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Mansour bin Zayed donates Dh1m to Hepatitis patients in Egypt
posted on 22/11/2015

H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, has issued directives to step up preparations for the Zayed Charity Marathon (ZCM), to be organised in Cairo on 18th December. The proceeds of the race would go to the Hepatitis patients there.
Sheikh Mansour donated Dh 1 million to the Hepatitis patients, who will benefit from the marathon which will be held for the second time in Cairo. The Egyptian capital is the third city after New York and Abu Dhabi to host the internationally-acclaimed ZCM.
Proceeds from the last year's Zayed Charity Marathon in Cairo went to the children with cancer. The Cairo marathon is being organised on the orders of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. It has been arranged by the ZCM higher organising committee, in collaboration with the UAE's National Olympic Committee, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the Coordination Office of UAE-funded Development Projects in Egypt, the UAE Embassy in Cairo and the Egyptian ministries of youth and sports and health.
Sheikh Mansour's contribution embodies the UAE leadership's unlimited support to humanitarian and charitable initiatives from the UAE to lend a helping hand to the people in need in the Arab countries and the whole world. It is an extension of the approach of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and is in line with the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The chairman of the ZCM organising committee, Lt. General (Rtd.) Mohammed Hilal Al Kaabi, thanked Sheikh Mansour for his donation and praised his continuous contributions to the humanitarian and charitable causes.
He said that marathon will witness Emirati and Egyptian activities to send a message of peace and amity through sports. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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ADFD supports economic development in Morocco
posted on 22/11/2015

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has played an active role in supporting sustainable development in the Kingdom of Morocco since 1976. Over the past 40 years, the fund has implemented several successful development projects in Morocco, accelerating economic development throughout the country.
Related to key economic sectors, the projects have helped Morocco achieve social and economic development in areas such as transportation, water and agriculture, healthcare, housing, education and electricity.
In 2013, the UAE offered Dh 4.6 billion (US$ 1.25billion) to Morocco, within the framework of the Gulf Development Fund, in line with the GCC countries' US$5 billion grant programme to finance development projects in Morocco over a five-year period. The UAE grant, managed by ADFD, focused on sectors vital to the economic and social development of Morocco.
With this, the total value of the concessionary loans and government grants administered by ADFD in Morocco reached Dh 7.3 billion allocated towards the funding and managing of a total of 64 development projects.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said, "The development assistance provided by the UAE to the Kingdom of Morocco through ADFD is a reflection of close ties and long-standing cordial relations between the two countries. The diverse portfolio of projects undertaken by ADFD in Morocco articulates our pledge to support the brotherly and friendly countries in successfully overcoming their most pressing economic and development challenges. As part of our ongoing commitment to promoting sustainable economic and social development in Morocco, we support key economic sectors that strengthen the Moroccan national economy and ease the economic burden of its people."
In line with its belief that a sound modern infrastructure is an important first step to building a strong and well-developed economy, ADFD has allocated a total of Dh2 billion in concessionary loans and grants towards the development of 11 projects in the vital transportation sector.
Of this amount, Dh 367.3 million was provided in loans to finance the construction of a high-speed rail network linking the cities of Tangier and Kenitra in Morocco. The project aims to build a highly competitive railway network in terms of safety and connectivity to meet the anticipated growth in the merchandise and passenger movement. The project will also cater to the needs of the upcoming Tangier Port, another important infrastructure undertaking funded by ADFD in Morocco. Expected to cut the travel time between the two cities from five hours to around 2.5 hours, the high speed train will accelerate the pace of economic growth through doubling the container traffic as well as increasing passenger movement from three million to 10 million per annum.
ADFD is also focused on developing Morocco's maritime infrastructure through improving the role of seaports in propelling economic growth and boosting investment. In 2002, the Fund extended Dh1 billion including Dh734.6 million in concessionary loans and Dh367.3 billion in grants (managed by the Fund) towards the development of Tangier Port.
The project includes the construction of a 35km deep water port east of Tangier on the Mediterranean Sea. It will create a special economic zone and provide thousands of new job opportunities for the Moroccan youth.
Housing is another important sector supported by ADFD in Morocco as part of its priority to achieve social stability and development in Morocco. The Fund has leveraged the UAE's contribution within the GCC's development grant program for Morocco, supporting the housing sector through the allocation of Dh830 million. The grant has been used to support the housing sector in several major cities of Morocco, offering a strong boost to the Moroccan government's efforts to raise the standard of living in the country.
This project has provided housing assistance for hundreds of thousands of families from the low-income category in several Moroccan cities, including 108,000 housing units in Marrakech, 42,800 housing units in Casablanca, 91,000 housing units in Pullman in Fez, 41,800 housing units in the east, 58,800 housing units in Tangier and Tetouan and 56,300 housing units in Meknes.
With these projects, the total value of loans and grants allocated by the Fund towards supporting the housing sector in Morocco over the past decades exceeded Dh1 billion allocated towards funding 17 projects.
In line with ADFD's commitment towards supporting the social and economic development in Morocco, the Fund has managed 7 projects to improve the water sector in Morocco, an important priority for the Moroccan Government to improve the standard of living of the people of Morocco. To date, the Fund has extended a total of Dh738 million in concessionary loans and grants to support this vital sector.
As part of the GCC support programme for Morocco, ADFD has administered a number of government grants to support the water sector in Morocco, notably the construction of Kharoub dam which aims to provide the residents of Tangier and Asilah with drinking water through the construction of a 60-meter high dam near the city of Tangier. The dam, with a capacity of about 200 million cubic meters, will be used for storing rainwater and water flows from the valleys. The UAE's contribution to the construction of the dam is Dh 501 million.
ADFD is also contributing to a project to supply drinking water to Khouribga city and surrounding areas through the setting up of a treatment plant, a pumping station and a 6km long and 1.6 diameter canal. The UAE allocated Dh 88.9 million towards this project.
ADFD has funded and managed 5 healthcare facilities in Morocco through the allocation of Dh 423 million aimed at improving the quality of healthcare services offered to Moroccan citizens in various parts of the country.
The Zayed Hospital in Rabat, funded by a government grant in 1989, demonstrates the UAE's priority to provide world-class healthcare services to the people of Morocco. ADFD also managed another government grant to equip the Mohammed VI University Hospital Centre in Marrakech, a 916-bed healthcare facility that spread across an area of 8.8 hectares. The Centre includes a department for maternity and paediatrics, accommodating 247 beds over an area of 20,260 square meters.
The second part of the centre, built on an area of 54,500 square meters, includes a specialised hospital with 585 beds and a 84 bed oncology hospital as well as a number of in-patient clinics. The UAE's contribution to the project is about Dh 238.7 million.
Given the important role of education in the development and prosperity of nations, ADFD has been keen to fund several educational projects in Morocco through the UAE's allocation within the GCC development grant. This includes 12 projects worth Dh360 million aimed at improving the higher education landscape in the country. The grant was earmarked to establish several vocational training institutes, build and expand university campuses, and set up and equip a college of medicine and pharmacy in Morocco.
Agriculture is an important contributor to the Moroccan economy and ADFD has supported this sector through the allocation of Dh 200 million for three vital projects. Of these projects, Western Plain Agricultural project was funded in 1979 with a loan from ADFD. The project aims to improve the living standards of people in the Western region of Morocco by creating new job opportunities as well as expanding agricultural land through bringing about fundamental changes to the irrigation system.
The project covers an area of 45,500 hectares north of the city of Rabat. ADFD has also supported other agricultural projects in Morocco including Central Al Haouz that was supported in 1982 with the objective of raising the standard of living of people through accelerating agricultural production. The project also helped increase power generation from hydroelectric resources and facilitated the supply of drinking water to the city of Marrakech.
In the electricity sector, ADFD has managed three major projects that aim to supply adequate electricity for several Moroccan cities. Additionally, the fund has supported Moroccan electricity sector through its contribution to the GCC grant programme for Morocco.
These projects involve renovation of a number of power stations as well as increasing the capacity of power transmission networks across large Moroccan cities. ADFD's contribution to the Moroccan electricity sector is estimated at Dh130 million.
The development projects are in line with ADFD's commitment to improving the standard of living in Morocco and advancing sustainable development through financing infrastructure projects. The projects also aim to stimulate economic and social growth, create new employment and investment opportunities and achieve greater social stability.
ADFD has also been working with other developing countries to help them overcome economic hurdles and achieve sustainable economic growth. The Fund has extended financial support and made massive investments in economically viable projects to help countries confront various economic challenges. ADFD also contributes to poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development across the world, especially in countries that suffer low development rates. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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38,000 students benefited from KF's educational programmes
posted on 21/11/2015

