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GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS - DEVELOPMENT AID

Dubai Charity Association announces phase-2 of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Village in Mauritania
posted on 05/07/2015

Dubai Charity Association has launched the second phase of the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Village in Southern Mauritania in southern Mauritania in collaboration with the Nubian Vault Association (AVN, Association la Voute Nubienne).
In the second phase of the project, 31 houses, a mosque, a school, a clinic and a popular market were built at a cost of up to Dh600,000.
Ahmed Mesmar, Secretary-General of the Association made the announcement in a press conference held at the Association on the occasion of the Zayed Humanitarian Work Day.
Mr Mesmar said each house is 42 square metres, consists of two rooms and a lounge and can accommodate a five-member family. It would be "sustainable and solid," he said, adding that the construction of the second phase of the village will take a year and will be completed by the month of Ramadan next year. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282852576.html

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UAE backs international development, says Lubna Al Qasimi
posted on 04/07/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD), emphasised that the UAE has become an effective player in various aspects of development.
She cited the country's ability to support and meet aspirations of all countries across the world in their fight against underdevelopment, poverty and poor infrastructure in the developing countries, besides other fundamental issues such as education and health in poor communities as well as strengthening their capacity to respond urgently to any humanitarian crisis or disaster.
Sheikha Lubna praised the partnerships established by the UAE with different countries in the spheres of international development and humanitarian aid since its inception.
This came when Sheikha Lubna met with Lilianne Ploumen, Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, on the sidelines of the Tidewater Conference in Amsterdam.
They discussed partnership in various fields, and exchanged views on international and humanitarian development between the two countries. Sheikha Lubna and Ploumen also tackled the efforts exerted by the two countries to support the international development issues.
They also discussed ways to respond to the current humanitarian crises, such as those unfolding in Syria and Yemen.
Sheikha Lubna also met with Mark Lowcock, Permanent Secretary of the UK's Department for International Development (DFID). During the meeting, they discussed ways to enhance cooperation between the UAE and the UK in the international development domain. Sheikha Lubna and Lowcock also reviewed the achievements accomplished in the field of joint cooperation, especially provision of relief aid and multiplied support to the Syrian refugees.
The UAE Minister met with Mark Suzman, President of Global Policy, Advocacy, and Country Programmes at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They discussed ways to bolster cooperation between the UAE and the Foundation in combating polio.
Abdallah Hamdan Al Naqbi, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Sultan Mohammed Al Shamsi, Assistant Under-Secretary of the Ministry for International Development and others attended the meetings. – Emirates News Agency, WAM http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282827404.html

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UAE Ambassador lays foundation stone of Sheikh Zayed Park in Sidon, southern Lebanon
posted on 04/07/2015

BEIRUT: Hamad Saeed Sultan Al Shamsi, the UAE Ambassador to Lebanon, has laid foundation stone of the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Park in Sidon, southern Lebanon. The park is funded by the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation (KF).
Al Shamsi planted an olive tree to mark the event and unveiled the memorial plaque in the presence of the Governor of Southern Lebanon, Mansour Daou and a number of political and social figures.
On the occasion, a ceremony was held at the Sidon Municipality, entitled "Thanks UAE." The event was attended by Fouad Siniora, former Prime Minister of Lebanon, and Bahia Hariri, a former MP of Lebanon. They watched a film which narrates the humanitarian role of the UAE in Lebanon and the importance of the park as well as the volume of the UAE aid in Lebanon.
On the occasion, Al Shamsi delivered a speech emphasising that what has been accomplished is a result of the far-sighted vision of the wise leadership, noting that the UAE's grant to Lebanon amounted to $16 million.
He also noted that the projects are aimed to support the Lebanese people and meet their needs in the social, development, health and humanitarian field.
At the conclusion of the event, Al Shamsi received an honorary shield in the name of Sidon Municipality as recognition of the contribution of the UAE's President, government and people. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Jawaher Al Qasimi wins Golden Humanitarian Personality of the Year
posted on 03/07/2015

H.H. Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, has received The Golden Humanitarian Personality of the Year award by the Watani Emarat Humanitarian Work Award. This is in recognition of her contribution to humanitarian work locally and internationally as well as her unlimited support for cancer patients and refugee children.
The honour came during a ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel Dubai, organised by the Watani Emarat Foundation under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation.
The award ceremony, themed, "This is What Sheikh Zayed Loves", was the commemoration of the 11th death anniversary of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The award was first launched in 2013 to coincide with the UAE Humanitarian Work Day on 19th of Ramadan to honour Emiratis who reflect charitable values.
Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, said, "It is a great honour for anyone of us to have their name attached to an award that commemorates a pillar of humanitarian work and the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the great leader from whom we learnt the love of humanity, philanthropy and helping the underprivileged."
She stressed that the humanitarian approach laid down by the late Sheikh Zayed, which is continued by our current leadership, has resulted in the UAE being ranked first as the world's biggest donor of foreign aid for the second time in 2014, compared to its gross national income.
She added, "I consider this honour to be a new duty and a new challenge. I ask Allah to guide me to continue my humanitarian work, mobilise local and international support and develop plans and strategies in order to help all needy and vulnerable people in all parts of the world. I wish to stand by their side and lend them a helping hand, particularly refugees, cancer patients and vulnerable women."
Sheikha Jawaher is known for her great commitment to helping the needy and advocating for vulnerable people making her one of the most influential figures in the Arab world. This led to her appointment as UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children, and the International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282796229.html

