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Egypt's Prime Minister, Sheikh Al Azhar and Sultan Al Jaber attends inauguration of Al Azhar specialty hospital sections
posted on 03/09/2015

CAIRO: Egyptian Prime Minister, Ibrahim Mahlab, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Al Sharif, Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Al Tayyeb, and Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Coordination Office of the UAE-Funded Development Projects in Egypt, yesterday attended the inauguration of Al Azhar Hospital's specialty sections in Nasr City, Cairo.
The project is a result of the co-operation between Al Azhar and Emirates Advanced Investments Company, which has set up a "health information system." The hospital will be managed by the company's subsidiary, Global Medical Solutions.
Mahlab, Sheikh Al Azhar and Al Jaber toured the hospital and were assured about speedy completion of some requirements so that the hospital becomes fully operational. They were also briefed about the health information system, developed in the UAE by local and national cadres in line with the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, which aims to boost national capacities in the area of programming. The visitors were acquainted with the implementation of the system and its positive impact to enhance delivery of hospital services to over 350,000 of Al Azhar employees and students of Al Azhar University and institutes.
Sheikh Al Azhar paid a tribute to the UAE's support to Egypt, stating that the UAE's leadership, government and people's support to Al Azhar, "reflects their great appreciation to Al Azhar, being a beacon of science, culture, tolerance and moderation."
He noted that the UAE has constructed four buildings at the university and its Islamic Division Institute.
The UAE minister said, "The co-operation between the UAE and Egypt is historic and dates back to the era of the UAE's founding father, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan."
He added that relations between the two countries continue to grow in the light of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and 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.
Al Jaber expressed his satisfaction on touring the specialty hospital, which will upgrade the health services provided to ordinary citizens.
"As Al Azhar represents a beacon of moderation and centrism to confront extremism, it also provides a model for science, development and progress," he said, while thanking the management of the hospital and Emirates Advance Investments Company, and all those who played a significant role in the development and application of the health information system. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Lubna Al Qasimi hails UAE leadership on handling of refugee crisis
posted on 03/09/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD), and Head of the UAE Committee for the Coordination of Foreign Humanitarian Aid, has commended the directives of the UAE leadership on provision of unlimited support to the refugees worldwide.
She added that the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, reflect the state's contribution and credibility to handle the refugee crisis and its related issues.
Sheikha Lubna said the current refugee issues were humanitarian and required concerted international efforts and partnerships to ensure their repatriation to their home countries.
She made the remarks yesterday during a meeting at the MICAD with Lt. Gen (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions in Pakistan, Fazlullah Reshteen, Charge d'Affaires at the Afghanistan embassy in the UAE and Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
They discussed the co-operation between the UAE with UNHCR and the latest developments regarding the refugees. Sheikha Lubna also discussed with the Pakistani minister and Afghan diplomat, ways to strengthen co-operation and partnerships with the two countries, as well as issues of the refugees and how they would return home.
The Pakistani minister briefed Sheikha Lubna about the joint Pakistani-Afghani efforts, the countries hosting the Afghan refugees and the UNHCR to hold a high-profile international conference on this issue.
He thanked the UAE for its efforts in the light of the directives of its leadership to support Pakistan in humanitarian and development areas.
The meeting was attended by Hazza Al Qahtani, Under-Secretary of the MICAD, Najla Al Ka'abi, Assistant Under-Secretary for International Cooperation, Rasmiya Al Dhahiri from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other officials. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Joint UAE-Egypt vocational and placement program marks successful conclusion
posted on 02/09/2015

CAIRO: The ‘Vocational Training and Placement Program, jointly conducted by the UAE/Egypt Liaison Office for social and infrastructure development and Egypt's Industrial Training Canter has marked a successful conclusion.
Commemorating the occasion, and Dr. Mohamed Yousef, Education Minister for Technical and Vocational Training in Egypt and Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Head of the UAE/Egypt Liaison Office, signed a project completion agreement in the presence of His Excellency Eng. Khaled Negm, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of Egypt.
Following the signing ceremony, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: "I am honoured to convey the commitment of the UAE's leadership to the people of Egypt. Our cooperation with Egypt to train young men and women will enable and prepare them to find jobs and build their future whilst integrating them as much needed contributors to the sustainability of the Egyptian economy. This project articulates our efforts to achieve a positive economic and social impact within the Egyptian society."
Dr Al Jaber added: "This training program holds special significance for us. Empowering human capital and equipping it with the necessary tools to succeed, lies at the core of the UAE leadership's strategic vision. In empowering people, especially women, we empower societies and generations to come. We have been able to complete this project in record time thanks to the high demand for various training programs and a strategic allocation of modules that are much needed in Egypt.
He added: "The UAE's success in delivering development projects in Egypt is the result of a high level of coordination and follow-up; part of a unique model created especially for Egypt."
Mohamed Ahmed Youssef, Technical Education and Training Minister, commended the UAE leadership's stance in standing by the people of Egypt and extending support to all factions of society. He pointed out that the UAE's praiseworthy efforts in spearheading a series of development projects have helped reduce unemployment and create unprecedented job opportunities.
Youssef said: "The work of the UAE/Egypt Liaison Office for social and infrastructure development projects is yet another example of the excellent cooperation between our two countries. The collaboration between the Office and the Industrial Training Council opened up unconventional and practical methodologies for overcoming the problem of unemployment. Through the strategies put in place, both entities have successfully worked towards implementing solutions for the wider benefit of the society."
In conjunction with the UAE/Egypt Liaison Office for social development and infrastructure projects and the Egyptian Industrial Training Council, the Vocational Training and Job Placement Program was implemented across 27 Egyptian governorates to empower more than 80,000 aspiring professionals in various sectors. Of these, nearly 60% were absorbed by the private sector, entrepreneurship and corporate communication departments.
In the lead up to the launch of the program and in collaboration with the Council, the UAE/Egypt liaison Office launched a six-month advertising campaign titled ‘The Future in Your Hands' to raise awareness about the initiative among potential participants. Complementing the initiative, an integrated information system was established to provide data related to the employment market. Accessible to different user categories, ranging from students and professionals from the public and private sector, the system offers data on recruitment, training and employment opportunities.
The breakdown of the program included 70,000 students that focused on various vocational training programs as well as 10,000 trainees from the communications and information technology sector. Of the total 80,000 trainees, 62% comprised males and 38% females. Of those trained, 48,000 young men and women have been productively employed in various capacities.
The Vocational Training and Job Placement Program included sessions on entrepreneurship, engineering, maintenance, construction, food processing, agriculture, telecommunications, maritime transport, logistics, welding, printing, textile, leather tanning and wood work. Workshops on tourism and the commercial sector were also conducted.
The UAE is currently overseeing the development of a number of projects in Egypt towards making a positive, immediate and tangible impact on the lives of more than 10 million Egyptian citizens. Over 900,000 jobs varying between part and full time were created during and after construction of the projects focusing on energy, education, healthcare, transportation, food security and housing. Many of the projects have been completed and delivered, such as the UAE People's 10 MW Siwa solar power plant in the field of renewable energy, 50,000 housing units, 78 healthcare clinics and 100 schools.
Also delivered in August 2015, were 600 public transport busses and 4 bridges in 3 governorates. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Foundation stone laid for Khalifa bin Zayed school in Kazakhstan
posted on 02/09/2015