More than 38,000 students at the government schools have benefited from the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation's, KF, educational support programmes, in implementation to the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and follow-up of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation.
For the 8th year in a row, the foundation has launched annual humanitarian initiatives at the local-level to support education through "in-kind Assistance for Students" project as well as paying school fees for a number of expat students who are studying at government schools.
38, 651 students from 656 schools as well as students of the United Arab Emirates University, UAEU, in Al Ain, the Zayed University in Abu Dhabi and Dubai campuses, and the Higher Colleges of Technology across the country have benefitted from the aid programme.
This humanitarian and educational project is seen in the framework of KF's commitment to provide assistance to students and support all their eligible financial needs that undermine continuation of their education in a comfortable environment.
Mohammed Haji Al Khouri, Director-General of the Khalifa bin Zayed Humanitarian Foundation said that the aid is in line with the directives of the wise leadership to provide all necessary assistance to students of low-income families under a criteria, terming the assistance as the biggest of its kind at the local arena. He noted that this aid is a source of social cohesion and brings solidarity among all segments of the society.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Education Council, ADEC, has also praised the charitable activities of the foundation which translate the humanitarian approach of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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ERC rehabilitates autism centre in Aden
posted on 17/11/2015

The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) is rebuilding and rehabilitating the Society for Autistic Children at Khormaksar, Governorate of Aden, as part of 15 vital development projects being implemented as per the directives of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU) and the Family Development Foundation (FDF), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood (SCMC) and Honorary Chairwoman of the ERC, to improve healthcare services for mothers and children in Yemen.
The plan includes expansion of the facility by building new classes, halls for recreational and sports activities, indoor and outdoor gardens, and provision of state-of-the-art audio-visual learning aids.
Sheikha Fatima's initiative has been well received and welcomed by the families of the autistic children and local officials since the Society was facing financial difficulties in providing services to such needy children.
The ERC officials said they responded to appeals from parents of these children to support the Society and bring it back to life after its activities were suspended due to the ongoing events in Yemen.
Abeer Al Yousufi, Chairperson of the Society, expressed profound gratitude to Sheikha Fatima for her generous gesture, which underscores H.H.'s care for this segment of the society and her keenness to ease their suffering and pain.
'The initiative of H.H. has once again brought to life this important health facility which serves many families that cannot afford to take care of their autistic children,' she added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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IRENA/ADFD opens new round of funding for renewable energy in developing countries
posted on 16/11/2015

The International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, is now welcoming applications for the fourth round of funding to support renewable energy projects in developing countries.
The funding round of approximately US$ 50 million is part of a US$ 350 million (AED 1.285 billion) commitment by ADFD to provide concessional loans to projects endorsed by IRENA over seven funding cycles.
"The funding articulates ADFD's commitment to supporting renewable energy projects in developing nations given the sector's crucial role in aiding economic and social development," read a joint press release of IRENA and ADFD.
"This new funding cycle provides another opportunity for developing countries to access low cost capital for renewable energy projects to drive an energy transition and achieve sustainable development," said IRENA Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin. "The continued partnership between ADFD and IRENA brings funding to the places where it can have the most impact and where financing is one of the greatest challenges."
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, ADFD Director-General, said, "The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development is delighted to partner with IRENA to launch the fourth cycle of our joint renewable energy project facility. The scale of current energy demand globally requires close collaboration among governments and international agencies to ensure access to clean and cost-effective energy across the developing world. This partnership has given us the opportunity to make significant contributions to the energy sector in developing countries through providing the much-needed financial assistance. We are confident that such inter-governmental collaboration will help narrow the gap between developed and developing countries in this crucial sector."
Funding from the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility boosts renewable energy growth in developing countries and offers sustainable and affordable energy to millions of people with limited or no access to electricity. In its first two cycles, the facility allocated nearly US$ 100 million to cover up to 50 percent of project costs for eleven renewable energy projects across the globe.
The loans were approved following close collaboration between ADFD and IRENA to assess and select the projects that meet specific criteria.
"Thanks to projects funded in the first three cycles, more than 56 megawatts of renewable energy capacity will be brought online and roughly 600,000 people and businesses will benefit from increased access to energy and improved livelihoods. Projects include off-grid, mini-grid and/or on-grid including backup storage and using wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass in Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador, Iran, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Samoa and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The results of the third funding cycle will be announced in January 2016," according to the press release.
It goes on to that projects must be transformative, replicable, scalable and/or innovative, improve energy access and help address energy security issues. "Projects are carefully evaluated on technical merit, economic viability and socio-economic and environmental impact."
The applications for the fourth of seven funding cycles will be accepted until 15th February 2016 at 17:00 GST. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Emirates Red Crescent brings Aden’s infrastructure back to life
posted on 08/11/2015

