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Heart-to-heart campaign launches in Cairo
posted on 27/02/2015

CAIRO: The Heart-to-Heart campaign yesterday launched its global humanitarian initiative in Egypt through the treatment of hundreds of children and the elderly. The initiative is a joint charitable venture by the Zayed Giving Initiative, the Saudi German Hospital and the Dar Al Ber Charity and others.
The initiative is directed by a medical team and surgeons of the UAE-Egyptian-Saudi volunteer group chaired by Emirati heart surgeon, Dr. Adel Al Shamri.
Dr. Reem Othman, Executive Director of the Saudi German Hospital said that The Heart-to-heart campaign and which is continues for four days, is aimed to increase the Egyptian community awareness of the significant heart disease and provide better ways of prevention and treatment. She also added that the campaign is aimed at developing a partnership between voluntary institutions, and UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabian health institutions to enable medical staff volunteer to perform free operations for poor children and elderly in a number of heart diseases. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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Lubna Al Qasimi emphasises the generosity of the UAE and its ability to respond to various humanitarian crises
posted on 25/02/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Cooperation, President of the UAE Committee for Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid, opened the Regional Humanitarian in Action Conference held from 24 to 26, February 2015 at the International Humanitarian City (IHC) in Dubai.
It was organised in collaboration with Humanitarian Policy Grope (HPG) and Oversees International Development (OID).
Hosting the Conference in the UAE and at the IHC in particular is in line with the objectives of the IHC Strategy 2015-2021 launched last month by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
In her opening speech, Sheikha Lubna emphasised the UAE's growing role in the humanitarian arena, and that the UAE foreign aid ratio is an important indicator that reflects the ability to respond to various humanitarian crises around the world, it also mirrors the clear vision of the UAE leadership towards serving the humanitarian sector locally and internationally capitalising on the competitive advantages of the UAE and its strong international relations with many countries.
Sheikha Lubna pointed that strengthening the regional approach and improving the overall efficiency of humanitarian work, reflects positively the national and international support and efforts to strengthen international development and humanitarian work in various forms, in addition to the value of collective improvement to enhance the response to natural disasters and complex emergencies, through the involvement of humanitarian institutions' regional work and partnerships that encourage innovation, highlighting the important role of the donors in the Middle East.
This is the first of its kind conference that brings together intergovernmental organisations to discuss what needs to be done to improve the humanitarian work at the regional level. The IHC through its "Connect: Humanity" pillar is seeking to be the centre of global humanitarian network and events hosting innovative workshops to overcome the challenges faced by workers in the humanitarian sector, taking into account the importance of cooperation and coordination between all local and international humanitarian organisations.
Through this unique gathering of humanitarian experts coming from different countries, field researches and experiences will be reviewed and discussed for better future coordination to draw systematic steps and common humanitarian action. There is no doubt that the combined efforts and efficiency of relief operations in the field rely heavily on effective and successful partnerships among humanitarian organisations.
Ibrahim Bu Melha, the Cultural and Humanitarian Adviser to the Ruler of Dubai, portrayed a picture for the current humanitarian scene during his speech and emphasised the challenges and constraints related to access to the affected areas, the security issues and lack of aid resources, in addition to other challenges faced by the international humanitarian organisations, in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Ebola virus outbreak, as well as hurricanes and humanitarian disasters that have hit East Asia, stressing the importance of the UAE role in general and IHC in particular to overcome those obstacles and challenges. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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Khalifa Foundation launches project for water extraction in Somalia
posted on 24/02/2015

HARGEISA: In implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has launched a project for the extraction of water and construction of the longest pipeline to deliver water to the population in the Hargeisa region of Somalia.
An official source at the Khalifa Foundation said that the project aims to alleviate the suffering of the UAE's Somali brothers and to improve humanitarian conditions. The project began with digging 13 wells to extract water and building giant reservoirs to collect it.
In a statement to Emirates News Agency, WAM, the source said that the length of the pipeline which will carry the extracted water from wells is 52 kilometres, with a capacity of more than one million gallons per day, to serve 250,000 thousand people in the city of Hargeisa. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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Abu Dhabi Fund grants Djibouti Dh183.5 million
posted on 18/02/2015

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, has signed an MoU concerning the UAE's grant to Djibouti, which is valued at Dh183.5 million, in implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The signing ceremony was attended by Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, ADFD Director-General, and Osman Mousa Drar, Ambassador of Djibouti.
The grant is allocated to finance a number of developmental projects to be identified and agreed upon in cooperation with the Government of Djibouti, the grant will continue over the next five years, in the form of instalments, each worth Dh36.7 million a year In a statement on the occasion, Mr. Al Suwaidi said that the ties between the UAE and the Republic of Djibouti are strong and distinct, highlighting the Fund's keenness to develop and promote them through the support of various development projects.
Mr. Drar commended the UAE's initiative and the role played by the Abu Dhabi Fund in strengthening the pillars of the development process through adopting a fundamental and qualitative role to manage a number of key projects in Djibouti. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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ADFD commences setting up of specialist heart centre project in Bahrain
posted on 14/02/2015

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has announced the beginning of construction of the Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa Specialist Heart Centre in Awali area, Bahrain, worth, Dh550.95 million.
The funding of the project comes under a grant pledged by the UAE to Bahrain in 2013 within the framework of the development of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) programme. The project, which is managed by the ADFD on behalf of the UAE government to meet the growing demand for specialist heart centres, includes the construction of an integrated advanced centre for diseases and heart surgeries, and other medical services.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the ADFD, said, "The financing of this important and integrated centre for diseases and heart surgeries, reflects keenness of the UAE on playing effective role in sustainable development in Bahrain through provision of better health services to citizens there." He added that the project represents a quantum shift in diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases." When completed the capacity of centre would be 150 beds.
The ADFD manages the 10-year grant worth Dh9.19 billion equivalent to $2.5 billion, submitted by the UAE to Bahrain in 2013, within the framework of the GCC development programme. The grant also targets vital and key sectors in Bahrain, including housing, water, health, and transport.