ASTANA: The foundation stone of the Khalifa bin Zayed School was laid in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, in the presence of a number of senior Kazakh officials and ambassadors of the GCC, Arab and foreign countries in Kazakhstan.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, Ahmed Juma Al Za'abi, Deputy Minister for Presidential Affairs, and Deputy Chairman of Khalifa bin Zayed Foundation, said the school, to be built on 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, and follow-up of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of Khalifa Foundation, is part of the UAE's efforts to support the education sector in Kazakhstan.
Noting that bilateral ties were growing and evolving steadily and firmly towards a constructive economic partnership, particularly in education and health, Al Za'abi said that the school, when completed, would constitute a qualitative addition to the learning process in Kazakhstan.
Stretching 37,000 square metres with a built-up area of 14,300 square metres, the school will accommodate 1,200 students at the primary, preparatory and secondary levels, he added.
The UAE Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Suhail Mattar Al Ketbi, also addressed the ceremony, saying that the health and educational development project by the UAE aimed at facilitating development in Kazakhstan to serve its people.
The UAE assistance was well received by the people of Kazakhstan and the government was very keen to implement development projects, he added.
In his welcome address, the governor of Astana conveyed the regards of Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and his best wishes for good health and happiness.
The UAE was among the few countries that contributed development aid to his country, and for that it gained immense respect and regards from the Kazakh people, he noted.
He said that the Khalifa Foundation has funded several projects in Kazakhstan including the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Grand Mosque which accommodates 1,000 worshippers and a 200-bed hospital that serves thousands of patients.
Later, Al Za'abi launched a book, prepared by the government of Kazakhstan, on the UAE and the achievements it has made under the leadership of Sheikh Khalifa. He also attended the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the adoption the country's Constitution. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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UNRWA praises UAE contribution to education programme
posted on 02/09/2015

GENEVA: The government of the UAE has stepped forward with a generous US$15 million contribution in support of the critical UNRWA education programme. The pledge comes at a crucial time, as a US$ 101 million funding shortfall had put at risk the start of the school year for the 685 UNRWA schools that serve 500,000 students in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
"Education is a fundamental right for children everywhere in the world, and it should never have come to the point where the UNRWA school year risked being delayed because of a funding shortfall for the core UNRWA budget," said Pierre Krahenbuhl, Commissioner-General of UNRWA. "The government of the UAE, through the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development, MICAD, responded to our call for support with a pledge of US$15 million, without which the start of our school year would have been at risk."
The Commissioner-General added, "So it is with deep appreciation that I thank the people and the government of the UAE on behalf of the half a million boys and girls who will be starting the school year on time. Your generosity and solidarity has made this possible."
The UAE has long been an important and consistent donor to UNRWA. This latest commitment comes in addition to its annual contribution of US$1.8 million to the agency's core activities and to the many projects funded by UAE foundations. The UAE is also an actively engaged member of the UNRWA Advisory Commission, of which it became a member in 2014. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Human Appeal International in Ajman builds solar-powered water station in Niger
posted on 31/08/2015

NIAMEY, NIGER: Human Appeal International in Ajman, HAI, has accomplished a fresh water project that works by solar-power, in the village of Kwaya, in the Zinder region of Niger, costing AED282,000, which will benefit approximately 1,000 people, mostly women, children, the elderly and the disabled.
A Zinder region official honoured the Human Appeal International authority during the opening of the new station, praising the outstanding role played by the UAE in the creation of sustainable development projects and their impact on promoting the stability of the people and facilitating their lives, as he expressed his gratitude to the UAE, its leadership and its people on these important projects.
Abdullah Al Awadi, Assistant HAI Secretary-General for Administrative and Financial Affairs, said in a statement on the occasion, that "water is the most important source of human life, in which make this the most significant project launched by HAI". He also praised the authority's efforts in making sure that the project complies with sustainability criteria by using a solar-powered work-station and also by establishing a local distribution station to prevent crowding and easy access to the water.
The majority of the people of Kwaya village are living below the poverty line as most of the heads of households have limited income and the region suffers from the lack of drinking water, therefore, the project is crucial as it has contributed to providing access to water for the village citizens, their livestock and agriculture. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Zayed Giving Initiative boosts humanitarian programmes at local, global levels
posted on 22/08/2015

The Zayed Giving Initiative has doubled its humanitarian programmes at local and international levels to alleviate suffering of the needy people worldwide.
The initiative seeks to recruit one million multinational volunteers to train them in humanitarian fields, especially in the medical fields, to curb the spread of diseases and educate people about preventive measures.
Coinciding with World Humanitarian Day, which is observed on 19th August each year, the Zayed Giving Initiative issues an annual report about its humanitarian and voluntary programmes in line with the legacy outlined by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE's founding father, which is sustained by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The initiative offers curative, surgical and preventive medical programmes to needy heart patients, children and others with participation of specialists from the UAE, France, Britain, Canada, Italy, Argentina, Arab and African states.

