,973,000 Within the framework of efforts intended to make available purified potable water, UAE PAP implemented 76 projects, including 44 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 20 in South Waziristan, 10 in Mohmand Agency and 2 in Southern Waziristan at a total cost of US$6,973,000.
Stage I provided for the execution of 64 projects, including 44 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 20 in South Waziristan at a cost of US$5,774,000. Twelve projects were carried out in Stage II, including 10 in Mohmand Agency and 2 in South Waziristan at a total cost of US$1,200,000.
These projects covered digging wells, building water desalination plants, tanks and pumps and extending potable water pipe networks to some 10,000 beneficiaries.
Spirit of Solidarity Humanitarian Assistance Floods forced many families in remote areas to relocate inland near the main cities. Many had lost their homes, and orphans and widows needed shelter, food and medical care.
On the humanitarian front, UAE PAP provided relief, food, school bags and serums and launched awareness campaigns to fight diseases and epidemics. Food baskets were distributed to alleviate the suffering of the homeless in vast areas of Pakistan. Fifty five tons of dates were distributed to poor and needy families in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and South Waziristan.
UAE PAP Humanitarian Assistance Score Sheet Inoculation Campaigns Diseases and epidemics went viral in Swat Valley because of the destructive floods. To protect children against diseases, UAE PAP organised regular inoculation campaigns against measles and infantile paralysis throughout the area to benefit the largest number possible of children. In September 2012, as many as 20,000 children were inoculated, and a plan was laid out to set into motion the generous initiative of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to bring epidemics under control, prevent health hazards of floods and natural disasters, and support international efforts/initiatives to eliminate these dangerous diseases. The initiative is intended to provide inoculation against infantile paralysis to 11 million children in 2013/2014/2015 at a total cost of US$50 million. These campaigns will reach 11 towns and villages in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 13 towns and villages in FATA Provinces for 3 years running.
Distribution of Food Assistance In implementation of the directives of the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to deliver food assistance to the needy and the poor in order to alleviate their suffering and offer them a decent life, The UAE PAP management offered Pakistan 63,000 baskets of food at a total cost of US$3.138 million to distribute to the homeless hit by floods and military operations in 2012/2013. Fifty five tons of dates were distributed to the poor and the needy in various areas and provinces.
School Bag Initiative Within the framework of the UAE's efforts to promote and support child education and provide a suitable teaching environment, the UAE PAP management distributed 60,000 school bags, filled with all necessary items and notebooks with an introduction of the UAE, to pupils of low-income and poor families and orphans in 2012/2013. Towns and villages in Swat Valley are now teeming with male and female students heading for their schools carrying UAE PAP bags: a visual testament to the support being offered by the UAE. - Emirates News Agency, WAM
Under directives of UAE President, 12 projects to provide clean drinking water in Pakistan launched
posted on 29/12/2013
In implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the administration of the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan, UAE PAP, has announced the launch of new projects to provide clean drinking water in Pakistan at a cost of US$1.2 million.
The President's initiative aims to support the people of Pakistan, contribute to developing its provinces and cities, and providing them with modern developmental facilities in addition to securing basic services for the community in the roads, bridges, education, health and water fields.
The administration of the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan pointed out that the new projects represent the commencement of the second phase of the projects' working plan, in the light of the directives and generous initiatives of 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 the relentless efforts of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, to provide help for Pakistan so as to develop its infrastructure, including vital projects.
In a statement, the Project Administration said that it had approved and started work on the new projects, in addition establishing water treatment and purification plants and extending delivery networks to provide sweet water to 12 villages in remote areas in Northern Waziristan.
It also aims to secure basic needs of sweet and clean water for people in remote areas who suffer from health problems.
The statement also added that the administration is continuing to provide aid to all Pakistan regions and cover the largest segments of society, especially in the field of infrastructure, where the first phase witnessed the implementation of 64 projects which serve 64 villages in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, South of Waziristan and Bajaur region, at a total cost of US$5,773,135.