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ERC, TDC to establish diabetes centre in Pakistan
posted on 09/02/2015

Abu Dhabi, 9th February, 2015 (WAM) -- The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) and The Diabetes Centre, Inc. (TDC), a non-profit social enterprise in Pakistan, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Pakistan' capital Islamabad, for establishing a diabetes centre to provide healthcare services to low-income patients.
Inked by Humaid Rashid Al Shamsi, Deputy ERC Secretary-General for International Aid, and Dr Asjad Hameed, Chairman of TDC, the MoU defines the framework of coordination and cooperation between the two parties to raise funds from donors and philanthropists to establish the centre in order to provide integrated preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic services as well as to train and qualify caregivers.
Dr. Hameed said the proposed centre would serve large segments of the Pakistani community, given the high prevalence of diabetes in Pakistan. He added that it would also heighten public awareness about the disease.
On his part, Al Shamsi said the ERC would implement the health project in collaboration with its partners in Pakistan as part of the directives of the UAE's wise leadership and follow up of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and ERC Chairman. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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UAE Committee for the Coordination of Foreign Aid launches Emergency Response Manual
posted on 04/02/2015

The UAE Committee for the Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid, headed by Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, has launched the Humanitarian Emergency Response Manual, prepared by the Ministry in partnership with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The manual is a major source of information and guidance for all workers in the international humanitarian field, who are trying to provide a helping hand to victims of disasters and humanitarian crises.
During the committee's meeting, Sheikha Lubna said that improving the efficiency of those who work in the humanitarian field is a top priority in the UAE, highlighting the importance of better coordination with international humanitarian organisations to unify various efforts.
The meeting reviewed the achievements of the UAE Compassion campaign, Tarahmu, launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with the follow-up of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as the value of donations rose to about Dh230 million for the relief of refugees and displaced persons during the winter, in addition to about 750 tons of in-kind aid worth a further Dh20 million.
A number of senior officials attended the meeting of the committee. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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Mohammed bin Rashid attends launch of UAE Official Foreign Aid Report for 2013
posted on 03/02/2015

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, this afternoon attended the launch of UAE Official Foreign Aid Report for 2013, which amounted to more than Dh 21.5 billion.
The launching ceremony, which was held at the Emirates Palace, was attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Lt. General Misbah bin Rashid AI Fattan, Director of the Office of the Vice-President, Khalifa Saeed Suleiman, Director- General of the Department of Protocol and Hospitality in Dubai, Mohammed Juma Al Naboodah, along with a number of Sheikhs, ministers, and senior officials and donor organisation's representatives from the public and private sectors in the country.
Sheikh Mohammed underlined that the UAE has been ranked first globally as the largest donor of humanitarian aid in 2013 in proportion to its gross national income, adding that its assistance touched over Dh21.6 billion in 2013, exceeding the highest percentage registered by any country in 50 years.
While attending at Emirates Palace the launch ceremony of the UAE Annual Foreign Aid Report for 2013, released by the Ministry of Development and International Cooperation (MICAD), Sheikh Mohammed said, "The reason the UAE is leading the world in terms of giving, emanates from the legacy chalked out by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and which is being sustained by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his brothers, the UAE Rulers." He added that the UAE has more than 38 humanitarian organisations that deliver donations across the world.
During the ceremony, Sheikh Mohammed honoured 38 humanitarian donor organisations, saying, "The UAE does not offer conditional assistance or wait for any interest in return. It only looks for stability and welfare of all peoples." The Vice President expressed his satisfaction with the report, reiterating that the documented humanitarian assistance's volume "reflects the forefathers' humanitarian values outlined by the founding fathers of the Union in accordance with the teachings of Islam, and in compliance with our national and humanitarian principles." According to the report launched by Sheikh Mohammed, the UAE's total Foreign Aid for 2013 stood at Dh21.63 billion, equivalent to US$5.89 billion.
Regarding the types of assistance, the development foreign aid for 2013 touched Dh20.46 billion, constituting 96.6 per cent of the total aid, compared with Dh5.07 billion in 2012. Meanwhile, the charity accounted for Dh640 million, or about 2.95 per cent of the total foreign aid. The humanitarian assistance stood at Dh530 million or about 2.45 per cent of the total foreign aid in 2013, compared to Dh400 million in 2012.
In keeping with the UAE's philosophy in providing foreign aid, which contributes to strengthening and upgrading the development capacity of the beneficiary countries, about 63.64 percent aid worth Dh13.77 billion of the total aid given by the UAE was issued as grants to the recipient countries. Meanwhile, the assistance in the form of loan accounted for 36.36 percent.
At the level of official development assistance documented by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2013, about 61.3 percent of the total aid was in the form of grants worth Dh12.4 billion, while 38.78 percent accounted for loans.
With regard to the geographical distribution of the UAE aid in 2013, about Dh21.63 billion, the lion's share of the assistance worth Dh18.1 billion, went to the African countries, compared with Dh958 million in 2011, while the recipients of the UAE aid in Asia received Dh2.7billion. Europe, the Americas, Oceania and other countries received Dh811million.
Regarding the UAE donors of aid for the year 2013, the governmental assistance was ranked at the top and accounted for 82.6 percent of the total paid assistance worth Dh17.9 billion, equivalent to US$4.8 billion. The assistance from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development ranked second with a value of Dh1.7 billion, equivalent to US$458 million.
The Dh777 million equivalent to the US$211.5 million aid provided by the Khalifa bin Zayed Foundation came in the third place, constituting 3.59 per cent of the total aid, while the Emirates Red Crescent Authority was ranked fourth with Dh566.5 million equivalent to US$154.22 million, accounting for 2.62 percent of the total aid. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Sultan Al Jaber: Economic Development Conference will return Egypt to growth track
posted on 01/02/2015