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HAI inaugurates solar-powered water station in Niger
posted on 20/08/2015

Human Appeal International (HAI) announced that it had commissioned a fresh water station in Magaria Department of Zinder region in Niger.
Abdullah Al Awadi, Assistant HAI Secretary-General for Administrative and Financial Affairs, said during the inauguration ceremony that the Dh282,000 project will benefit 1,000 people, mostly women, children, the elderly and the disabled.
'We were keen to operate the station with solar power as part of our commitment to sustainability standards,' he added.
An official at the Department lauded the important role the UAE is playing in developing sustainable development projects that bring stability and make life easier for villagers.
The Ajman-based HAI was honoured during the ceremony. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Petroleum product reservoirs project launched in Jordan
posted on 20/08/2015

The Jordanian Government yesterday commenced construction work of building petroleum product reservoirs in the southern Amman area. The launch celebration was attended by the Jordanian Prime Minister, Dr Abdullah Al Nusoor and Bilal Al Badoor, UAE Ambassador to Jordan.
The project aims to provide additional storage capacity for petroleum products (diesel, gasoline, and kerosene) with a total storage capacity 3,40,000 tons in addition to 10,000 tons storage capacity for liquid pressurised gas (LPG).
The total project cost is Dh771 million and is financed as part of the UAE allocation within the grants provided by the Gulf Cooperation Council. The UAE grant of Dh4.6 billion (US$1.25 billion), is equivalent to 25 percent of the total US$5 billion GCC grant.
The UAE Government has mandated Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) to manage the grant that will be used for vital projects contributing to economic and social development efforts in Jordan.
Upon completion in the fourth quarter of 2016, the project will guarantee Jordan a strategic supply of petroleum products and remarkably increase its storage capacity. It will help Jordan maintain a continuous supply of petroleum products to prevent any crises situations and emergencies. Construction of reservoirs will also mitigate the effects of fluctuations in petroleum product prices.
The project will enhance storage capacity of petroleum products in Jordan to cover 60 days of consumption needs.
Emad Fakhouri, Jordanian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation thanked the UAE for its continuous support and constructive contributions to development efforts in Jordan. He appreciated the role of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development in driving sustainable development in the country since 1974 by financing vital projects that positively impact Jordanian people.
Bilal Al Badoor, UAE Ambassador to Jordan, stressed the importance of relations between the two countries noting that the UAE leadership is committed to providing ongoing developmental support to Jordan. He added that this project has a large economic impact and will help Jordan tackle the challenges it faces in maintaining petroleum supplies. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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With assistance from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UNRWA Declares School Year Open
posted on 20/08/2015

GAZA: Thanks to donations from the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and State of Kuwait, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) declare the 2015/16 UNRWA school year open.
UNRWA's Commissioner-General, Pierre Krahenbuhl, said, 'Students will return to school according to plan in Palestine on 24 August, in Jordan on 1 September, in Lebanon on 7 September and in Syria on 13 September.' 'I have taken this decision first and foremost because of how central education is to the identity and dignity of Palestine refugees and of the 500,000 boys and girls whose future depends on learning and developing skills in our 685 schools. It is on the benches and behind the desks of UNRWA classrooms that millions of Palestine refugees, deprived for so long of a just and lasting solution, have built the capabilities and shaped the determination that enabled them to become actors of their own destinies.
The total amount of contributions received to date against the deficit of US$ 101 million is US$ 78.9 million.. In addition to this, we welcome the efforts by the European Union to mobilise additional means in a few weeks' time and look forward to a positive decision. We note that two other countries are still seriously considering making their own donations. . While some significant work therefore remains, I consider that we have achieved our first objective and can open the schools.
'We express profound appreciation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates – whose remarkable combined contributions cover almost half of the 2015 deficit – and to the United States of America, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden and the Slovak Republic, who have together contributed generously to help address the funding shortfall,' he said.
'Education is a fundamental right for children everywhere in the world, and it should never have come to the point where the UNRWA school year risked being delayed because of a funding shortfall for our core budget. But it almost did. For this reason we fought very hard to create a revival of solidarity for Palestine refugees and a renewed understanding of the importance of respecting their rights and addressing their needs adequately and predictably.' UNRWA will participate in a series of important meetings with its partners, for example at ministerial-level meetings in September of the League of Arab States and at the United Nations General Assembly, to identify concrete ways to improve our future financial stability. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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UAE donated Dh4.9 billion in aid in last 5 years: Lubna Al Qasimi
posted on 19/08/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, MICAD, and Head of the UAE Committee for the Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid, has said that the amount of humanitarian aid that the UAE provided in the past five years (2009-2014) reached almost Dh4.9 billion.
Speaking on the advent of World Humanitarian Day, Sheikha Lubna said that the UAE, under the guidance of its wise leadership represented by 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, which is based on the philosophy of the late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, carries an honourable message to the world that, "Implementing humanitarian values cannot be achieved without the support of a nation's leadership."
She said that the UAE has come to deliver an honourable message to the whole world; a message that the advancement of humanitarian work is an end that cannot be achieved in the absence of a leadership that supports the philosophy and cause of humanitarian action within a philanthropist vision that can overcome the challenges facing humanity at large.
"The scenarios of such challenges are getting more dangerous with the spread of famine and diseases and the increasing alarming indicators of the dislocation and immigration of millions of people outside their homes and countries due to conflicts and natural and environmental catastrophes," Sheikha Lubna explained and added, "When we talk about humanity, we should remember those individuals who have given their time and efforts, sometimes even their lives, when they hurried as volunteers to help and provide the necessities of life to those who were badly hit by various crises.
"Some of those have sacrificed their lives in conflict areas or due to natural disasters as they uphold their humanitarian message for the whole humanity to recognise the significance of international humanitarian and relief action."
Sheikh Lubna stressed that with the UAE's great achievement of topping the world list as the world's biggest development and humanitarian donor for 2013 and 2014 compared to its national income, there is also another honourable achievement reflected in the wonderful work and efforts put by UAE nationals to deliver aid and relief to crisis victims in several parts of the world, despite all difficulties and risks that threaten their lives. "No words are enough to thank them and their fellow workers across the world," she said.
UAE governmental humanitarian aid to face humanitarian crisis across the world has reached Dh 2.82 billion between 2009 and 2014 according to an ICAD report, coming first as a donor. The second position was for the UAE Red Crescent Authority, with Dh 683 million of foreign aid. The country's third donor was Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation with an Dh 590 million of foreign aid.
As for the receiving countries, Jordan being the largest host of the Syrian refugees, got Dh 1,482 billion of aid from the UAE, followed by Pakistan which received Dh676 million, Libya received Dh406 million and Palestine received Dh 365 million. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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First of its kind UAE-funded water and sanitation project commences in Za’atari camp
posted on 17/08/2015