The beneficiaries hailed the initiatives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to improve their standards of living and alleviate the suffering of the Pakistani people. - Emirates News Agency, WAM
Al Jaber: Economic development in any country is linked to its security and political stability
posted on 25/12/2013
Cairo: Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, has said that the economic development in any country is linked to its security and political stability, adding that the Egyptian government has achieved positive progress on the roadmap.
He made his remarks during his visit yesterday to a number of villages in Qena and Luxor.
During the visit, Al Jaber was briefed on the progress of work on building schools and health centres funded by the UAE within the on-going projects aimed at serving Egyptian citizens, in a fast and direct way.
He added that there are many indications in the confidence of the international community that Egypt is moving in the right direction as the "Egyptian-Gulf Investment Forum" succeeded in attracting investors from around the world .
He explained that he is working on the implementation of the directives of the leadership of the United Arab Emirates to follow-up support projects on the ground, for the benefit of the Egyptian citizens in line with the close historical relations that bind the UAE with its brothers in Egypt .
Major General Tariq Saad Eddin, Governor of Luxor, expressed his thanks to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan 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 the strong support of the United Arab Emirates for Egypt.
He also welcomed the visit of the UAE delegation to oversee the work progress in respect of support projects carried out under the supervision of the armed forces, pointing out that one of the largest squares in Luxor was named after Sheikh Khalifa due to large popular demand, in recognition of the historical stances of the UAE to support Egypt .
Major General Abdul Hamid Hagan, Governor of Qena, stated that the UAE supports some projects in Qena, including the establishment of a health unit in Kom El Mo'meneen as one of nine health units to be completely replaced.
He added that the visit of the UAE delegation included a secondary school in the village of Dendera in addition to their viewing examples of the many projects being carried out in Qena, which includes 28 health units and 1,488 residential units.
The people of Qena expressed their sincere thanks and appreciation of the UAE's support to Egypt and its people. - Emirates News Agency, WAM
Egyptian Prime Minister, UAE Minister of State discuss US$4.9 billion aid package
posted on 24/12/2013
Cairo: Egypt's Interim Prime Minister, Hazem el-Beblawi, on Monday received Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State, in presence of Ziad Bahaa El-Din, Minister of International Cooperation, to discuss the projects included in the UAE's US$4.9 billion aid package to Egypt, announced last October.
Egypt's Cabinet Spokesman, Ambassador Hani Salah, in a press release, said Minister Al Jaber's current visit is aimed at following up progress on the implementation of projects included in the US$4.9 billion framework agreement, signed by the two countries during el-Belblawi's visit to UAE in October 2013 in order to provide support for Egypt's development plans and for the efforts to improve living conditions of Egyptians.
Minister Al Jaber, in his remarks at the meeting with the Egyptian prime minister, noted that Upper Egypt (the region known in Arabic as Sa'eed Misr) receives special attention from the UAE aid to the country. Al Jaber will visit a number of towns and villages in the region in order to assess the needs for the process of development, according to the Egyptian spokesman.
The UAE's US$4.9 billion aid package to Egypt will be dedicated for building 25 wheat silos, each with a capacity of 60,000 tonnes, and the construction of 79 family healthcare centres, 50,000 housing units as well as two vaccine production lines to raise Egypt's self-efficiency in this vital sector to 80% On his part, el-Beblawi asked Minister Al Jaber to convey his greetings to 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. He expressed appreciation of the recent visit of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, to Egypt during which he met with senior officials.
The Egyptian prime minister said the support extended by UAE to Egypt is important, not only because it is the biggest support provided by Arab countries, but also because it came early and just in time when Egypt was in need.
El-Beblawi noted that UAE is managing its aid to Egypt in a 'unique way' as UAE Government authorised Minister Al Jaber to manage the process and established a permanent office in Cairo for this purpose.
At the meeting, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber conveyed to el-Beblawi greetings from 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.
Minister Al Jaber congratulated the Egyptian people on the advent of the New Year and expressed his wishes for further stability and development in Egypt. He also expressed pleasure at the current development in Egypt and the progress made on the implementation of the roadmap, in particular as preparations are underway for the forthcoming referendum on the country's new constitution, according to the Egyptian Cabinet's press release.