CAIRO: Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State, and Chairman of Coordination Office of UAE-funded Development Projects in Egypt, said on Saturday that the three-day Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) will launch an integrated programme for development in Egypt and provide an important milestone in efforts aimed at returning the Egyptian economy to track of sustainable growth by placing Egypt on the world investment map as an attractive destination for regional and international investors.
Al Jaber stated that the EEDC (Egypt the Future) will provide a fitting platform where world investment and finance community will get an insightful overview on steps Egypt is taking to introduce real economic reforms.
Al Jaber was speaking at a press conference held by Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab to unveil arrangements for holding the conference in Sharm El-Sheikh on the 13-15th March 2015. Present also was Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf. Mahlab said that he had met with Emirati and Saudi partners to coordinate efforts in that regards.
The UAE minister explained that the late king of Saudi Arabia Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz was the first to call for this conference and the UAE was immediately and directly supported the initiative.
The event website says the conference is a key milestone of the government's medium term economic development plan, which is designed to bring prosperity and improved social services to the people of Egypt.
Attracting leading global figures from business and politics, the EEDC will highlight the extensive reforms the government has already implemented and showcase future reforms designed to restore fiscal stability, drive growth and attract investment with the overarching aim of improving the welfare of the Egyptian people.
The conference will also present investment opportunities to domestic and international investors across key sectors.
The EEDC will reposition Egypt on the global investment map and affirm its potential as a source of political and economic stability in the region and a trusted partner on the international stage. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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Heart-to-Heart Campaign concluded its missions in Egypt
posted on 28/01/2015

CAIRO: The Heart-to-Heart Campaign has concluded its mission to cure hundreds of Egyptians under the supervision of an Emirati, Egyptian, Saudi, and French medical and surgical volunteer team.
The campaign was a joint effort by the Zayed Giving Initiative at the Saudi German Hospital and the Dar Al Ber Charity to take action based on humanitarian ideals and the concept of accepting social responsibility for underprivileged groups.
The Heart-to-Heart Campaign aimed to raise the community's awareness of cardiac diseases and the best methods of prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, which is the most common cause of death in the region.
Statistics indicate that 85 percent of heart disease can be prevented through early detection and by following preventive health care methods.
The campaign provided free treatment, including free surgery, to hundreds of patients. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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Under Khalifa's directives, UAE launches Phase 2 of polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan
posted on 25/01/2015

ISLAMABAD: Upon the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, (May God protect him) to provide humanitarian and development assistance to the friendly people of Pakistan, and implementing the initiative of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to eradicate polio globally, the administration of the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE PAP) announced launching of the second phase of "EMIRATES POLIO CAMPAIGN" in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan targeting 17 million children, around 51 million vaccination dose under the slogan "HEALTHY AND BRIGHT FUTURE FOR ALL".
The administration of the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE PAP) pointed out that the EMIRATES POLIO CAMPAIGN for polio eradication is a true interpretation of His Highness the UAE President's directives to boost efforts in support of health awareness plans in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, control epidemics, put an end to the negative health implications on the children in the affected areas. The campaign is, moreover, emblematic of UAE's humanitarian commitment to helping the poor nations, develop human development programmes and focus attention on the children in need of preventive health care.
His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, earlier made a personal AED 440 million (US$ 120M) contribution in support of the global efforts to eradicate polio by 2018 with particular emphasis on Pakistan and Afghanistan.
His Highness noted that saving children from curable diseases is a great humanitarian enterprise that can be only done by teamwork and collaborative efforts. His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed said that the UAE, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, (May Allah protect him), is always seeking international partnerships to sort out these sensitive global issues.
This is the second contribution by His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed to make vaccinations and serums available to all children of the world. In 2011, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a strategic partnership offering a $100 million contribution –on 50/50 basis- to purchase and deliver vaccinations to the children of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, Director of the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE PAP) pointed out that the launch of the second phase of the Emirates vaccination campaign comes an investment breakthrough achieved by the campaign and the culmination of practical success in grafting 13,000,283 thousand and 701 Pakistani children against polio in the first phase.
Al Ghafli referred to the extraordinary role and the particular importance of "EMIRATES POLIO CAMPAIGN" in supporting the global initiative endorsed by the General Assembly of the World Health to eradicate polio by the end of 2018 and to support the national emergency plan launched by the Pakistani government to eliminate the polio virus, where the campaign include a geographical coverage of 53 area, 15 of them in the territory of the region's tribal areas and 25 district in the districts Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 12 regions in the province of Balochistan, as well as Karachi district in Sindh province, and the field's efforts to vaccination teams will include application of a plan to give three consecutive vaccination doses for 17 million children a plan to give the three vaccination doses in a row to 17 million children, through the implementation of 282 fixed and mobile vaccination campaign during the months of January, February and March of 2015.
Al Ghafli said that the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE PAP) completed all the preparations for the implementation of EMIRATES POLIO CAMPAIGN in various Pakistani regions, where it began the implementation of an advertising campaign in various media to raise the population awareness of the seriousness of the polio epidemic and encourage them to receive vaccination team and cooperation with them, and it will also have direct supervision to follow up on the implementation of the campaign in various cities and villages, and at all dedicated centres for vaccination, pointing out that the UAE vaccination campaign will be carried out in cooperation with the Pakistani military leadership and the Ministry of Health of Pakistan and ministries of health in the provincial governments and the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF and under the supervision and participation of medical staff specialist of those authorities.
Al Ghafli extended his thanks and appreciation to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and to His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces on their directives and their initiative to launch this humanitarian initiative to protect Pakistanis children from epidemics of dangerous diseases that threaten their health and safety and well-being, which is record a new addition to the permanent humanitarian initiatives of our leadership to help the world's children and to protect them, as well as to ensure a bright future for them.
He also expressed his thanks and deepest appreciation to the Government of Pakistan, Pakistani Army, the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF organisation, representatives of provincial vaccination committee, field teams and to all those who planned, prepared and executed the UAE polio eradication campaign.
It is worth mentioning that the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports indicated the seriousness of the increase in the number of cases detected in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 2014, where 303 child affected by epidemic of polio, it is the highest number of cases of the disease in a decade, as the total number of cases recorded at the global level reached 339 case, where about 90% of children who fell victim to polio through 2014 are Pakistanis children.
The polio is a highly contagious viral disease attacks the nervous system, and most people exposed to the disease are children under the age of five, and a child out of every 200-400 children affected by polio exposed to paralysis or death, where according to government reports and international organisations that lack of health awareness about the dangers of disease and erroneous beliefs hinder the campaigns of eradication it.
The 2013 Global Vaccine Summit held in Abu Dhabi announced a five-year ( 2013-2018) strategic plan to wipe out polio which will cost $5.5 billion, where a scientific study estimated that efforts of the global initiative to eradicate polio could save as much as $ 40 to 50 billion dollars. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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Bill Gates praises partnership with UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait
posted on 23/01/2015