As part of a multi-activity project funded by the United Arab Emirates to improve the overall water, sanitation and hygiene conditions for Syrian refugees in the Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan, the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) and UNHCR announced that work in progress to establish a full-scale waste-water and drainage with a system in the camp.
With the official breaking of ground, it is envisaged that the project will be completed by the end of 2015. The water, sanitation and hygiene project follows the successful implementation of a UAE-funded health project which provided primary, secondary and tertiary health care for Syrian refugees in both the Za'atari and Azraq camps.
The project, which is the first of its kind in the camp, aims at establishing an appropriate drainage system with a dedicated water tank for the diversion of excess water to prevent over-flooding and to be utilised in agricultural activities. The installation of the water system in the camp will have a substantial impact on curbing the spread of diseases, and raising general health standards.
"We have been in constant coordination with our partners, both locally and internationally, who are working tirelessly to alleviate the conditions of Syrian refugees, and making a positive difference in their lives. Every effort counts, and the UAE is proud to step up and play its role in helping others," said Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the Minister of International Cooperation and Development. "I hope that the funding of the water, sanitation and hygiene project will help in creating a safe living environment." Sheikha Lubna added.
"The UAE Government continues to demonstrate a resolute commitment towards alleviating the suffering of Syrian refugees uprooted by the conflict," said Dr. Nabil Othman, UNHCR's Acting Regional Representative to the GCC Countries. Lauding the important role played by the UAE government, he added "The government's generous contributions towards critical infrastructure projects for water, health and sanitation have already had a substantial impact on the general health and well-being of the refugee population in Za'atari camp," Othman added.
The first phase of this project will provide sewage collection for each refugee household in Za'atari camp. The sewage collection system construction will connect each household to piping that carries sewage to a communal tank within the block areas. Phase 2 will include a network of piping that will convey sewage from these communal tanks to the wastewater treatment plant.
Already-completed activities related to this project, include the processing and disposal of medical waste from the major health clinic in Za'atari camp which resulted in the overall disposal of 21,160 KG of medical waste in 2014. Similarly, vector control sweeps were conducted in Za'atari camp which served to reduce the rodent population in the camp and the associated threats they pose to health and hygiene in the camp.
This is part of a total contribution of Dh 18 million made by the UAE government to UNHCR, made in early 2014, to relieve the suffering of Syrian refugees in Za'atari and Azraq camps in Jordan. Of the Dh 18 million, Dh 7 million was allocated to health activities while the remaining amount was distributed to water and sanitation activities. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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UAE aid to Yemen at Dh 744 million: MICAD
posted on 14/08/2015

Total humanitarian assistance extended so far by the UAE in response to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen stood at Dh744 million (US$202 million) over the last four months, the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) announced in a report on UAE Response to the Humanitarian Situation in Yemen - 2015.
MICAD said the food assistance, offered in implementation of directives given by 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, amounted to 23,000 tonnes and had benefitted more than 181,000 Yemeni families (1.1 million people).
'An additional 6,000 tonnes will shortly be sent to bring to 29,000 tonnes the total food assistance provided to the affected Yemeni people,' the report added.
Value of assistance channelled into the energy sector to provide electricity and repair damaged power stations and power transmission networks stood at Dh314 million against Dh188 million offered in urgent food assistance that included cereals, canned foods, edible oils and other foodstuff.
The report estimated urgent medical assistance and medicines at Dh122 million, support and co-ordination services at Dh46 million, drinking and clean water and sanitation services at Dh41 million, fuel at Dh14 million, miscellaneous relief items at Dh12 million and transport services at Dh7 million.
The UAE was ranked first globally as the largest donor to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen during 2015, representing 31 percent of the total aid provided by countries around the world. Figures released by the Financial Tracking Service (FTS), a UN-managed database which records all reported international humanitarian aid contributions, found that the total value of humanitarian aid provided by the UAE to Yemen was Dh508.7 million (US$138.5 million) out of the Dh1.650 billion (US$449.5 million) overall global contributions. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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ERC launches water harvesting project in Palestine
posted on 14/08/2015

The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has launched an Dh1.45 million water project that will contribute to stimulating the Palestinian economy through provision of water for agricultural purposes.
During the opening ceremony, Governor of Hebron, Kamel Hamid, praised the president, government and people of the UAE for supporting the Palestinian people. He said the project was of vital importance, as it would improve the living conditions of 100 farmers.
The ERC has drilled 100 wells to harvest rainwater to be used for irrigating farms. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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ERC donates US$1million to King Hussein Cancer Centre
posted on 13/08/2015

AMMAN: Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has donated US$1million in support to the programmes of the King Hussein Cancer Centre (KHCC) in Jordon.
Bilal Al Bodour, the UAE Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan presented the cheque to Princess Dina Mired, Director-General of KHCC. The UAE envoy was accompanied by Consul Faisal Ahmed Al Malik and a number of Embassy's officials.
Princess Mired thanked the UAE and H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of the ERC, for this generous gesture, citing the UAE's humanitarian role at the regional and international levels.
Ambassador Al Bodour stressed the depth of bilateral relations under the patronage of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and King Abdullah II of Jordan. He also commended the efforts of the centre to fight this serious disease. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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UAE aid to youth in developing world at Dh 541 million in six years: Lubna Al Qasimi
posted on 12/08/2015