ADEN: The Emirates Red Crescent has rebuilt 64 schools in the war-ravaged Yemeni province of Aden, along with health, sewage, water and electricity facilities.
Another 20 schools are still in the process of being rebuilt, while the organisation expects to sign contracts to begin work on 26 others in the next three days, the ERC's Aden representative, Brigadier General Abdullah Al Dhaheri, told The National on Saturday.
He said it would cost the ERC Dh26.3 million to rebuild these 26 schools.
In total, 154 schools in Aden were damaged or completely destroyed in four months of heavy fighting between pro-government forces and Houthi rebels that began in March.
Brig Gen Al Dhaheri said the 44 remaining damaged schools were still housing displaced residents and so rebuilding work could not begin until they were able to leave.
The southern province was liberated by pro-government forces backed by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in July. Since then, the ERC has led efforts to rebuild Aden's severely damaged infrastructure.
The ERC is also working to rebuild the Republican Palace in Aden city, which was the home of Yemeni president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi before he was forced to flee the country when fighting broke out in the province March. The palace was damaged during Houthi and coalition air strikes in the early stages of the conflict.
Meanwhile, Brig Gen Al Dhaheri said the ERC has provided Aden's cleaning office with four cars and several trucks, and would be sending them another 160 cars, 1,600 trucks and four lorries in the next two weeks.
The organisation has also paid six months' worth of salaries to employees of Aden's water office, and provided the body with 45 water pumps at a cost of Dh22.7m, he said. This enabled the office to restore the water supply to all residents in August.
A one-megawatt electricity generator and 14 small generators provided by the ERC have also helped to restore electricity to the entire province, Brig Gen Al Dhaheri said, adding that this was just a temporary measure until the organisation could repair Aden's electricity grid.
Outside of Aden, the ERC has also distributed 420-megawatt generators to Lahj, Dalea and Abyan provinces.
Republic Hospital, the main hospital in Aden city, has been rebuilt by the ERC at a cost of Dh1.3m, Brig Gen Al Dhaheri said, while the organisation has also rebuilt 30 pharmacies across the province at a cost of Dh337,000, along with nine clinics, costing Dh2m.
However, Brig Gen Al Dhaheri said the most important health facility rebuilt by his organisation was a kidney dialysis centre, which serves 460 patients, some of whom had been forced to leave Aden for treatment.
The ERC has also rebuilt specialist units at hospitals across the city, including a cancer centre, a prosthetics centre and two maternity centres.
In addition to this rebuilding work, the ERC has also distributed a total of 130,096 food baskets containing wheat, rice, milk and cooking oil in Aden, Lahj, Abyan, Shabwah and Taez provinces.
Esam Al Shaeri, undersecretary of the Aden-based Sah Foundation for Defending Rights and Freedoms, said that as a result of the ERC's work in Aden, the province's residents now considered the UAE to be their second country.
"The Emirates not only participated in the liberation of Aden, it is also the only country that worked hard to resume regular life in Aden city by rebuilding the schools and hospitals, and providing the institutions with different kinds of support,” he said.
Mr Al Shaeri added that he hoped the UAE would also rebuild the damaged and destroyed homes of Aden's residents.
Meanwhile, at least 11 Houthis and eight pro-government fighters were killed in coalition air strikes and clashes in Yemen's south on Friday, military sources said.
The night-time air strikes targeted two rebel vehicles on a road linking the central province of Ibb to Dalea further south, they said, while pro-government forces clashed with the Houthis and allied renegade army units on the outskirts of Damt, Dalea's second-largest city.
In Saudi Arabia, woman and her three-month-old baby were killed in the southern city of Najran on Friday when a shell fired from Yemen hit their home, the UAE state news agency WAM reported on Saturday. – The National -

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Lubna Al Qasimi receives Malala, stresses UAE's support to girls' education in developing communities
posted on 01/11/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD), Head of the UAE Committee for Coordination of Foreign Humanitarian Aid, said the finest values of human being are vividly seen in self-denial and sacrifice to help those deprived from their right to education, which is a guarantor for the development and advancement of nations.
While receiving activist and Co-winner of Nobel Prize for Peace, Malala Yousafzai, in the presence of Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State, Chairperson of Dubai Cares, Sheikha Lubna said President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, did not spare any effort to support the education worldwide, especially the woman education in the developing countries.
She welcomed the activist Malala Yousafzai in her second country, the UAE, commending her steadfastness in the defence of the girls' education and positive impact created by her contributions.
For her part, Malala thanked the UAE for its continuous support to her cause so as to empower the women through the education in the developing communities. She also thanked the UAE leadership for the immediate support in the wake of attack on her life in 2012 while defending her cause. She paid a tribute to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed for his support.
Malala also expressed her admiration about the efforts of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Lubna Al Qasimi discusses prospects for cooperation and collaborative action with President of the Red Cross
posted on 30/10/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, MICAD, Head of the UAE Committee for the Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid, has discussed the prospects of collaboration and enhancing cooperation with Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, with the attendance of Hazaa Al Qahtani, Under-Secretary, and Sultan Al Shamsi, Deputy Under-Secretary for International Development.
During her meeting with the President of the Red Cross, Sheikha Lubna reaffirmed the need to join hands and strengthen international collaboration to ease the suffering through humanitarian interference in the various conflicts around the world. Sheikha Lubna stressed that the UAE under the directives of its wise leadership, has become a major player in supporting international humanitarian organisations. The UAE, she added, has a long record in supporting those affected by conflicts around the world. The meeting has also discussed the plans of the Red Cross to respond to the disasters in the Middle East.
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi reviewed the humanitarian relief efforts exerted by the UAE to extend support to the Syrian and Yemeni people suffering from the consequences of war in their countries. She stressed that the UAE has been keen in assuring these relief efforts reach as many people as possible, by offering medical relief, food, and the necessary humanitarian support.
She also highlighted the active role played by UAE humanitarian organisations in supporting the Yemeni people on the ground, especially the Emirates Red Crescent team, stressing that such activities are inspired by the philosophy and humanitarian vision of the UAE's wise leadership, and the UAE commitment towards the Yemeni people who suffers this humanitarian crises.
Maurer, praised the UAE's humanitarian efforts worldwide. He also expressed the wish of ICRC to work hand in hand with the UAE and other GCC countries at all levels.
Maurer praised the support given by the wise leadership of the UAE to global humanitarian efforts, especially in terms of harnessing resources and enablers to extend relief and support to those in need. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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United Arab Emirates Embassy highlights global efforts to eradicate polio
posted on 24/10/2015