Bill Gates, Founder and Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Foundation, has commended the GCC peoples and governments, especially the governments of the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for their assistance to the needy worldwide.
He said on the occasion of launching the annual message of the Foundation that Muslims are top in donations, citing the teachings of their religion that urges them to pay alms 'Zakat'. Bill Gates said, "Our friends in the Middle East donated funds to help eradicate polio and meningitis. Through cooperation and exchange of expertise, we can make changes." On cooperation with the Muslim world to improve the living conditions of individuals, Bill Gates noted that "There is a lot of work that can be done to help the poor in the Muslim world, characterised with generous donors who do not hesitate to support such humanitarian issues." He commended the Muslim countries and Muslim scholars on refuting rumours that have been raised about the vaccines in those countries. "I was greatly impressed by the position of many Muslim scholars who have brushed aside the malicious rumours about the polio vaccines. They insisted that the protection of children is a noble act endorsed by Islam." Bill Gates noted that the scholars urged people to support and protect women who deliver vaccines to the needy families.
The UAE hosted in Abu Dhabi the Vaccine World Summit 2013, during which over $4 billion was pledged to fight polio. Then His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, donated $120 million, while the Gates Foundation committed $1.8 billion to support this programme.
The charity bodies in the UAE in cooperation with the Gates Foundation pledged in the past four years $249 million, including the allocation of $120 million to fight polio in addition to $33 million to support the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation.
Upon the directives of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi , the UAE launched the campaign to vaccinate over 13.2 million children in northern Pakistan between June and September 2014. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Masdar to deliver 12 MW of Solar Power in Mauritania
posted on 22/01/2015

Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, yesterday signed a contract with Mauritania's Ministry of Petroleum, Energy, and Mines, to deliver seven solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, with a total capacity of 12 megawatts, providing access to clean and reliable energy to seven towns across the country.
The projects, which are expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2016, will likely to displace 6 million litres of diesel fuel annually and 16,134 tonnes of CO2 each year. Each of the power plants will, on average, meet 30 percent of each town's electricity demand.
"Projects like these unlock significant economic and social benefits by providing more reliable and efficient local sources of electricity," said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and chairman of Masdar. "Masdar is committed to showcasing how renewable energy can provide a cost-competitive solution to meeting rising energy demands and improving energy security for nations with isolated grids." The projects will add significant energy capacity to each of the seven towns, which include Boutilimit, Aleg, Aioune, Akjoujt, Atar, Al Shami and Boulenour. Three of the solar plants will be 1 megawatt, three 2 megawatt and one, 3 megawatt.
"The solar projects which Masdar is delivering will demonstrate the valuable role renewable energy is playing in the social and economic development by positively impacting the lives of citizens, through the provision of clean energy at commercial rates for our country," said Mohamed Ould Khouna, Mauritania's minister of petroleum, energy and mines. "Mauritania and the UAE have enjoyed a longstanding relationship of mutual cooperation. With the projects announced today, we will once again be contributing to the sustainable growth of the country." Masdar will tender the project in the first quarter of this year and intends to engage local suppliers and contractors wherever possible. It will also work closely with Mauritania's government and its energy company Mauritania Electricity Company (Somelec), throughout the planning and delivery of the project.
"The significant addition of clean and reliable energy capacity, will make a major difference for businesses and residents in towns across Mauritania," said Mohamed Salem Ould Vall, deputy director general, Somelec. "In Masdar, we have a trusted partner with on the ground experience. Its extensive background in project delivery, both in Mauritania and globally, ensure it has the understanding and expertise required for the project." The majority of the PV plants are oversized, so they can provide additional generation capacity as needed, following upgrades to the local electricity grids and increased demand from planned growth. Significant gains in the efficiency of energy generation will also be achieved by reducing the amount of energy diesel generators need to produce at points of peak demand by 70 percent. This will add greater durability to energy supply and significantly reduce costly maintenance of diesel generators.
This is Masdar's second project in Mauritania, as the company delivered a 15-megawatt PV plant in 2013 – the first utility-scale solar power installation in the country. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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Lubna Al Qasimi hails leadership on UAE's lead in global Indicators of Government and Economic Confidence
posted on 22/01/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Cooperation, Head of UAE Committee for the Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid, has said the top global ranking of the UAE in Indicators of Government and Economic Confidence 2014, reflects the confidence bestowed in the leadership behind the achievements.
She added that the UAE 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, "is a unique one in a sense that it has established a rare development process, harnessed all resources and capabilities to make the people of UAE happy through upgrading the performance of all government institutions." Commenting on the feat, Sheikh Lubna reiterated the continuous efforts of the Vice President in the light of the directives of the UAE President, to improve the performance of cadres and staff of the federal government to enjoy the confidence rarely available in many countries of the world, to reap the first global place.
She added that all the initiatives launched by the leadership take into account the provision of the best service to clients of the federal government, whether citizens or investors, or even visitors to the country. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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ADFD supports infrastructure projects in Swaziland
posted on 19/01/2015