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Lubna chairs UAE delegation at Tidewater Meeting in Netherlands
posted on 02/07/2015

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 said that despite the success achieved at Millennium Development Goals, but the current preliminary indications aimed to determine strategy of post-2015, undoubtedly confirms that the challenges are still found in the field of safeguarding basic human rights such as health, education, food, security and water issues.
This came during Sheikha Lubna's speech at the in augural session of Tidewater Meeting in Netherlands which concluded yesterday in Amsterdam. Sheikha Lubna highlighted the UAE's foreign contributions to support international development issues.
Sheikha Lubna said, " As we reach 2015 , as a target for achieving Millennium Development Goals, there are some risks and changes which threaten the future of international developments such extremism which increases wars and waste country's assets and potentials of countries as in Yemen, Syria and Somalia.
Sheikha Lubna also emphasised that the UAE could accomplish notable successes at the foreign aid field, especially in the previous two years (2013-2014), as the country could provide the greatest amount of assistance more than any other countries across the world as a share of its national income.
She added that the UAE has been highly recognised as a result of these achievements which represent a real translation to the visions of the UAE leadership 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 His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Sheikha Lubna reviewed policies and philosophy of the UAE foreign aid, stressing that foreign aid is a core part of the UAE's history and identity. She added that the UAE has provided aid to those in need since the year of its foundation in 1971.
She reiterated that through the country's aid, the UAE aims to improve the lives of less fortunate and limited resources communities. The aid also aims to promote peace, stability and security in the region as well as enhancing sustainable development.
Abdullah Al Naqbi - UAE Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Sultan Al Shamsi. Assistant Undersecretary for International Development, Ministry of International Cooperation and Development attended the meetings. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282750505.html

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UAE offered Dh36 billion for infrastructure development in developing countries from 2010- 2014
posted on 01/07/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD), has said there are strong signs that the UAE development aid to upgrade the infrastructure in the developing countries and poor communities, have an impact on the life of people.
She added that the UAE upon the directives of its leadership takes interest in supporting the development indexes in the developing countries, including some Asian countries.
Commenting on the UAE's joining of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB, as a founding through its development arm, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Sheikha Lubna said the UAE" is aware about strengthening partnership with regional and international development institutions, given their role in assessing the needs of developing countries and drawing feasible studies for projects."
She noted that the UAE had provided the development aid worth Dh36 billion to the developing countries from 2010-2014. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395282704271.html

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Mohamed bin Zayed attends seminar entitled "Every last child-eradicating polio"
posted on 30/06/2015

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, today attended, a discussion session under the title "Every last child-- eradicating polio" at his Ramadan Majlis.
The seminar examined the International and UAE's efforts to combat polio across the world and particularly in Pakistan.
Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, Director of UAE Project to Assist Pakistan (PAP) disclosed the successful results of the second phase of the Emirates Polio Campaign in Pakistan in implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is aimed to provide humanitarian an development aid, support health sector and its preventive programmes in Pakistan which came in the light of the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces to eradicate polio across the world.
He added that final successful results were successful through immunization of millions of Pakistani children with more than 73.2 million polio vaccines from January to May 2015.
He reiterated that success the humanitarian efforts and initiatives which came in implementation to the directives of the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa proves for the whole world that the UAE's efforts are effective and distinguished, adding these efforts and initiatives are aimed to enhance human health and societies as well as achieve their humanitarian objectives.
He also highlighted the initiative of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed is aimed to eradicate polio in the most difficult areas of the incubator of the disease across the world. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282659994.html

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UAE's total aid to Yemen reaches 93.8 million in response to current developments
posted on 26/06/2015