WASHINGTON, D.C.: To mark the occasion of World Polio Day, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba, has hosted a special event in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which addressed the successes and most pressing challenges in the global fight to eradicate polio.
The event, which was held at the UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C., featured a discussion with Dr. Jay Wenger, Director of the polio program at the Gates Foundation, and Dr. Elias Durry, Senior Emergency Advisor on Polio for the World Health Organisation's Eastern Mediterranean Region and former WHO lead in Pakistan.
Panellists discussed the progress that has been made against polio, the importance of sustaining momentum to achieve eradication and tactics for overcoming remaining challenges, including delivering vaccines to children in communities that are difficult for health workers to access. The program was moderated by BBC journalist Kim Ghattas, and also featured excerpts from the acclaimed Image Nation Abu Dhabi documentary film, Every Last Child, which provided glimpses from the front lines of the fight to end polio in Pakistan.
During the event, Geoffrey Lamb, Chief Economic and Policy Advisor at the Gates Foundation, also announced that Abu Dhabi will host the Heroes of Polio Eradication ceremony (HOPE) held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi , and in partnership with the Gates Foundation. The awards will honour the heroes who have worked tirelessly to eradicate the disease.
"The UAE has a long tradition of supporting humanitarian relief projects around the world," said Ambassador Al Otaiba at the event. "We are honoured to partner with the Gates Foundation in the area of global public health. Through our collective efforts, we are improving the lives of children worldwide and preparing them for a healthy and successful future."
In line with the UAE's continuous commitment to providing humanitarian assistance for vulnerable children around the world, the country has emerged as a leader in the fight against polio. Since 2011, the UAE has worked in partnership with the Gates Foundation to promote public health through supporting the distribution of vaccines, including for polio eradication efforts. In 2013, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Gates Foundation, hosted the first Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi. The UAE has pledged $120 million to date to support polio eradication efforts.
Between 2014 and May 2015, the UAE Anti-Polio Vaccination Campaign supported the administration of 86.6 million vaccination doses across 53 areas in Pakistan.
"Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan have an extraordinary opportunity to put the world over the finish line for polio eradication," stated Dr. Jay Wenger. "With a combination of country leadership, strong immunisation campaigns and support from partners like the UAE, we can overcome last-mile challenges and make sure that no child has to suffer from this devastating disease again."
Globally, there has been dramatic progress made against polio thanks to a 25-year concerted international effort, and the world is now on the verge of seeing a disease eradicated for the second time in history. Only two countries have recorded cases of wild polio so far this year – Pakistan and Afghanistan – and there have been just 51 cases reported in those countries, compared to 242 globally during the same period last year.
Dr. Durry, who has been instrumental in polio eradication efforts in Pakistan, is featured in Image Nation's Every Last Child.
"We have seen tremendously positive developments in the campaign to eradicate polio in Pakistan," said Dr. Durry. "Through the unyielding dedication of our partners on the ground, we are getting closer and closer to eliminating the disease for good."
Every Last Child recounts the lives of five people impacted by polio in Pakistan, telling of their determination to stop polio in the face of numerous obstacles, including public misperceptions and the threat of violence. The documentary was originally created to support the UAE's efforts to vaccinate millions of children in hard-to-reach areas of Pakistan and raise international awareness of polio eradication.
"The UAE has been a fantastic leader in the fight against polio in Pakistan, and we're glad the film is able to support the cause by raising awareness of the on-going campaign to wipe out this disease," said Mohamed Al Mubarak, Chairman, Image Nation. "It's an honour to help tell the story of the tireless and heroic efforts of the health workers administering vaccines on the ground."
The UAE Embassy's event was attended by senior US government and global public health officials, members of the diplomatic community, high-profile media and business leaders.
Since the 1988 launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) – a partnership spearheaded by national governments, the World Health Organisation, Rotary International, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF – the incidence of polio has been reduced by more than 99 percent. Before the initiative began, more than 350,000 children were paralysed every year, in more than 125 endemic countries. Today, more than 2.5 billion children have been immunised against polio globally and the disease is endemic in just two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where there have been 38 and 13 cases reported so far this year, respectively.
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people especially those with the fewest resources have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Foundation stones laid for Sheikh Zayed Road and Mohamed bin Zayed Complex for UAE-Egypt Friendship and Culture
posted on 23/10/2015