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has provided a development grant worth over Dh36.7 million to the Kingdom of Swaziland to fund the first phase of the Manzini-Mbadlane Road Highway Project.
An agreement to this effect was signed here in a ceremony held at the ADFD office in the presence of Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the ADFD, and Swaziland's Minister of Finance, Martin Dlamini. The road will contribute effectively to the socio-economic development of the Kingdom.
Commenting on the deal, Al Suwaidi said, "The agreement comes within the framework of our keenness to support vital sectors in different developing countries, where infrastructure sector, especially roads, play an important role in speeding up the economic growth and trade," adding that many developing countries lack vital infrastructure projects.
He commended the policies of the wise leadership that helped the UAE make a "paradigm shift" in the area of development aid worldwide.
On his part, the Swaziland's Finance Minister praised the UAE government for consolidating joint cooperation, citing the effective role of both, the UAE government and the ADFD, in sustaining the development in Swaziland in general and financing the road in particular. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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IRENA and ADFD bring renewable power to 280,000 people in rural communities
posted on 19/01/2015

The International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, yesterday announced US$57 million in concessional loans for five renewable energy projects in developing countries. The projects, to be financed in the second cycle, have a combined total capacity of 35 megawatts, bringing reliable and sustainable power to more than 280,000 people in rural communities that lack access to modern energy services.
The loans will go to projects in a geographically diverse set of countries including Argentina, Cuba, Iran, Mauritania and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
"Renewable energy offers the prospect of clean, affordable power to the 1.3 billion people currently off the electricity grid," said IRENA Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin, at a press conference yesterday on the side-lines of IRENA's fifth Assembly. "While renewable energy resources are abundant in many communities suffering from energy poverty, finance is still a key challenge for deployment. That is why the partnership between IRENA and ADFD is so important as a pioneering effort." This is the second loan cycle of seven, which together will commit US$350 million over seven years to the deployment of renewable energy in developing countries, with a total project value of an estimated US$800 million. The funds from ADFD mobilise other funds and will lead to more than double the invested amount.
Projects approved for funding in the second loan cycle include solar, hydro, hybrid (wind and solar) and geothermal energy. The projects selected represent a mix of renewable energy sources, are innovative, potentially replicable or scalable, and will improve energy access.
"As part of its mandate to work on projects with a profound impact on the economies of developing countries, ADFD has collaborated with IRENA to support the renewable energy sector as a tool for economic and social development," said Adel Abdulla Al Hosani, Director of Operations Department in ADFD. "Towards this priority, we are keen to support the economic development and deployment of sustainable energy projects in countries with immense clean energy potential, but lacking necessary financial resources and project management expertise." The IRENA/ADFD Project Facility pioneers the support of renewable energy as a viable and sustainable focus for foreign development assistance that offers long-term social and economic benefits to developing countries.
The third funding cycle of the Project Facility is now open for project proposals, with concessional loan interest rates of 1-2 percent. These new, lower rates will support an even broader range of renewable energy projects throughout the remaining five loan cycles.
"The UAE sees renewable energy as a new cornerstone of sustainable development, with dramatic cost reductions having made it the most competitive energy option in many developing countries," said Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, the UAE's Permanent Representative to IRENA and Director of Energy and Climate Change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "The partnership between ADFD and IRENA provides a powerful way to demonstrate renewable energy's viability and speed up further deployment." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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Al Jaber: The UAE has allocated more than US$700 million to support renewable energy in developing countries
posted on 18/01/2015

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State, and Chairman of Masdar, yesterday said that the UAE is committed to supporting the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, in its work helping countries transition to the use of sustainable energy, and announced that five new projects will be introduced this year.
In a statement given during IRENA's fifth session of the assembly, which marked the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, ADSW, Al Jaber said, "I would like to point out the exemplary model of cooperation between the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development Fund, ADFD, and IRENA, in sponsoring renewable energy projects. Since 2009, the UAE has allocated more than US$700 million towards the support of renewable energy sector in developing countries." Speaking about the UAE's future plans to help developing countries move towards a more sustainable energy future, the Minister said, "Five new projects will be launched this year in the form of instalment programmes offered by ADFD, as well as four new projects as part of grants the UAE is providing to islands in the Pacific Ocean." Speaking on the side-lines of the event to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to IRENA, and Director of Energy and Climate Change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the latest projects reflect the UAE's serious stance on supporting the renewable energy sector internationally.
"These five projects, which are funded by ADFD through IRENA, send a strong message to the world on how serious we really are when it comes to energy security here and around the world," Dr. Al Zeyoudi said.
Regarding the UAE's future prospects for sustainable energy, Dr. Al Zeyoudi said that the UAE's sustainable energy awareness and efforts started decades ago, as a vision of the UAE's founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
"Since the 1970s, the late Sheikh Zayed asked the oil and gas industry to decrease the flaring of gas. It was part of a vision that came from our founding father," he said.
"In the last 10 years, the UAE has gone through a transition period where there was a major shift in our energy sector as we started investing in clean energy, namely renewable and peaceful nuclear programmes," he added.
Such examples, he said, include Masdar's 100 megawatt solar energy project, Shams 1, and the use of solar roof projects in buildings around the capital.
Some of Masdar's international ventures include its investment in the London Array, Gemasolar in Spain, and "Our grand projects in Mauritania and Seychelles, which are supporting those countries in achieving energy security," explained Al Zeyoudi.
IRENA is the primary, and one of the most important, partners for the UAE when it comes to helping it realise its renewable energy ambitions. "IRENA is helping us develop the UAE renewable energy map for 2030, finding the latest in the sector around the world, and is helping us achieve our targets. They also provide the expertise needed, which we have unlimited access to," he said.
Al Zeyoudi went on to say that the UAE believes that investing in renewable energy projects is highly beneficial on many levels.
"Sustainability does not only bring environmental and economic benefits, but we also look at the social aspects as well, like the amount of employment it generates, the expertise gained, the role it plays in promotion of the country and its global ranking. We like to look at the picture from a holistic approach," he explained.
"Based on findings, the oil supply in the UAE is expected to last for more than 120-150 years, but our leaders are always protective whenever it comes to our future generations, they want to protect our natural resources and start investing in new platforms and sectors to ensure that our natural resources last even longer, which is a visionary stance from our leaders," he concluded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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UAE announces four new renewable energy projects in the Pacific under US$50m Fund
posted on 18/01/2015