Directives given by the wise leadership led by 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, for supporting youth projects in developing countries and developing their capacities, sprang out of a philosophy, deep understanding and far-sighted vision of the vital role that youth can play in advancing the development strategies in their countries, Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD), has said.
'Young generations constitute the kernel of the development process and progress of communities. They are tools to build the future, and have the buoyant spirit to work and produce if they were provided opportunities and resources,' Sheikha Lubna, also head of the UAE Committee for Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid, added.
In an address to mark the International Youth Day, which falls tomorrow, Wednesday 12th August, Sheikha Lubna said:' The philosophy of the UAE leadership in supporting youth projects is endurable and lies at the heart of the UAE foreign aid programmes. It is well-studied, diversified and includes systematic plans for fostering aspirations of the developing countries.' The UAE has been observing the day since 1999 with the aim of supporting sustainable development efforts by harnessing youth energies and increasing their contributions to national development. The theme of the International Youth Day, 12 August 2015, is "Youth Civic Engagement." The engagement and participation of youth is essential to achieve sustainable human development.
She indicated that the value of the UAE aid channelled into initiatives to support and qualify youth capacities in developing nations from 2009 to 2014 stood at Dh 541 million. A MICAD report showed that social assistance to youth in these countries claimed the lion's share with Dh 333 million, followed by education aid at Dh 187 million.
The report noted that the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation emerged as the largest national donor, giving Dh 181.3 million, followed by government agencies at Dh 124.2 million and then the Emirates Red Crescent at Dh 74 million.
Continent-wise, the report said the UAE aid for youth empowerment in developing nations in Asia reached Dh 315 million against Dh 184 million in Africa. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Sharjah IBBY Fund completes transfer of funds for Palestinian and Afghan reading projects
posted on 10/08/2015

The Sharjah IBBY Fund, launched in 2012 by the United Arab Emirates Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), has just completed a transfer of 100,000 Swiss Francs (approximately Dh 400,000) to assist in sustaining libraries, reading plans and training programmes for war torn and underprivileged children in Palestine and Afghanistan.
The projects, which were selected for sponsorship by the Fund during the Bologna Children's Book Fair 2015, will provide children in the two countries with access to books, activities and workshops that aim to offer them both comfort and the support needed in preparing them for brighter futures.
The Palestinian project run by PBBY, the Palestinian section of the IBBY, is establishing training programmes geared towards helping young victims of war in the Gaza Strip through books. These programmes are due to be held at the Gaza Strip's Al-Sikah library until Al-Ata'a library, which was destroyed during conflict, is rebuilt. The project also plans to reconstruct book collections and offer bibliotherapy, socio-psychological support and stress relief via unique reading-related activities.
The Afghanistan project, which is a continuation of the ASCHIANA/IBBY mobile library programme, focuses on a long-term reading plan for local children living in refugee camps, orphanages, and disability and juvenile rehabilitation centres. The Sharjah IBBY Fund's sponsorship money will aid library assistants, reading assistants, storytellers and art trainers in their work with underprivileged children, as well as help to set up mobile libraries in Kabul, Herat, Mazar-i-Shari and the Paktya province.
Speaking on the transfer of funds, Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY, commented, "We are very pleased with the smooth and successful transfer of funds, and that the PBBY and ASCHIANA organisations will be able to start working on their projects right away. With our support, volunteers in Palestine and Afghanistan will be fully equipped to assist disadvantaged and underprivileged children in moving past adversity and to help open them up to new possibilities in their lives."
The Sharjah IBBY Fund supported several successful projects last year in the CANA region, including Lebanon's ‘Tell me a Story' project, a long-term reading programme that supports children living in poverty in Beirut; Tunisia's ‘Book Boxes', a project designed to give boxes filled with reading material and audio books for blind, partially sighted, and autistic children; Afghanistan's mobile library programme; and financial aid for CANA IBBY members to attend the IBBY World Congress in Mexico. – The Gulf Today -

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Mohammed bin Rashid attends celebrations of new Suez Canal inauguration
posted on 07/08/2015

ISMAILIA, EGYPT: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, signed a charter today in a ceremony to mark the inauguration of the new Suez Canal in the presence of UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his accompanying delegation, along with a number of Their Majesties Kings, Presidents, Emirs and other world leaders.
Egyptian President thanked the world leaders for their participation in the inauguration ceremony, saying that "Egypt offers to the world a gift for development and construction."
He stressed that Egypt completed the canal project, which is the first step in a series of others to come, "under critical circumstances," commending the Engineering Authority, the Suez Canal Authority, Contracting companies and the Consortium of Dredging Companies, which contributed to the success of this feat.
President el-Sisi added, "The launch of maritime traffic in the channel, highlights the goal sought by Egypt to achieve security and stability in a democratic state."
He said that Egypt engaged the most serious terrorist thought, adding that "If it continued, it would burn the earth and the world," stressing that "we are winning the war on terror by insisting to live." El Sisi said, "Egypt's young people are capable to innovate and deliver."
President el-Sisi underscored that "this nation deserves a lot from us. If people are able to dream, then they are capable to deliver."
He then gave the signal to start the Suez Canal, saying, "In the name of God the Merciful and on behalf of the great people of Egypt, we Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, we give instructions to start the new Suez Canal."
The documentary film was screened. It showed the drilling stages of the new canal since the announcement of the start by the Egyptian president a year ago. The efforts continued day and night to accomplish the new canal, which is Egypt's gift to the world.
Egyptian Air Force performed aerial show with the participation of Rafale and F-16 aircraft, while the governorates of Egypt's presented the popular artistic heritage- each governorate presented a painting rich with themes of originality and mixed with joy.
The project aims to increase Egypt's national income of hard currency. It will reduce the transit time to 11 hours instead of 18 hours, as well as reduce the cost of the voyage.
The Egyptian authorities expect the Suez Canal revenues will increase by 259% in 2023 to US$13.2 billion, compared to current US$ 5.3 billion. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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We congratulate Egypt's leadership, government and people on inauguration of New Suez Canal, says Sultan Al Jaber
posted on 07/08/2015