CAIRO: Foundation stones were laid for the development of the 7-kilometre Sheikh Zayed Road in the Salaam district and for completing the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Complex of UAE-Egypt Friendship and Culture in the Egyptian capital of Cairo.
Dr. Jamal Sanad Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), who attended the ceremony, reiterated the UAE's supportive stance towards Egypt, saying the strong, distinguished bilateral ties were based on the deep understanding between the two leaderships and their shared vision for forging a collective, unified approach to confront challenges facing the Arab and Muslim Worlds.
'The UAE leadership is committed to further developing ties with Egypt for serving mutual interest of both countries and their people,' he added. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Lubna Al Qasimi and UN delegation discuss opening Office for Coordination of Foreign Aid in UAE
posted on 20/10/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, MICAD, Head of the UAE Committee for the Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid, discussed with a delegation from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs the benefits of opening a United Nations Office for the Coordination of Relief Operations in the Gulf region, based in the UAE.
Sheikha Lubna welcomed this step as an extension to on-going international efforts to support relief and humanitarian aid operations in the region, through the integration of experiences and capabilities and the unification of efforts to achieve humanitarian goals.
This came during a meeting between Sheikha Lubna and Kang Kyung-Wha, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, and her accompanying delegation, at MICAD headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
Sheikha Lubna reiterated that the UAE is keen to build and strengthen partnerships with international institutions involved in development and humanitarian work, in line with the directives of the wise leadership of the state.
The Minister, on the sidelines of the meeting, discussed the efforts and contributions of UAE humanitarian institutions and donors, and their urgent response to situations resulting from humanitarian crises in various regions of the world.
Sheikha Lubna said that the UAE is looking forward to strengthening partnership channels with UN committees and commissions through supporting international development and humanitarian response, the exchange of experiences, and mobilising efforts in all relief areas.
The meeting discussed joint efforts by both sides in responding to the crises in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and shed light on the UAE's achievements in this regard.
Sheikha Lubna praised the efforts undertaken by the UN to support the international community, which has contributed to providing support to persons affected by conflicts and natural disasters.
Kang Kyung-Wha, commended the UAE's leading role in providing support and humanitarian aid to many communities and peoples of the world, especially in Syria and Yemen.
Kang said that the UAE's humanitarian presence in the world, and its strong and effective role towards all issues in the region, in addition to the continuous follow-up by the UAE's wise leadership, are factors that impacted the United Nations' decision to expand its relief efforts by opening the Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid (OCFA) in the UAE.
The meeting was attended by Hazza Mohammed Falah Al Qahtani, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development, Najla Al Kaabi, Under-Secretary Assistant for International Cooperation, Mohammed Al Ali, Director of Development Policy and Strategy, Rashid Khalikov, Director of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva, and Said Hirsi, Administrator of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Arabian Gulf region. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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UAE Committed to achieving global food security, Lubna Al Qasimi
posted on 18/10/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD), Head of the UAE Committee for the Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid, has reaffirmed the UAE's commitment to aiding people suffering food shortages as a result of political conflicts or natural disasters, so as to contribute to global food security.
Sheikha Lubna's speech marked the World Food Day, celebrated by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). She said that the efforts exerted by the UAE in the fields of combating hunger and related developmental issues come within the context of the directives extended by the country's wise leadership, and in the footsteps of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the nation.
Sheikha Lubna called upon all nations in the world to intensify relief efforts and build a global vision aiming at closing the ever-expanding food gap, which has become an international concern.
She stressed the need for immediate action concerning food shortage crises around the world, catastrophic situations caused by natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes, as well as areas where political conflicts threaten the lives and security of people and societies as whole. She called for relief bridges as the primary means of offering aid to these areas.
Sheikha Lubna said, "The wise leadership of our country has never hesitated to extend its aiding hand to any country struck with catastrophe, irrespective of race, religion or ethnicity of people in need."
She also explained that the UAE always encourages cooperation with all countries of the world and all UN agencies in the field of humanitarian aid and developmental support, aiming at achieving the goals of sustainable development, which include availing decent living, and job opportunities, as well as combating poverty and pollution.
She praised the efforts of the United Nations in cooperation with member states to avail resources and build mechanisms that facilitate partnership between the private and public sectors, to invest in projects that will achieve the Millennium Development Goals, which include food security and related developmental aspects .
Sheikha Lubna noted that the efforts in combating hunger and malnutrition cannot achieve their objectives on one front, as the lack of food security has massive humanitarian, social, and economic impacts that lead to a fall in productivity, and deterioration of public health, well-being, and the ability to learn. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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DP World to support Yemen maritime and trade efforts
posted on 16/10/2015

DP World is in talks with Yemen to help rebuild their maritime and trade sector which has been battered by conflict, the Dubai-based port operator said Wednesday.
"We are exploring areas where we can help our near neighbours in their initiatives to restore critical marine and trade infrastructure at Aden and look forward to developing our discussions in the immediate future,” said Sultan bin Sulayem, chairman of DP World.
A delegation from DP World and Jebel Ali Free Zone will visit Yemen next week to look into areas of assistance. A Yemeni delegation headed by Transport Minister Mubarak Ba-Salma had visited the UAE and DP World to explore ways of helping to restore operations at the port of Aden.
DP World exited in 2012 Yemen by selling its 50 per cent stake in the company managing the container terminal of the port of Aden to its joint venture partner, the Yemen Gulf of Aden Ports Corporation.
The exit ended an increasingly strained relationship between DP World and Yemen's post-revolutionary government over the management of the port.
The decision to terminate its Aden operations in 2012 came four years into a 30-year management deal signed under Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni president who stepped aside that year after more than three decades in power. Following that, DP World's future involvement in the port became more uncertain.
In June 2012, the country's anti-corruption body called for the renegotiation of the contract to operate the Aden container terminal and the nearby Ma'alla container terminal. DP World rejected claims by the body that it had broken its contractual obligations
The UAE is actively involved in the conflict against the Houthi militias in Yemen and is helping in the reconstruction effort.
The UAE is funding the building of schools, hospitals and other facilities in the war-torn country. It has also raised Dh808 million in public funding for Yemen. – The National -

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On Int'l Day for Disaster Reduction, UAE reiterates commitment to helping victims around the world
posted on 15/10/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, has stressed that the United Arab Emirates is a global model in providing emergency aid for victims of humanitarian and man-made disasters, and is committed to promoting development in affected countries, namely Syria, Yemen and Palestine, through its national institutionalised development approach.
In a statement on the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Reduction, celebrated worldwide to raise awareness of how people are taking action to reduce their risk to disasters, the Emirati minister said thanks to the humanitarian approach established by the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and followed by the country's leaders yesterday, the United Arab Emirates is among the world's most generous countries. The beneficiaries of Emirati humanitarian aid are victims of earthquakes and floods as well as political conflicts, she added.
In 1971, Minister Al Qasimi added, the United Arab Emirates established Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, to institutionalise its official aid efforts and this month launched the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives foundation with an annual budget of Dh1 billion to focus on four key areas: spreading knowledge; combating poverty, empowering communities and innovation for the future.
"The leaders of the United Arab Emirates never hesitate to provide aid and relief to any country hit by disasters, without distinction based on the race, sex or faith of victims."
The United Arab Emirates, she noted, also seeks to bolster its partnerships with United Nations bodies to promote global development and humanitarian response to disasters and crises.
The International Day for Disaster Reduction serves as an occasion to reiterate the need for the international community to enhance its capability to address humanitarian crises through building a global humanitarian database for all aid agencies to improve their rapid response.
The focus of this year's International Day for Disaster Reduction is on the traditional, indigenous and local knowledge which complement modern science and add to individuals' and societies' resilience. For example, knowledge of early warning signals in nature can be vital to ensuring early action is taken to mitigate the impact of both slow and fast onset disasters such as droughts, heat waves, storms and floods. Combined with scientific knowledge such as reports generated by meteorologists, local knowledge is vital for preparedness and can be passed on from generation to generation.
In December 1989, the UN General Assembly designated the second Wednesday of October International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction. In December 2009, the General Assembly decided to designate 13th October as the date to commemorate the Day and to change the Day's name to International Day for Disaster Reduction. The objective of the observance is to raise awareness of how people are taking action to reduce their risk to disasters. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Emirati Jordanian Camp officials discuss wider coordination at refugee schools
posted on 15/10/2015