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) yesterday signed partnership agreements with four new Pacific island countries to deploy renewable energy projects under the US$50 million UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund.
Grant funding is provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs managing the initiative and Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, leading implementation. The solar-powered projects, in the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, and the Solomon Islands, are expected to be completed in 2016.
The announcement brings the total number of projects under the fund to date to 10.
The partnerships were signed during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2015 – a yearly platform that addresses the interconnected challenges of energy and water security, climate risk and sustainable development.
"Renewable energy is one of the most cost-competitive power sources to deliver electricity to communities across the Pacific," said Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and chairman of Masdar. "For a region facing some of the highest energy costs in the world, access to sustainable sources of power, such as wind and solar, offer the Pacific a viable solution to enhance energy security and economic growth." The four new projects are estimated to save 1 million litres of diesel fuel annually, providing a cost saving of US$1.2 million, and mitigating 2,759 tons of CO2 per year. Combined with projects in six other countries already approved under the fund – with two completed and four under construction – they represent one of the largest investments in renewable energy in the Pacific.
With renewable energy technologies improving, driving down delivery costs in many regions, clean power has exceeded grid parity in the Pacific Islands, among other locations, when compared to traditional fossil fuel energy generation. For the last two years, the International Renewable Energy Agency has reported that renewable energy now outcompetes imported diesel on cost across the Pacific.
The projects also highlight the UAE and Masdar's growing expertise in delivering renewable energy to communities located in complex, remote regions of the world.
"As part of our mission to enable developing countries to achieve sustainable development, ADFD has partnered with Masdar to support these countries unlock their vast underutilised renewable potentials," said His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director general, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. "Such collaborative efforts demonstrate how developing countries' growing appetite for energy can be met affordably and sustainably. For the remote islands of the Pacific, access to clean energy is a critical component to enable their economic and social development." The four new projects to be delivered include: A 600 kWp solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the Marshall Islands A 600 kWp solar PV plant in the Solomon Islands A 500 kWp solar PV plant in Nauru Three project components across Palau: Delivering and enabling 434 kW of solar PV across the islands of Koror, Peleliu and Angaur, including the delivery of 100 solar systems, each 1.7 kW, as part of a clean energy affordable loan programme.
An innovative water treatment plant, powered by renewables, providing 50 m3 of clean water a day.
Two cutting-edge diesel generators, with a total capacity of 254 kW, to maximise the amount of solar energy fed into the grid on Peleliu and Angaur.
The US$ 50 million UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund was launched in March 2013 by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE's minister of foreign affairs. The fund covers project feasibility studies, engineering design, plant equipment supplies and installation, construction and, operation and maintenance training in addition to associated grid impact analysis of the project ensuring grid stability. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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Team inspects progress at two UAE-funded development projects in Egypt
posted on 15/01/2015

A team from the Coordination Office of the UAE-Funded Development Projects in Egypt has inspected progress of projects in Egypt's governorates of Giza and Cairo.
President of Al-Azhar University, Abdul Hayy Azab, Chairman of the board of Egyptian vaccine maker Vacsera, Nabil el-Beblawy, and representatives of media organisations took part in the tour to two UAE-funded projects: four buildings which will provide 81 accommodation units for Al Azhar students at Nasr City and a vaccine and sera production facility at Vacsera that will boost Egypt's self-efficiency, create more jobs and preserve the quality of domestic production.
Other UAE-funded educational projects in Egypt include an advanced health information system for Al Azhar University hospitals, the Islamic Studies Institute in New Cairo that will accommodate some 1500 students, and the Sheikh Zayed Arabic Language Institute which accommodates more than 1200 students from 102 countries.
In his remarks during the tour, Azab thanked the leaders and people of the UAE for their unwavering support for Al Azhar.
He said, "It is not unusual for the sons of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to walk in his steps and back Al Azhar and its mission. They appreciate the varsity's role as a cultural and scientific lighthouse against extremist ideology." The student accommodation project which started in September 2013 is now 51 per cent completed.
Other UAE-funded educational and cultural projects for Al Azhar University include a library which will house some 50000 manuscripts and documents.
The overhaul of Vacsera's vaccine and sera production facility is now 80 per cent complete, el-Beblawy noted adding that Egypt now imports 74 per cent of insulin, with local companies meeting 26 percent and Vacsera 9 per cent of the country's demand.
The UAE-funded development projects in Egypt include 87 family medicine centres in 32 governorates to serve more than 780,000 citizens, and 151 sewage treatment stations which will serve some 1,7 million citizens in remote villages. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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Lubna: UAE will pursue its humanitarian mission and role
posted on 13/01/2015

By launching the 2015-2021 strategy for the International Humanitarian City (IHC), His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is laying a future vision to develop and promote the message, mission and standing of the IHC at a time when humanitarian work is experiencing significant changes, Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, said.
'Updating strategies and reviewing plans are important for developing and improving the performance of the humanitarian work sector,' Sheikha Lubna said in a statement after Sheikh Mohammed launched the IHC's strategy on Monday.
She praised Sheikh Mohammed's far-sighted vision for establishing the IHC, enabling the UAE to become an active international partner through harnessing its economic and developmental capabilities to promote and support the noble message of humanitarian work under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
She said, 'The UAE is always looking to the future, particularly in terms of its leading humanitarian role and standing. Apart from its direct contributions and assistance, the UAE is also seeking to remove obstacles facing humanitarian works, especially in the area of ensuring timely delivery of assistance to those in need.' The IHC, Sheikha Lubna emphasised, has gained the respect and confidence of the international humanitarian organisations.
She added that the UAE, being the world's largest provider of Official Development Aid (ODA), would pursue its humanitarian mission, whose foundations were laid down by the late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. – Emirates News Agency, WAM-