CAIRO: Dr Sultan Ahmed AL Jaber, UAE Minister of State, head of the UAE/Egypt Liaison Office, has congratulated Egypt's leadership, government and people on the completion of the new Suez Canal.
He said in a statement "We would like to congratulate the leadership, government and people of Egypt for this monumental achievement that has brought into fruition the strategic vision of President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El Sisi. His unwavering insistence that this project is finalised in one year, truly reflects the resilience of the Egyptian people."
Dr. Al Jaber added, "We in the UAE, are proud of our supportive role in making this project a reality through the hard work of the Challenge Consortium; led by the National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) and through the diligent follow up of the UAE/Egypt Liaison Office. In close coordination with the Suez Canal Authority we were able to ensure best practice implementation."
He noted, "Had it not been the diligent follow up of the President of Egypt and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, this would not have been the success and record breaking feat that it is today."
"The new Suez Canal, placed at the maritime crossroads linking Asia, Africa and Europe further solidifies the strategic geopolitical role of Egypt and offers a great promise of economic and social returns for Egypt and its people," Dr. Al Jaber said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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National Marine Dredging Company hailed for work on Suez Canal
posted on 07/08/2015

Yasser Zaghloul, Chief Executive of Abu Dhabi-based National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) has said that the dredging capacity of the NMDC has led to the completion of the new Suez Canal in record time.
"We had more than 70 percent of all dredging capacity in the world," said Mr. Zaghloul, adding "Without this, there would have been little chance of completing the project on time."
In an interview with The National newspaper he said, the company deployed 26 dredgers and 40 additional equipment, which was an unprecedented number to have been deployed in a single project.
The construction of the new stretch of waterway - which effectively doubles the canal's capacity, allowing for two-way traffic - initially had a three-year timeline. However, the consortium appointed to carry out the US$1.5 billion project, led by NMDC, completed it in nine-and-a-half months.
"We signed the contract on October 15th, 2014 and construction was completed by August 1st, 2015," Zaghloul told the newspaper.
"We are very proud, of course," he added.
The work involved the creation of a 35-kilometre-long parallel canal, which required the dredging of 200 million cubic metres of earth.
It achieved this by bringing together four of the world's largest dredging contractors - NMDC, Belgium's Jan De Nul and the Dutch companies Van Oord and Royal Boskalis Westminster.
The first dredgers began operations within two weeks of the contract being signed, and contractors also faced the major challenges of securing approval and clearances to use the machines and transporting them to Egypt from all over the world, he said.
"Mobilising all the dredgers and staff was a challenge, but we had a really strong logistics team to manage this," he explained.
"The difficult thing was to get all the necessary permits. But the [Suez Canal] authority was very proactive." At the project's peak, the consortium was dredging 1.5 million cubic metres of earth a month. In one month, it dredged a total of 40 million square metres of material, beating the previous record of 8 million square metres, Mr. Zaghloul told the paper.
The project involved 2,000 people from 45 countries working around the clock to ensure its timely completion.
The Suez Canal Authority expects to increase its annual revenue from US$3.5bn to $13.2bn by 2023 because of the new canal and a huge new economic zone created on its banks to drive investment.
William Jackson, an analyst with Capital Economics, told the newspaper that the new canal would help to "raise GDP growth, increase services exports and provide a much-needed increase in foreign currency revenues" as well as boosting government revenues.
"Of course, how immediate the benefits are depends on how quickly the extra capacity in the canal is used," he said.
Mr. Jackson told the paper that although he believes the government's forecast of doubling capacity by 2023 is optimistic, "plans to build logistics and manufacturing hubs on the canal's banks could, if successful, provide an important boost to productivity, employment and living standards.
"Egypt has many of the ingredients to be a successful manufacturing hub - it has a young and growing population, low labour costs, and a geographical position near wealthy European markets." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Egyptian Antiquities Minister praises charitable initiatives of Hamdan bin Rashid
posted on 07/08/2015

CAIRO: Antiquities Minister of Egypt Mamdouh el-Damaty has praised the philanthropic work of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, Sponsor of Al Maktoum Charitable Foundation in Upper Egypt including the development project for the poor families and the distribution of more than 10,000 Ramadan food packages in various governorates.
He made his remarks during his meeting with Salah al-Din Al-Ja'farawi, Advisor to the Al Maktoum Charitable Foundation, and an expert of Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO). They discussed ways of joint cooperation between the Al Maktoum Foundation and the Ministry of Antiquities of Egypt.
The minister welcomed the forthcoming visit of the Al Maktoum Foundation's delegation to Egypt under the chairmanship of Mirza Hussain Al Sayegh, Member of the Board of Trustees of Al Maktoum Foundation, during which he will meet Dr. Al Damati.
The two sides also discussed ways to enhance cooperation in imparting training by the ISESCO experts and to start joint ventures in the field of restoration of monuments in collaboration with the Al Maktoum Foundation. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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President Michel commends UAE for supporting education sector in Seychelles
posted on 07/08/2015

VICTORIA: President James Michel of Seychelles has praised the UAE government for its support of the education sector in his country.
"The friendly nation of the UAE has contributed to the construction of many schools, kindergartens and scientific libraries to support this sector which is essential for the future of the nation," said President Michel in a statement released on the occasion of his country's 11-year celebrations of implementing a compulsory education law.
He said that implementing the law had a spectacular effect on reducing the number of school dropouts, opened up educational opportunities to the people of Seychelles which in turn helped them adapt a decent lifestyle and gain better opportunities.
"Seychelles is considered a top African community when it comes to education, the entire population are entitled to pursue their education, hence, everyone has a proper life today and is fairly connected to the world, which in turn promotes the image of our beloved country worldwide," the president said.
He noted that the government has provided over the past eleven years, all the right conditions to help families in remote areas to send their children to schools and continue their education.
"Investment in education is an investment in the future, ensuring the education of our youngsters is a vertical backbone of the development process in our country, in addition to progress and prosperity. Without education we will reach nothing," stressed Mr. Michel.
He pointed out that despite the decline in financial and economic resources over the past years, the government applied a compulsory education law, as they highly believed that education is a right for every citizen in Seychelles, and should be provided free of charge for everyone. "It is mandatory for each citizen aged six years, to follow their educational until high school," he explained.
President Michel went on to say that the move, which entered its 11th consecutive year, has contributed to the reduction of illiteracy and ignorance, raised the number of graduates from all schools, colleges and universities, therefore qualified workforce was created to fill in vital sectors such as tourism, services and manufacturing, technical and planning.
The president also vowed that his government will never stop building more schools, colleges and universities, and will also sponsor many students to study abroad. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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Al Azhar Grand Imam receives UAE media delegation, lauds UAE funded projects and new UAE anti-discrimination law
posted on 06/08/2015