MURIJEP AL FHOUD, JORDAN:Director of the Emirati Jordanian Camp, Mohamed Abdullah Al Shamsi, has met officials of the Jordanian Ministry of Education to discuss educational issues and promote coordination for schools at the refugee camp in Zarqa Governorate, northeast of the capital Amman.
The camp was opened in April 2013 and is funded by the United Arab Emirates to cope with the influx of refugees from Syria. It hosts 1945 male and female refugee students at two schools.
Dr. Noha Abu Hait, a ministry official, described the schools at the camp as very organised.
She praised the United Arab Emirates for its humanitarian support for the refugees.
The principals of the schools and representatives of relevant agencies operating at the camp participated in the meeting. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Noor Dubai concludes mobile eye camp in Sudan
posted on 15/10/2015

The Noor Dubai Foundation has recently concluded its therapeutic mobile eye camp to prevent blindness in Kenana - White Nile state in the Republic of Sudan. This is the Foundation's second mobile eye camp in Sudan and third camp for the current year.
The camp was supported by Dubai Islamic Humanitarian Foundation. Noor Dubai Foundation provided diagnostic and therapeutic eye services to 4,920 patients, performed 307 surgeries and distributed 1,800 eyeglasses to those in need.
Sudan has a population of over 37 million. According to 2003 statistics, approximately 1.5% of the population suffers from blindness. The primary causes are cataract, glaucoma, trachoma, and onchocerciasis.
Humaid Al Qatami Chairman of the Noor Dubai Foundation, said, "The Foundation seeks to reach out to all of those in need around the world and provide free eye treatment."
Al Qatami also praised local organisations in UAE and the local ministries and entities in Sudan for their cooperation. He also praised the UAE Embassy in The republic of Sudan and the efforts of Hamad Mohammed Humaid Al Junaibi, UAE Ambassador to Sudan.
Dr. Manal Omran Taryam, Board member and Chief Executive Officer of Noor Dubai Foundation, said: "The camp was held in Kenana Sugar Company Hospital in Kenana City, which is located 300km from Khartoum. The estimated number of the region's population is about 1.8 million individuals with only three ophthalmologists available to cover the entire population of this region. Additionally, there are no specialised eye hospitals in the region; the nearest one is in Khartoum, the capital, which is about 300 kilometres away. This emphasises the difficulty of getting proper eyes healthcare services and the importance of having our mobile eye camp in Kenana."
Dr. Taryam also stated that the camp consisted of ophthalmologists and optometrists. So far, the Foundation has reached out to more than 23 million individuals and is targeting to reach 30 million individuals around the world by 2025. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Emirati int'l cooperation minister, UN deputy secretary general discuss joint efforts, humanitarian response
posted on 12/10/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development of the United Arab Emirates, on Sunday, reiterated the UAE's interest in building and strengthening partnerships with international organizations and institutions in the areas of development and humanitarian assistance.
She was speaking at a meeting with Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, in which they discussed the joint efforts of the UAE and UN in response to the humanitarian crises in Syria, Yemen, and Palestine, as well as the UAE's achievements in this field.
Sheikha Lubna, who also chairs the UAE Committee for the Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid, noted that building international partnerships has positive impact on humanitarian and development work through integration of expertise and resources to support the capacities of developing countries and communities suffering political crises and conflicts.
Al Qasimi commended the United Nations' support for the international community's humanitarian efforts to provide protection for those affected by conflicts and natural disasters.
"The UAE seeks to enhance partnerships with UN committees and commissions through international development, the provision of humanitarian aid, exchanging expertise, and supporting efforts in all relief areas," Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi said.
For his part, Jan Eliasson praised the UAE for being a major contributor of humanitarian aid for various communities and countries, Syria and Yemen in particular.
Eliasson said the UAE plays an active role in achieving the sustainable development, and noted that its recent active participation in the meetings of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, which concluded in New York last week.
The UN senior official also emphasised that the United Nations institutions and commissions are interested in strengthening their partnership with the UAE and enhance prospects for further future cooperation.
Hazza Mohammed Falah Al Qahtani, Under Secretary of the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development, Sultan Al Shamsi, Assistant Under Secretary for International Development at the ministry, and Najla Al Kaabi, Assistant Under Secretary for International Cooperation at the ministry, attended the meeting. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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ERC signs two MoUs with NRC, WFP to provide food, educational and health assistance to Tuareg tribes in Mali
posted on 12/10/2015

The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has signed two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and the World Food Programme Council (WFP) to provide educational, food and health services to the Tuareg tribes in northern Mali.
Fahad bin Abdul Rahman Sultan, Deputy ERC Secretary-General for Donations and Marketing, who signed the MoUs with Mario Stephan, Gulf Office Director at the NRC, ?and Abdullah al-Wardat, Director of the WFP office in the UAE and GCC, announced that a third MoU would be inked soon with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for providing healthcare services to Tuareg women and children.
He said the three relief organisations would carry out projects worth AED 11.7million for the benefit of the Tuareg tribe.
Sultan emphasised the ERC's commitment to extend humanitarian, relief and health assistance to the Malian tribe and other needy and vulnerable people across the world.
The ERC, he said, welcomed the humanitarian partnership with the NRC and WFP in implementing the ERC-funded educational, health and relief services programme in Mali.
'We hope that these MoUs will be a good starting point for broader humanitarian partnerships with other regional and international organisations,' he said.
On reasons behind targeting the northern Mali tribes, the ERC official explained that it is the humanitarian policy of the UAE relief agency to reach out to those in need of help in different parts of the world and the Tuareg tribe lives in a desert region which is frequently hit by drought and needs assistance when it comes to food, health and education.
'One year from now, the ERC will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the situation there and evaluate reports by the three partner international organisations on the impact of such assistance on the lives of the Tuareg families,' he said.
The MoU with the NRC will involve delivery of educational services including stationery to students of Tuareg families, while the one with the WFP will provide basic food and livelihood materials to the population of the region.
The soon-to-be signed MoU with UNICEF will deliver vaccines to children under the age of five and healthcare services to Tuareq women and children.
Abdullah al-Wardat, Director of the WFP office in the UAE and GCC, said the WFP had undertaken many projects in Mali funded by some states, noting the ERC's prompt response to the WFP study on the Tuareg tribes' need for food assistance. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation announces President's Mission of Excellent Emirati Doctors to US
posted on 11/10/2015