Dr. Al Jaber conveyed to el-Beblawi greetings from 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. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
PAP completes first $ 500,000 model school in S. Waziristan
posted on 22/12/2013
South Waziristan: In implementation of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan's instructions to support education sector in Pakistan, management of the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan (PAP) has announced the completion of construction in the first-ever model school of Wana in South Waziristan at a total cost of US$500,000.
PAP management said the two-storey 774 square metre school will accommodate 150 students and house lecture hall, five classrooms, a library, computer, IT and science laboratories, offices for administrators and teachers and modern sports facilities to enable students tale their lessons in an ideal learning environment.
According to the PAP management, the South Waziristan was chosen to build this state-of-the-art school for lack of education and other basic infrastructure utilities like roads and transport modes. The President's initiatives in the area also included vital health, education, transport and water projects.
It added establishment of such schools will revive students' hope to get education in modern schools even in remote area, therefore ensuring better future for them and for their families. These institutions will help Pakistan groom a new well-educated and professionally qualified generation who are capable of addressing future challenges.
Guardians praised the role of the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for supporting learning process by building modern schools.
They noted that what happened in their region was a significant transformation toward the better that South Waziristan has never witnessed in decades.
They said that distribution of school bags and stationary was a positive step in the best interest of low-income families, poor and orphan students as it will ease their financial burdens. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
60 per cent of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Hospital in completed
posted on 15/12/2013
Peshawar: Upon directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to provide support and humanitarian and developmental aid for Pakistan, the Emirati project to assist Pakistan announced the completion of 60 per cent of a US$5 million hospital in Shulam area of South Waziristan, Pakistan.
The hospital, named the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Hospital and located in the South of Wazirstan, is funded by the UAE.
The Emirati Project to Assist Pakistan management said that working to complete that vital and health project comes in translation for the directives of Sheikh Khalifa, in the light of his keenness to develop infrastructure and improve the medical, health and social aspects of the local populations.
The hospital has its special importance, since it is named after H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the Women's General Union, of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.
It will also be the latest and first of its kind hospital, which would provide medical services in Wazirstan Area.
The Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Hospital in South Waziristan is a 50-bed facility dedicated to the treatment of women, children and the elderly in an area with inadequate health care.
The Hospital is built on a 4,330 square-metre plot of land.
The population of the area expressed their appreciation and thanks to the U.A.E's humanitarian initiatives towards their country, stressing the Sheikh Fatima bin Mubarak Hospital would be a big qualitative leap for health institutions in the region and province. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
Khalifa Foundation discusses support for development projects in Kazakhstan
posted on 12/12/2013
Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has discussed prospects of supporting development projects in Kazakhstan.
This came during a meeting between Mohammed Haji Al Khouri, Director-General of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation and Kairat Lama Sharif, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the UAE
The two sides discussed a number of ideas and proposals aimed at increasing cooperation between Kazakhstan and Khalifa Foundation along with the implementation of some development projects in the future.
Sharif commended the charitable and humanitarian activities of Zayed Foundation for alleviating human sufferings and provision of relief to people facing wars, calamities and natural disasters. He also noted the humanitarian and development projects carried out by the Foundation in many countries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
UAE donates US$ 2 mn to OIC's Islamic Solidarity Fund
posted on 12/12/2013
Conakry: The UAE on Wednesday donated US$ 2 million to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's Islamic Solidarity Fund (Isf) and its Waqf to enable it play its rope properly.
The UAE donation was announced by Abdullah bin Mohammed Saeed Ghobash, UAE Minister of State, during his address to the 40th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Member States of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation which concluded yesterday in Conakry, Guinea.
The Jeddah-based Islamic Solidarity Fund, a subsidiary organ of the OIC, was established to take all possible steps to raise the intellectual and moral levels of the Muslims in the world; provide required material relief in case of emergencies such as natural catastrophes and man-made disasters, that may befall the Islamic States; and to grant assistance to Muslim minorities and communities so as to improve their religious, social and cultural standards.
'The UAE, under the guidance of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is closely monitoring conditions of the Islamic people and communities so as to deliver humanitarian and development aid to many of Islamic countries,' the UAE minister said.
The donation, he added, was in consistence with the UAE's established foreign policy principles and commitment to its Gulf, Arab and Islamic loyalty and belonging.