CAIRO: Grand Imam Dr Ahmed El-Tayeb, Sheikh of Al-Azhar yesterday received a media delegation from the United Arab Emirates headed by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of the UAE/Egypt Liaison Office.
The Grand Imam and Dr. Al Jaber discussed the progress of the various ongoing UAE funded Al Azhar projects including four female dormitories across a 5, 500 metre space, a 14,000 sq. metre technologically advanced library and the establishment of an Islamic Division Institute that has the capacity to accommodate up to 1,500 students.
Dr Ahmed el-Tayeb said, "The UAE's initiative to support the people of Egypt will never be forgotten. The gesture articulates the UAE leadership's commitment towards Arab and Muslim nations and builds upon the legacy of the nation's founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God have mercy on his soul."
Applauding the UAE's new anti-discrimination law that came into effect in July 2015, el-Tayeb said, "The law sends out a strong message to the world that the UAE and its leadership reject all racial and discriminatory attitudes. It also illustrates the nation's unshakeable faith and culture that embodies tolerance and peace. This law is a stance against hatred and violence and therefore will foster cooperation between the UAE and the rest of the world."
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said, "The UAE leadership's directives are focused on supporting academic and social institutions in Egypt. Al-Azhar is one of the oldest institutions in Egypt and is a beacon of humanitarian values. Rich in the domains of academia and social affairs, the prestigious institution is an ideal partner for initiating projects that places the wellbeing of the Egyptian people at its core."
Currently, as part of its commitment to development in Egypt, the UAE is implementing a series of projects that are designed to offer a positive, immediate and tangible impact on the lives of more than 10 million Egyptian citizens. To date, more than 900,000 part time and permanent jobs have been created as part of the projects spanning the energy, education, healthcare, transportation, food security and housing sectors.
Some of the projects that have already been completed and delivered include the "UAE People's Siwa Solar Power Plant" and the 50,000 housing units created on par with Egypt's social housing specifications. Additionally, The UAE has recently delivered 100 new schools built in 18 Egyptian governorates, 78 healthcare clinics in 23 governorates, four bridges constructed in three governorates, and 600 public transport buses delivered for public transport in Cairo. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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UAE delivers 100 schools, 78 health clinics, 4 bridges and 600 public city buses to Egypt
posted on 05/08/2015