The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has launched the President's Mission of Excellent Emirati Doctors to the United States, on directives from President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Thirty-four medical doctors were approved for secondment to USA-based MD Anderson Cancer Centre and Mayo Clinic as part of the mission.
17 of them will pursue medical studies while the other 17 will study hospital management, Mohammed Haji Khouri, Director General of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, told a medical forum at Dusit Thani Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
In addition, Emirati medical students will join the secondment programme to pursue post-graduate studies at the American hospitals.
Khouri said the collaboration with MD Anderson and Mayo Clinic and the secondment programme is part of the Foundation's continuous efforts to develop the skills of Emirati doctors, medical students and administrators.
The Foundation seeks to raise the number of Emirati specialists in all disciplines to compliment the health system and aid the continuous pursuit of medical excellence, Khouri noted.
Ali Al Obaidli, Group Chief Academic Affairs Officer at Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), noted that Humaid Al Shamsi was the first Emirati doctor to specialise in oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Centre.
In 2011, the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation gave the University of Texas an Dh550 million grant to fund cancer research. The grant was awarded by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan through the Foundation to enable MD Anderson to make significant advances in personalised cancer therapies and accelerate the pace of pancreatic cancer research.
The grant was used to establish the Zayed bin Sultan cancer treatment clinic at the university's hospital, in addition to funding research based on genetic analysis and programmes dedicated to finding better treatments.
The grant also funds a number of annual fellowships, and three academic chairs - the Sheikh Zayed chair of oncology, the Sheikh Khalifa University chair of cancer knowledge and the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed chair of scientific and medical knowledge in cancer research. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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United Arab Emirates' power plant lights up neighbourhoods shelled by the Houthi rebels in Aden
posted on 11/10/2015

An emergency power plant, provided by the United Arab Emirates for the city of Aden as part of humanitarian aid, is up and running to light up most neighbourhoods destroyed by the Houthi rebels and the militia loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, Director of Aden Electricity Authority, Aref Al Shauibi, said.
The Yemeni official thanked the United Arab Emirates for "Bringing light back to the city which has long suffered from darkness inflicted by the obscurant."
In a statement to the Abu Dhabi-based Arabic newspaper Al Ittihad, Al Shuaibi said that 52 megawatts from the 60-megawatt power plant provided by the Emirates Red Crescent are used to serve most households in the war-damaged areas in the city.
The cost of new power generators and the restoration of the grid in Aden stands at more than Dh217 million all of which were provided by the United Arab Emirates, he said.
However, Al Shuaibi noted, the emergency power plant in Aden was not the only help extended by United Arab Emirates to restore electricity to the city. An additional capacity of 60 megawatts from an APR Energy plant is feeding the grid in Al Tawahi area and Jabal Hadid area. Special spare parts for the main power stations in Aden will be available within days for restoring the grid, he said.
"Emirati brothers are working to restore power to the whole city ahead of summer. A team from Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority will visit Aden to assess the needs and prepare a full report on the situation," Al Shuaibi added.
In the same context, Awadh Mashbah, Director of the Administration of Khour Maksar City, said the United Arab Emirates provided the city with 40 megawatts of electricity and helped re-open the Al Jumhouriya Hospital, the largest in Aden province.
The 200-bed hospital was restored and fully-equipped by the United Arab Emirates within two weeks to serve Yemenis.
In addition, four schools, a kindergarten and a police station damaged by the Houthi rebels' were restored to help restore stability and security in the city, Mashbah added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Khalifa Foundation donates medical equipment to Bor general hospital in Serbia
posted on 10/10/2015

BELGRADE: he UAE's Charge d'Affaires in Belgrade, Faisal Hareb Isa, handed over on Thursday medical equipment donated by the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation to the general hospital in the Serbian city of Bor.
Isa said the foundation's move to donate the equipment emanated from President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan's vision for sharing and giving. He added that it was also a token of friendship between the UAE and Serbia.
The hospital's Director-General, Dr. Ivan Malikovic, thanked the UAE for the equipment which, he said, would give a great boost to city's healthcare services. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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ERC opens 10 schools in Aden
posted on 09/10/2015

ADEN: As part of its second phase to rebuild the schools and provide necessary educational requirements, the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), has opened 10 schools in Aden.
The schools were reopened after their renovation in the presence of Dr. Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, Secretary-General of the ERC and the Red Crescent delegation.
The ERC has pledged to renovate and provide all the educational requirements to 154 schools to receive students during this academic year. The school bags and stationary have been distributed to students in Aden Governorate schools.
The guardians in Aden thanked the UAE for striving to normalise life in Aden.
Dr. Ateeq said upon the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of the ERC, the ERC teams in Aden continue their humanitarian efforts in all service sectors to alleviating the suffering of the people of Yemen and rebuilding a number of development and educational projects.
Meanwhile, the first batch of water pumps and sewerage system supplies shipped from the UAE arrived at Aden port to resume operations at the water stations and sewage network in Aden. The ERC has been playing a significant role in the rehabilitation and maintenance of many different government facilities. Its cadres are also involved in the maintenance of infrastructure and health sector projects. They also provide projects for the benefit of families and children of the martyrs in Aden, and distribute food parcels to the inhabitants of Aden.
The Red Crescent supported the municipality of Aden to secure 16 trucks and 1,600 containers to facilitate cleaning, collecting and transporting waste and other municipal work. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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ADFD offers Dh55m concessionary loan to build four solar power plants in Cuba
posted on 07/10/2015