'Our foreign policy derives its principles from the Charter of the United Nations and the provisions of international law, especially those calling for peaceful coexistence, confidence-building, good neighbourliness, mutual respect, non-interference in the internal affairs of the State, and pursuing peaceful means in resolving conflicts and disputes.' 'On the basis of these principles, and commitment to security and stability in the Gulf region, my Government expresses, once again, its regret regarding the continued Iranian occupation of our three islands: Abu Musa, and Greater and Lesser Tunbs, and demands the restoration of the UAE's full sovereignty over these islands. We emphasise that all actions and measures taken by the Iranian occupation authorities are null and void, and are contrary to international law and to all norms and common human values. Therefore, we urge Iran to respond to the repeated peaceful, sincere calls of the United Arab Emirates for a just settlement of this issue, either through direct, serious negotiations or by referral to the International Court of Justice to settle this dispute in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter and the provisions of international law,' he said.
The UAE minister also touched in his address on the situations in Syria and Egypt. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
Khalifa Foundation helps Syrian students in Lebanon
posted on 10/12/2013
Beirut: The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has paid the school expenses for a group of Syrian refugee students in Lebanon.
Families of the beneficiary students thanked the UAE and President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the unwavering support for the needy across the world.
They noted that the UAE pursues the humanitarian approach of its founder, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The humanitarian aid operation of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation in Lebanon also provides medicine for Syrian refugee patients with chronic diseases in Bekaa Valley and Wadi Khaled town in Akkar area. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
Lubna, Kyrgyzstan's Minister of Economy and Antimonopoly discuss ways of strengthening UAE-Kyrgyz relations
posted on 08/12/2013
Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Development and International Co-operation, and Kyrgystan's Minister of Economy '&' Anti-monopoly Policies, Temir Sariev, have discussed ways of strengthening cooperation between their countries, advancing the efficiency of their partnership in all development, economic and cultural spheres, as well as exchanging visits by tourism and trade delegations.
Sheikha Lubna, in remarks at the meeting with the Kyrgyz minister who leads a delegation of Kyrgyz government officials and members of the parliament on a current visit to the UAE, affirmed that UAE is looking forward to enhancing relations with, and openness to the rest of the world based on a vision which seeks to achieve common interests and promote cooperation with all countries. She noted that UAE, under its wise leadership, made huge leaps for its international relationships contributing to the strengthening of its national development strategies, and maximising its positive effect on the region and the world.
Affirming that UAE is interested in expanding its relations with Kyrgyzstan in particular, and all Central Asia countries in general, Minister Al Qasimi underlined the importance of increasing the number of visits by Kyrgyz investors and businessmen interested in exploring the promising investment and growth opportunities offered by UAE, and in benefiting from the its favourable business climate, competitive facilitations and strategic location as a gateway between East and West, in addition to participating in the various exhibitions and conferences organised in UAE.
On his part, Minister Sariev extended his country's greetings to the UAE on the occasion of its 42nd National Day and on winning bid to host the world EXPO 2020. He affirmed that Kyrgyzstan is looking forward to enhancing its relations with UAE in various spheres including economy, investment and trade exchange.
The meeting was attended by Hazza Al Qahtani, Undersecretary at UAE Ministry of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD), Rashid Al Shamisi, Director of Aid Coordination at MICAD, Kuban Omuraliev, Consul General of Kyrgyzstan in UAE, Maksatbek D. Dyikanov, State Secretary under Kyrgyzstan's Ministry of Transport and Communications, and Marat Sultanov and Zosbaly Ezayeiv, Kyrgyz Members of the Parliament. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
Khalifa Fund and Egypt's Social Fund for Development Sign US $200 million agreement
posted on 06/12/2013
Cairo: The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (Khalifa Fund) and Egypt's Social Fund for Development (SFD) signed a framework agreement yesterday outlining joint efforts to boost development and opportunities for small and micro sized enterprises in Egypt. The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the Egypt/GCC Investment Forum, which kicked off in Cairo yesterday.