CAIRO: The Prime Minister of Egypt, Eng. Ibrahim Mahlab, witnessed, yesterday, the signings of delivery protocols for four of the UAE development projects in Egypt spanning education, healthcare and transportation.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Head of the UAE/Egypt Liaison Office, signed the protocols on behalf of the UAE government with several Egyptian counterparts including Dr. Galal Saeed, Governor of Cairo, Dr. Moheb Al Rifai Minister of Education and Dr. Adil Adawy, Minister of Health, as well as Minister of Local Development, Lieutenant Adil Labib. Also in attendance was the Minster of International Cooperation, Najla Al Ahwany.
The protocols included the delivery of 100 fully-equipped schools in 18 governorates, 78 fully-equipped clinics in 23 governorates, four bridges in three governorates and 600 public city buses in Cairo. The projects are part of the UAE social and infrastructure development program in Egypt. The total program is projected to benefit more than ten million Egyptians and to create approximately 900,000 temporary and permanent jobs.
The Prime Minister of Egypt said: "Egyptians appreciate and greatly value the support of the UAE leadership and its people. We will not forget this unwavering stand and its contribution to the citizens of Egypt who need it the most. These projects reflect tangible proof of the breadth and depth of our bilateral relations and the strength of our decades long historic ties."
He highlighted that the UAE social and infrastructure development projects in Egypt address real challenges that exist in several vital sectors, referencing two of the previously delivered projects; the 10MW "UAE People's Solar Power Plant in Siwa" and 50,000 housing units delivered to the ministry of housing in June of this year. He said that Egyptians have already begun feeling the direct, positive impact of these projects – especially in essential and vital sectors such as healthcare, education and transportation."
He explained that the new schools will bolster the existing Ministry of Education program by expanding its ability to educate the youth and battle illiteracy while the clinics in rural areas will greatly address challenges in providing women with necessary healthcare and children with much needed and timely vaccinations.
Meanwhile, the new bridges, constructed in three different governorates and the 600 public city buses will serve to reduce congestion and accidents.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: "I am honoured to relay the greetings of the UAE leadership to the leadership and citizens of Egypt," adding "I am pleased today to deliver to the Egyptian government and its people these important projects that aim to alleviate the challenges faced by everyday citizens in rural areas."
Al Jaber explained that all projects were chosen based on the objective of immediate, positive and sustainable impact and the social and economic wellbeing of the Egyptian citizen. He added: "The UAE has historically placed great importance on education and healthcare as catalysts for sustainable growth - and as such, these were the first projects prioritised."
He emphasised that the record time in which the projects were delivered is proof of the success of the unique, collaborative and efficient approach adopted by the UAE.
"I believe that the collaboration, continued coordination and diligent follow up with our partners in Egypt was the key to our collective success."
The new schools will fulfil nearly seven percent of the needs in rural villages and include 1668 classrooms covering 67,000 students in their first year. The schools will also contribute to a reduction in dropout rates and tardiness due to long distances and over-crowded classrooms.
Meanwhile, the clinics will provide 780,000 rural residents with easy and immediate access to healthcare and will fulfil nearly 20 percent of the immediate requirements.
The bridges will provide nearly three million commuters easy road access and reduce congestion and road accidents. The bridges will also account for 15 percent of the planned bridge construction program in Egypt and cover five percent of the railroad crossing reduction program.
Similarly, the 600 public city buses will provide 600,000 daily commuters with safe passage and reduce private vehicular traffic congestion as well as traffic accidents in Cairo.
The UAE's social and infrastructure development program aims at alleviating daily challenges and achieving immediate and tangible results for the Egyptian citizen. The program includes projects in healthcare, education, transportation, energy, job creation, food security, housing and infrastructure support.
To date, various projects have been delivered, including a 10MW power plant in Siwa, 50,000 housing units across 18 governorates and a vocational training and placement program focusing on youth and women.
Commenting on these landmark achievements, Dr. Adil Adawy, Egyptian Minister of Health, lauded the UAE social development program in Egypt, especially in the healthcare field, emphasising that the new healthcare clinics will create a marked positive shift in healthcare access for those most in need in Egyptian rural areas.
He said: "The fully-equipped healthcare clinics, spanning 23 governorates, will alleviate various challenges in rural areas including proximity to healthcare, quality of healthcare and 24 hour access to healthcare and pharmaceuticals."
He added: "These clinics are in line with the Egyptian government's vision of ensuring access to healthcare across all parts of the country. In these clinics will enable us to provide Egyptians with daily necessities such as regular and timely vaccinations for children and pregnant women, immediate attention to contagious ailments, nutrition monitoring, hormonal tests, vitamin deficiency tests, family planning, dental services, emergency services, lab work and more."
He added: "The Egyptian people will not forget this stand; one that is rooted in the close relations established by the late founding father of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, May God rest His soul in peace."
In his statement, Dr. Moheb Al Rifai'i, Egypt Minister of Education, said that the 100 new schools developed and delivered in 18 governorates across Egypt by the United Arab Emirates will largely contribute to the mitigation of the various challenges faced in the education sector in Egypt.
He said: "These schools will serve nearly 10% of our Egyptian population – especially in rural areas; which will directly reduce drop-out rates and chronic tardiness – traditionally a result of a lack of proximity. On a larger scale these schools will help reduce illiteracy rates in Egypt at large."
The Minister highlighted that the locations of all schools were carefully chosen to ensure that they targeted the largest possible population of students with a division between coastal (56 schools) and non-coastal (44 schools) areas.
He lauded the efforts of the UAE in delivering the schools and the expedited and efficient manner in which they were constructed, calling it a "true reflection of the importance of this project and its contribution to Egypt's social development."
Major General Adil Labib, Egypt's Minister of National Development, emphasised on the importance of the new bridges describing the project as "a strategic and practical project' that address the congestion and accident challenges in high population areas."
He highlighted that the project includes two bridges in the Giza governorate (Ard El Liwa Bridge) and (Bashteel Bridge) that serves both Barjeel and Bashteel; as well as Al Shoun Bridge in the Al Gharbia Governorate and the Talkha Bridge in Daqhaliya Governorate that connects five different roads.
The Minister said that the new bridges have covered 15% of the existing bridge planning requirements in Egypt and 5% of the current railroad-crossing program.
Dr Galal Saeed, Governor of Cairo, commended the UAE's initiative to donate 600 buses for enhancing the public transport system in Egypt's capital city of Cairo. Received by the Cairo Transportation Authority, the buses will provide commuters with greater flexibility in planning their daily movement across the city while improving and streamlining traffic flow in the streets of Cairo and surrounding.
Dr Saeed said: "The efforts taken by the UAE to support Egypt and its people are well-documented in history. Our two countries share long-standing bilateral relations. This new initiative builds on the strong ties between the UAE and Egypt that were first established by the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan."
The buses donated by the UAE have been assembled according to predetermined strength and weight specifications, taking into account durability and security of the commuters. As part of this priority and in line with the UAE's commitment to integrating best-in-class standards, the buses are fitted out with special cooling water engines as well as state-of-the-art equipment for safety, control and automatic speed operation (EDC). The doors of the buses are automated through an electric antenna system to facilitate easy access when boarding and disembarking from the bus.
With 50% of the busses manufactured in Egypt and the remaining 50 percent in Abu Dhabi, UAE, the vehicles were assembled and delivered to the Cairo Transportation Authority in record time. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Al Jaber: UAE's relationship with Egypt is built on solid foundations
posted on 05/08/2015

CAIRO: Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, and Chairman of the Coordination Office of the UAE-funded Development Projects in Egypt, has said that the relationship between the UAE and Egypt is based on pillars of solid foundations laid down by late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and evolved over time to become one of the most important bilateral relations that the UAE shares with another country.
Speaking to editors from a number of UAE and Egyptian newspapers, Dr. Al Jaber said that UAE-Egypt relations have continued to grow under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, adding that over the years, the two countries have collaborated in many fields, including through the exchange of knowledge and expertise which has significantly impacted in strengthening mutual brotherly bonds.
Al Jaber said that when the Egyptian economy and society began to struggle following a period of instability from late 2010 until June 2013, the UAE leadership issued directives vowing to stand by Egypt, and contribute to its stability and the process of strengthening its economic and social development.
The minister added that a consultation with the Egyptian government to determine urgent needs led to the establishment of the Coordination Office of the UAE-funded Development Projects in Egypt. The strategic goal of the office is to provide support to Egypt, including implementing vital projects in the energy, housing, food security, education and vocational training, healthcare, and transportation fields.
Dr. Al Jaber noted that the UAE also provided assistance with the preparation of Egypt's economic recovery plan, and was involved in a number of initiatives designed to stimulate the flow of foreign investments to the Egyptian market.
Al Jaber added that these projects have created around 900,000 temporary and permanent job opportunities, and benefitted 10 million Egyptian citizens. He went on to say that the UAE also contributed to mobilising economic and political support for Egypt through a number of international and regional forums.
The minister told reporters that the UAE is looking forward to the forthcoming opening of the new Suez Canal channel, which will have a significant and essential role in promoting economic activity in Egypt. He also called on Egyptian, Arab, and international private sectors to explore the available opportunities of the project. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

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