HAVANA: Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has offered the Government of Cuba Dh55 million in concessionary loan to support the energy sector and promote the overall economic development in Cuba.
The loan agreement was formalised at a signing ceremony held during a visit by the UAE delegation headed by Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to Cuba.
The agreement was signed by Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, and Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz, Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment in the Republic of Cuba.
The loan will be allocated towards the installation of four 10 megawatt solar power plants in four provinces of Cuba, providing clean, sufficient and uninterrupted electricity to nearly 5,300 Cuban citizens.
It demonstrates ADFD's priority to strengthen the power sector in brotherly and friendly nations, through financing renewable energy projects due to their significant role in accelerating sustainable economic and social development.
The project will help reduce cost of energy generation in Cuba, while the construction, operation and maintenance works will create many job opportunities and will improve the performance of Cuban economy.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development said: "ADFD places high importance on supporting renewable energy sector given its profound impact and numerous benefits on economies of developing countries and their sustainable development. The continued support for renewable energy projects will contribute to the creation of new economic opportunities for Cuban citizens through attracting new investments to the country and encouraging people's participation in development."
He added: This project marks a new chapter in the mutual collaboration between ADFD and Cuba. At ADFD, we look forward to furthering this cooperation through supporting vital development projects that will support the Cuban economy and serve the mutual interests of the two parties."
The renewable energy project involves the supply and installation of silicon photovoltaic panels at four power plants in the provinces of Matanzas, Santasbertos, Kmagoy and Sandicocopa and linking them to the national grid. The scope of the project also includes civil, electrical and mechanical works required for the operation and maintenance of the power plants.
The project falls within the Cuban Government's strategy to install about 400 megawatts of solar power by 2020. It also articulates ADFD's ongoing efforts to provide necessary funding for the development of renewable energy sector in developing countries.
In its priority to support renewable energy sector, ADFD in 2009 committed Dh1.285 billion (US$350 million) towards the deployment of renewable energy in developing countries across seven loan cycles. ADFD agreed to provide loans worth Dh183 million annually in each cycle to finance renewable energy projects in IRENA member countries.
The 10 megawatt project at a total cost of Dh110.2 million is being funded as part of the second cycle of the ADFD/IRENA Project Facility that was announced in January 2015. Upon completion, the project will provide reliable and clean electricity to Cuba, proving the economic viability of renewable energy to meet the raising electricity demand in Cuba.
On the side-lines of the signing ceremony, ADFD delegation explored avenues of future cooperation with the Government of Cuba by financing further development projects in sectors prioritised by the Government of Cuba.
Commenting on ADFD's pivotal role in supporting sustainable development in Cuba through financing this renewable energy project, Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz, Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment in the Republic of Cuba said: "Cuba is keen to synergise efforts and joint cooperation with ADFD towards financing development projects, which will positively reflect on various economic sectors and improve the standard of living for citizens of Cuba."
He also praised the UAE's efforts to support the economic stability and development programs in his country.
ADFD closely worked with IRENA in the assessment and selection of projects submitted to ADFD/IRENA Project Facility within the first and second project cycles in accordance with the set criteria.
These cycles provided US$98 million in loans to fund 11 projects in Ecuador, Maldives, Mali, Samoa Island, Mauritania (two projects), Sierra Leone, Argentina, Cuba, Iran, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Lubna Al Qasimi discusses education and development issues with UN officials in New York
posted on 06/10/2015

NEW YORK: Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, MICAD, Head of the UAE Committee for the Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid, has held a series of meetings with officials at the United Nations, during which a range of topics related to development, education, and family and children's affairs were discussed.
Sheikha Lubna met with Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, and discussed joint efforts related to sustainable development projects and future plans aimed at helping improve the lives of communities through development projects and initiatives that carry prospective long-term economic results.
She also met with Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, and discussed current initiatives and plans being implemented around the world related to children's rights and the provision of safe shelter, food, and protection from disasters and conflicts that disrupt people's lives daily.
During the meeting, Al Qasimi highlighted the UAE's initiatives and efforts in support of children in dispute and conflict areas across the region, particularly Syrian children in refugee camps and the children of Yemen in different areas.
Also, as part of the UAE delegation's meetings at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Sheikha Lubna met with former Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, who currently acts as Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, GPE.
Al Qasimi and Gillard discussed opportunities for joint cooperation and prospects of expanding international work between the organisation and the UAE in the education sector, especially in countries that need additional attention and care at the regional level.
These meetings coincide with the conclusion by the Ministry of Development and International Cooperation of its visit to New York. The UAE delegation also participated in the meetings of the General Assembly of the United Nations, UNGA 70.
The state's participation in the summit renews the UAE's commitment towards addressing pressing global issues, including food security, climate change, water scarcity and infrastructure development, in line with its commitment to supporting the United Nations in its efforts to achieve the "Millennium Development Goals" by 2015. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Thousands of pupils return to school in Aden with UAE’s help
posted on 05/10/2015

ADEN: Thousands of pupils returned to school in the Yemeni province of Aden on Sunday, following efforts by the UAE to rebuild 154 institutions destroyed or damaged in fighting between Houthi rebels and pro-government forces.
The conflict led to the closure of schools in several parts of the country, including the southern province of Aden, which was liberated by loyalist fighters – backed by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition – in July.
Teaching resumed at 43 primary and secondary schools on Sunday, with building work still ongoing at other schools in the province.
"We thank the Emirates Red Crescent for its work in rehabilitating [the 154] schools which are enough for tens of thousands of students,” the director of Aden's education office, Salem Moghalis, told The National. "The Emirates Red Crescent has worked hard to ensure that teaching resumes in Aden, and we appreciate these efforts.”
Some of the city's biggest schools were reopened on Sunday. Yemeni prime minister Khalid Bahah joined the morning drop-off at the Al Baihani primary school in Aden's Crater district to celebrate the start of the new school year.
He also thanked the UAE and the Emirates Red Crescent for its work in rebuilding Aden's schools, as well as the ministry of education for its efforts in reopening them.
The Yemeni government returned to the provincial capital of Aden last month, using the city as a temporary capital while the Houthis remain in control of Sanaa. The government of president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi was forced to flee to Saudi Arabia in March when the rebels and their allies advanced on Aden city.
Schools in all of Yemen's peaceful provinces – not just Aden – should resume teaching, Mr Bahah said, thanking parents who encouraged their children to go to school.
Abdurrahman Al Shoaibi, a seven-year-old student at Al Baihani, was very happy about being able to return to school.
"We do not want the war to stop our study again,” he said. "I hate the war, I need to keep studying in my favourite school.”
Another Al Baihani student, Angham Fadhel, 9, said she was very glad to be able to spend time with her classmates again. She had not seen them since fighting broke out in Aden in March, and all of the schools in the province were shut.
"All the students thank the Emirates for reconstructing our schools,” said Angham. "Now we can play, study, walk and live as before. I hope these conditions last forever and I hope that all students in Yemen can return to their schools.”
Salwa Qasem, a maths teacher at Al Baihani said the war had destroyed everything beautiful in Aden, but that the UAE was working hard to reconstruct the province.
"Today, after a long gap, the students of Aden could return to their schools,” she said. "More than 300 students returned to Al Baihani alone.”
She added that the school curriculum should now teach students to plant the love of the UAE in their hearts. – The National -

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