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ADFD: Construction work at US$167m residential housing development in Kabul completed
posted on 11/01/2015

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) on Saturday said that construction work at its USUS$167 million residential housing development in Kabul, Afghanistan, has been completed and that work is underway to complete the project's infrastructure and amenities.
The fund says that the handover of the project, which will see 3,330 housing units built on a 54-hectare site in Kabul, will be handed over in July 2015.
The housing units were designed to suit family lifestyle of Afghans.
Director-General of the AFDF, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, reiterated the keen interest of the UAE government in standing by Afghanistan as a major partner in the country's social and economic sustainable development.
He added that such projects represent an effective and major contribution to the development of the Afghan capital and back the Afghan government's efforts to encounter the challenges of social welfare and economic development and eventually achieve sustainable development.
ADFD's involvement in Afghanistan goes back to 1977. Since then, the ADFD has offered and managed grants, loans and long-term direct investments totalling more than Dh1 billion to fund 13 projects in the country's most vital sectors of overall development.
To date, the fund which was established by the Government of the emirate of Abu Dhabi in 1971, has managed more than Dh64 billion of the UAE government's foreign aid to fund 238 development projects in 71 countries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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50,000 school bags filled with care for Gaza children
posted on 10/01/2015

As many as 50,000 children in Gaza will have a reason to smile when they see their new school bags. Packed with school stationery and books, the school kits have been put together by thousands of UAE residents as part of a new initiative launched by Dubai Cares.
Hossein Omeid, a student of Philadelphia Private School was among the volunteers who turned up on the first day of the community campaign.
"Most of my classmates have come here to help in the initiative,” said Hussain, an Iranian national.
The school kits include notebooks, pens, calculator, sketchbooks, erasers, sharpeners and crayons among other stationery. The campaign is being hosted under the initiative "Rebuild Palestine. Start with Education.”
The latest round of fighting took a particularly devastating toll on Gaza's youngest and most vulnerable. Families lost, houses destroyed, classrooms razed — the hopes of a young generation were gunned down in the carnage.
Farzana Usman Zarifi, a university student, was upbeat about being a volunteer for the good cause of packing school bags for these children.
"This is the only way I can help and I didn't want to miss it,” remarked Farzana.
Holding three empty school bags in her hand, Farzana set out on her mission to fill the bags with essentials laid out on tables. With 10 tables turning into an assembly line, volunteers walked across a table to fill each school bag with a list of utilities.
"This bag will end up with a child in Gaza who will use these goods to continue going to school. It is wonderful to see so many people turn up for a good cause,” said Farzana.
Once the bags are filled, quality control teams check every bag to count if the right quantity has been packed. The bags are collected into large boxes, before being loaded onto trucks for their onward journey. Dubai Cares is inviting UAE residents to come and volunteer in assembling the school kits.
UAE residents, businesses and schools can register on site at Al Boom Tourist Village in Dubai anytime between 10am and 6pm until January 11.
Dubai Cares will then deliver the kits to the students currently studying in UNRWA schools in Gaza, in time for the start of the second half of the academic year.
Speaking with Khaleej Times, Tariq Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares said: "We want to engage the community and help bring back smiles on the faces of children of Gaza. Once loaded, the trucks will head to Jordan via road where they will be handed over to UNRWA.” He added, "We want more people to come here and assemble the school kits.” – Emirates News Agency, WAM -§ion=nationgeneral

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UAE, Egypt sign joint protocol for employing 10,000 job-seekers
posted on 09/01/2015

CAIRO: The UAE and Egypt, on Thursday, signed a joint protocol worth EGP50 million for providing training and employment to 10,000 job-seekers in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector as per the actual demand of the labour market.
Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State, and Chairman of the Coordination Office of UAE-funded Development Projects in Egypt, Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, Egyptian Minister of Trade, Industry, and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, and Atef Helmy, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, attended the signing ceremony in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.
The protocol is part of the UAE - Egyptian Joint Protocol to activate the 'Training for Employment' Initiative, which seeks practical solutions that contribute to generating job opportunities and training a capable work force that meets the actual demand of the job market in Egypt and beyond.
The four-phase training programme will be implemented in 26 governorates to train and qualify 100,000 job-seekers to cover 50 percent demand of the job market for vocational professionals. Of the 25,505 job-seekers who have been trained, nearly 10,000 were offered jobs.
Commenting on the occasion, Dr. Al Jaber said, 'Provision of practical solutions to economic and social challenges facing the Egyptian citizen is at the heart of the UAE development projects in Egypt in line with directives of the UAE's wise leadership. I am pleased that the 'Training for Employment' initiative is making tangible progress by concentrating on fields that meet the actual demand of the labour market.' He stated that the programme will provide training courses for the ICT sector, whose services are witnessing significant growth in demand.
'The UAE will remain committed to offering whatever serves the interest of the brotherly Egyptian people and encourage positive energy and creativity,' he asserted.
UAE-funded Development Projects in Egypt, which stretch from housing to education to health and energy and food security, will generate more than 600,000 jobs. By financing 169 small and medium scale projects through credit facilities of up to US$200 million, the UAE will also contribute towards creating 200,000 job opportunities.
Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour paid tribute to the leadership, government and people of the UAE for supporting Egypt and particularly the ‘Training for Employment' initiative, which he said set a successful model for joint co-operation between the two countries.
He said that the programme had introduced a qualitative shift in the development of capabilities and skills of the technical workforce which will meet the demand of the labour market. By offering vocational and technical training, he said, the programme will contribute to modernising Egyptian industry and providing equal job opportunities for young Egyptian men and women.
The minister noted the positive impact of the project on Egypt's sustainable development plans and economic growth rates.
The project, he added, would help Egypt address the unemployment problem by training and offering job-seekers real jobs.
Atef Helmy said the UAE and Egypt share distinguished ties in various fields including the ICT, which he added, was projected to fuel development and economic growth given its potential to launch significant initiatives that create many job opportunities.
He noted that persons with special needs will be included in the ‘Training for Employment' initiative.
Inked by Hussein El-Gueretly, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, and Mahmoud El-Sherbiny, Executive Director of the Industrial Training Council (ITC) of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, the protocol comes as part of Egypt's efforts to implement the economic reform policy, address unemployment, encourage businesses and enhance co-operation among ministries, in order to develop the society and leverage employees' effectiveness.
According to the protocol, MCIT is to promote the project and identify training needs, job opportunities and young trainers, according to the ICT sector needs. It will guide job seekers, implement and follow-up on the training courses in the governorates according to work priorities agreed upon. It will also provide the Ministry of Industry with data and operating locations and co-ordinate with it to organise employment fairs for ICT sector.
The selection of trainees is based on certain criteria. These are as follows: the trainee must be Egyptian, aged 18 years or more, unemployed, capable of working and willing to work for not less than a year. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Nine million Syrian refugees require harsh winter conditions, says UAE's MICAD
posted on 08/01/2015