Ibrahim Ahmed Al Mansouri, Khalifa Fund's Chief Operations Officer, and Ghada Wali, SFD's Managing Director, signed the agreement in the presence of the Egyptian Prime Minister, Dr. Hazem El Beblawi, UAE Minister of State, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Egypt's Deputy Prime Minister for the Economic Affairs and Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Ziad Bahaa-Eldin and the UAE's Ambassador to Egypt, Mohammad bin Nukheira Al Daheri.
The framework agreement stipulates that the UAE will provide US $200 million (Dh 736 million), via the Khalifa Fund, to the SFD in order to catalyse the start-up of small and micro sized enterprises with the overarching goal for these businesses to achieve significant socio-economic impact throughout Egypt.
The agreement aims to establish a mutually-beneficial framework for future cooperation between both entities through investments in projects which will contribute to the development of impoverished areas throughout the country, with a focus on expanding social funding programmes for women and youth with an objective of increasing employment opportunities and income generation.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said, "The wise leadership of the UAE has asked us to identify development opportunities for Egyptian citizens in various sectors. We are pleased to sign this agreement during the Egypt/GCC Investment Forum, a platform that demonstrates our willingness to further the cooperation between Gulf countries and Egypt. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development and Egypt's Social Fund for Development for their efforts in creating this agreement, which sets the structural framework for the launch of many innovative projects centred around sustainability and empowerment." He added, "This agreement reflects the UAE's vision to boost sustainable development and foster Egypt's human capital; focusing specifically on women and youth. We are confident that these segments of society will be able to launch their own unique projects and businesses, which will contribute to income generation and poverty reduction." He concluded by saying that the strength of the relationship between both countries will continually ensure that the UAE will stand by the people of Egypt during challenging times as it regains its regional leadership position. Dr. Al Jaber also stressed that economic stability is the foundation of national security as well as political and social stability.
Al Jaber emphasised that this agreement aims to foster a new and innovative entrepreneurial culture that hopes to instil optimism and positive mindsets.
Dr. Ziad Bahaa-Eldin, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of International Cooperation of Egypt, said, "The United Arab Emirates is a sister country to the Arab Republic of Egypt and cooperation between the two countries in the field of small enterprises seeks to implement a strategic partnership for investment in the Egyptian economy, and the promotion of an entrepreneurial culture through more production, innovation, and development." Dr. Bahaa-Eldin stressed that, "The United Arab Emirates is notorious for its nationalist positions in support of all Arab countries. The active participation of the UAE in the Egypt-GCC Investment Forum and the signing of this agreement reflects the strength of our fraternal relations with the UAE and the depth of the bonds between the two countries." Khalifa Fund's Chief Operations Officer, Mr. Al Mansouri, agreed, calling the agreement "an important step towards building strategic relations with the SFD as it seeks to reduce poverty and unemployment." Furthermore, he described the agreement as an opportunity to work closely with its new partners at the SFD and learn more about Egypt's numerous promising industries and sectors that may benefit from the joint venture through capacity building efforts to become sources of creative job opportunities.
Ghada Fathy Waly, Managing Director of the Social Fund for Development of Egypt, said, "The agreement constitutes an important step towards further cooperation with our brothers in the UAE through the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, which is a pioneering institution on the Arab and Regional levels in the field of diffusion and promotion of entrepreneurship, and the creation of an enabling environment for the Small and Medium Enterprises sector." Ms. Waly added, "The two Funds will work side by side to put in place the organisational and financial frameworks that will determine the features of the future cooperation between the two parties." She continued, "The focus will be on developing the poorest areas, and maximizing job creation especially for young people and women." According to the framework agreement, the Khalifa Fund will provide financial and non-financial support for small and micro ventures through the Social Fund for Development. The agreement also stipulates new levels of cooperation between both parties and the necessity of data sharing to ensure the success of the mission and achieve the framework's objectives.
The Egypt/GCC Investment Forum, in collaboration with the United Arab Emirates, aims to strengthen the strategic partnership between Egypt and the GCC. The Forum focuses on updating GCC countries on the various investment opportunities in Egypt, the most recent amendments to investment laws, as well as providing a platform for candid discussions on the current investment challenges.
On its opening day, the Forum was attended by over 1000 delegates from Egypt and the GCC.