Over nine million Syrian refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) will require humanitarian assistance to face a harsh winter, the UAE Ministry of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) has said noting that 14 percent of the Syrian refugees are living in camps near valleys and slopes in the three neighbouring countries.
In its 'Humanitarian Brief: Snowstorm hits Syrian refugees and IDPs', MICAD said that nine million Syrian refugees and IDPs in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq are suffering from harsh winter conditions due to inclement weather, in particular the powerful snow storm, dubbed Huda or Zeina that is sweeping across the region.
The snowstorm started on 6 January, and wind speeds reached 110 km/h in some regions, with severe snow fall and temperatures dropping in some areas to below four degrees Celsius below zero in some areas.
In Syria, the effects of the polar depression started with a pouring rain, which raised concerns of floods and mudslides in valleys and inclines.
Temperatures, MICAD noted, are expected to reach seven degrees Celsius below zero with snow forecasted to continue falling for the next four days. Temperatures may reach as low as 10 degrees Celsius below zero and snow is expected to fall over all altitudes above 600 meters across the country.
In Lebanon, the polar storm hit Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon's north-eastern border town of Arsal disrupting tents and temporary shelters.
The escalating price of diesel up to US$100 per barrel is leading to diminished supplies thus limiting the refugees' capacity to heating their shelters and cook food.
In Jordan, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has increased their financial support to cover 21,000 Syrian refugee families for this month; however another 9,000 families remain in need of humanitarian assistance. UNHCR is calling for support from the international community.
As part of the UAE's response to the humanitarian situation of the Syrian refugees, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Tuesday, ordered the launch of a humanitarian airlift to transport urgent relief items, including winter clothing, blankets and food items to the refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, in addition to affected people in Gaza and other parts of Palestine.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai also called on all parties to .support Sheikh Khalifa's call.
Today, Wednesday, the UAE is launching a campaign tomorrow Wednesday to raise funds for refugees and people in the Levant to help them survive the powerful snow storm Huda expected to hit the region in the coming days.
A national committee comprising representatives of government departments and national media outfits was urgently formed to carry out the campaign, "Show Compassion" (Tarahamu in Arabic). It seeks to provide warmth for one million people, including refugees, affected by winter conditions.
On Friday, all the local media channels will also air a unified broadcast to cover the events of the humanitarian fundraiser. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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UAE helps supply prosthetic and assistive devices for those affected by the Syria crisis
posted on 06/01/2015

The UAE Ministry of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) yesterday announced the signing of a one year, Dh 3.6 million (US$ 1 million) agreement with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to support the UN organisation's ‘Syria Crisis Response 2014'. The agreement, signed in December 2014, is part of UAE's continuous efforts and commitment to improving the health conditions and livelihoods of people affected by the crisis in Syria.
The agreement was signed by Hazza Al Qahtani, Undersecretary of MICAD, and Ms. Elizabeth Hoff, Representative of WHO in Syria, commissioned by the Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. It establishes the principle of cooperation and consultation between the two parties, and specifies the provision of artificial limbs and assistive devices for people affected by the Syria crisis. Statistics indicate that more than 750,000 men, women and children have suffered an injury resulting in the loss of an upper or lower limb or, in some cases, both.
"This agreement is testament to the UAE's support to regional and international humanitarian issues and we are proud to work with the WHO on this important cause which aims to change the lives of many by giving them hope for the future," said Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of International Cooperation and Development. "We hope this project opens the door for further collaboration in future, as we remain committed to providing assistance to those affected by the unfortunate conflict in Syria," she added.
The two parties have agreed to work jointly to help individuals affected by the Syrian crisis. The UAE contribution of Dh 3.6 million (USD 1 million), is expected to supply 700 patients inside Syria with artificial limbs, in addition to repairing artificial limbs for another 300 patients.
Commenting on the agreement, Ms. Elizabeth Hoff said: "This contribution, which comes at a time when funding is critically short for the health sector and humanitarian needs are sharply increasing, demonstrates the commitment of the UAE to support humanitarian response in Syria through a strategic partnership with WHO". Ms. Hoff added, "When a crisis turns peoples' lives upside down, we count on the strong support of our partners and Member States to alleviate the pain of people in need. This benevolent donation of the UAE will contribute to the provision of prosthetics to hundreds of Syrians directly affected by the conflict." The project includes a work plan with a timeframe of activities and risk management strategy. The two partners will also be monitoring and evaluating the results to ensure the effectiveness of the project. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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