In response to the current developments being witnessed by Yemen, the total assistance rendered by the UAE to Yemen has reached over Dh 93.8 million so far. The aid included 8,000 tonnes of food, fuel and health stuff sent through five ships, 11 flights and 40 trucks.
Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) and Head of the UAE Committee for Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid, said the UAE is one of the pioneering countries which provided support across the world to the people affected by humanitarian crises, adding that its effective response towards such crises represents a prestigious and historic legacy gleaned from the wise leadership and the country aims to provide support to various international humanitarian efforts.
Sheikha Lubna brought to attention the fact that the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan are aimed to ensure an immediate response to the humanitarian crises in Yemen as well as provide all forms of support and relief to the Yemenis to alleviate the suffering of those affected due to the current developments.
The UAE's pledge to provide Dh 100 million in response to the latest developments affirms the noble values instilled in the Emiratis. She also emphasised that the UAE will continue coordination with all effective players and countries concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and consultation as well as exchange of views to safeguard delivery of assistance to the affected Yemenis.
Sheikha Lubna also praised the efforts exerted by the participant entities in the field of providing humanitarian assistance, including the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Establishment, the Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, the UAE Water Aid Foundation, H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Humanitarian & Scientific Foundation, Sharjah Charity House, Al Rahma Charity Association and Sharjah Charity International.
In response to the current situation in Yemen, the UAE has sent five ships which carried thousands of tonnes of humanitarian aid for the affected people. The assistance included various kinds of foodstuff, medical requirements and other items.
Also, the country, in implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and 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, has received a large number of injured Yemenis who were affected by the aggressive attacks carried out by al-Houthi militants and their supporters, so that they can receive medical treatment in UAE's hospitals. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282489482.html

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ADFD extends Dh22 million loan to Maldives
posted on 25/06/2015

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, has signed a loan agreement with the government of the Republic of Maldives, whereby the ADFD will finance a Dh22 million project that will generate energy from waste.
The agreement was signed by Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, and Abdulla Jihad, the Minister of Finance and Treasury, Republic of Maldives.
Aimed at contributing to the development of the Maldivian economy, the project will support the energy sector in the northern city of Addu, the second largest city after the capital, Male.
The project involves the installation of a power plant that will utilise waste in an eco-friendly manner to generate about 4 megawatts of energy from heat, meeting 18% of the city's electricity needs. In addition, it will help save about 1.9 million litres of diesel fuel, while reducing 10% of the city's total waste. The scope of work involves civil, electrical and mechanical works to operate the plant.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD, said, "The UAE is working through ADFD to promote the widespread deployment of renewable energy towards achieving sustainable economic and social development in emerging economies. This loan agreement with the Government of Maldives will significantly contribute to meeting the electricity needs of large portions of the population of Addu city from clean sources.
"Through its funding activities, ADFD seeks to support vital economic sectors, including energy. As a key enabler of sustainable economic and social development, renewable energy delivers sizeable benefits for the economies of developing countries in an efficient and sustainable manner."
Al Suwaidi added, "The project will also create hundreds of new jobs in the energy and allied sectors. This will in turn help beneficiary countries diversify their economies and expand conventional energy sources."
The project is being funded as part of ADFD's commitment to supporting the renewable energy sector. In 2009, ADFD committed concessional financing of up to Dh1.285 billion (US$350 million) over seven funding cycles for renewable energy projects in developing countries, Dh183 million for each cycle. The projects are selected from International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, member states.
The waste-to-energy project was selected as part of the first loan cycle of the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility valued at Dh150.6 million (US$41 million). Announced at the end of 2013, this cycle is providing concessionary loans to six renewable energy projects in Ecuador, Maldives, Mali, Samoa, Mauritania and Sierra Leone.
The financed projects have a combined total capacity of 21MW and will bring reliable and sustainable power to rural communities that are currently lacking access to a modern energy grid.
The first and second cycles of ADFD/IRENA Project Facility provided US$98 million in loans to fund 11 projects in Ecuador, Maldives, Mali, Samoa, Mauritania (two projects), Sierra Leone, Argentina, Cuba, Iran, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Commending the pioneering role of the UAE in supporting development projects in various countries, Abdulla Jihad, the Minister of Finance and Treasury for the Republic of Maldives, said, "ADFD's active involvement in financing development projects has had a significant economic impact in improving the standard of living and quality of life in developing countries."
He added, "The bilateral relations between the two countries have grown remarkably over the past years, primarily due to the UAE's continued support for the stability and development of the Maldives. We look forward to forging further economic cooperation and joint investments with the UAE for the wider benefit of the two countries." . – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282380291.html

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Lubna Al Qasimi lauds Khalifa's humanitarian initiatives
posted on 20/06/2015

Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development and Head of the UAE Committee for Coordination of Foreign Humanitarian Aids, said that the sound philosophy of the UAE 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 to provide assistance and humanitarian response to refugee crises around the world comes to translate the UAE vision of creating a crisis-free world into action.
Sheikha Lubna asserted that the UAE, in line with the directives of its wise leadership, lays great importance on refugee crises across the different regions of the world, irrespectively of gender, religion, and political considerations.
She went on to say that the pressure of being away from home is very difficult and brings an increasing risk at the humanitarian level, in addition to jeopardizing the active countries and international humanitarian institutions' ability to respond to the challenges associated with increasing asylum cases. She further added that these asylum cases are mainly attributed to the increasing wars and conflicts in several regions of the world, in addition to the natural crises and disasters and climate change, especially in developing countries and poor communities.
On the occasion of the World Refugee day that falls on Saturday June 20th, Her Excellency pointed out that the total value of the aids granted by the UAE in response to humanitarian refugee crises across all regions of the world amounted to over Dh 4.5 billion. This sum was distributed among many crisis-stricken countries around the world, particularly countries and regions undergoing political crises and natural disasters, with increasing displacement rates.
The Report issued yesterday by the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development showed that the value of relief response to refugee crises generally totalled roughly Dh 2.112 billion in the period from 2010 to 2015. This sum was in favour of support and coordination services and dispatch of various relief materials, food aids medical aids, education aids, health aids and water, security and protection.
Also, during this same period, aids worth USD 1,868 billion were sent in support of the Syrian crisis. These aids encompassed the supply of food aids for Syrian refugees in Syria and the neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees and the supply of various relief materials and education, health and water services.
Furthermore, the Report showed that an amount of roughly Dh 181 million was disbursed for the Palestinian refugee crisis over several years and different crises over the past five years, including the Israeli aggression on Gaza. Also, the Report indicated that the UAE sent aids worth Dh 98 million approximately to Yemen including aids in support of the refugee food crises in Yemen, in addition to the recent UAE aids following the political disturbances there.
The United Arab Emirates sent aids worth Dh 27 million in support of the drought spread through the Horn of Africa.
With respect to disease control, MICAD's Report showed that the UAE sent roughly Dh 18 million in response to Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Also, the value of aids sent to earthquake-battered Nepal totalled Dh 11 million and the UAE aids sent to help communities affected by floods in Myanmar amounted to approximately Dh 10 million. Finally, the UAE has allocated roughly Dh12 million in aid for Pakistan floods and earthquake. http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282108922.html

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UAE Embassy, AHA dedicate new community soccer field for Bradley elementary school in Asbury Park
posted on 18/06/2015

ASBURY PARK, NEW JERSEY: Officials from the UAE Embassy, representatives from the Affordable Housing Alliance, AHA, and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, HSNJRF, yesterday joined local community leaders and children to celebrate the dedication of a new state-of-the-art soccer field at the Bradley Elementary School in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
The new soccer field is the result of a partnership between the AHA and the UAE Embassy, who donated the funds to construct the field. Bradley Elementary School's field will benefit hundreds of students on a daily basis, as well as children throughout the community.
"We are delighted to be a part of this exciting gift to the kids of Bradley Elementary and the Asbury Park community," said Dana Al Marashi, Head of the Heritage and Social Affairs Department at the UAE Embassy. "Working with great local partners, the UAE Embassy has been committed to providing support and deepening involvement to help communities rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. We are proud of this second community soccer field in the state following the dedication of a field in Atlantic City last fall. We hope the kids of Asbury Park have fun using this field for many years to come."
Bradley Elementary School is the second location in New Jersey to receive a soccer field built by the UAE Embassy. The development and construction of these community soccer fields is part of the UAE Embassy's commitment to helping restore storm-impacted communities across the state.
"The Alliance is pleased to be the conduit to such community development activities that help our younger community members.
It was a pleasure to work with each of our partners in this effort to bring quality recreational opportunities to local youth," said Donna Blaze, Chief Executive Officer for the Affordable Housing Alliance.
Dr. Lamont Repollet, Superintendent for Asbury Park Public Schools, said, "The District of Asbury Park is excited to receive this gift from the UAE Embassy and the Affordable Housing Alliance. The soccer field will provide a safe environment for the students to build upon the administration's principles of self-confidence, service, and leadership - and there is no better avenue to express all three than sports. This is the first step of what Asbury Park hopes will be a lasting partnership."
Asbury Park is the eighth US city to receive the gift of a soccer field from the UAE Embassy. Since 2010, the UAE Embassy has collaborated with local community partners across the US to provide deserving children access to quality soccer facilities and programs. The Embassy has helped build fields in New York City, East Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Washington, DC, Dallas, and Atlantic City. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282012158.html

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ADFD participates in ground-breaking ceremony for Bahrain's East Sitra Housing Project
posted on 16/06/2015

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development participated in the ground-breaking ceremony of Bahrain's East Sitra housing development project in which the UAE contributed US$250 million to build 4000 housing units in Bahrain to meet the country's growing demand for quality housing.
The UAE's US$250 million funding for the massive housing project which will be implemented by Bahrain's Ministry of Housing is aimed at supporting the construction of 4,000 housing units complete with all amenities and services. The project also includes a wide range of educational and healthcare facilities, parks and shopping centres. The contribution will be specifically allocated towards the reclamation works of East Sitra area prior to the commencement of actual construction works.
The UAE's contribution to this project comes within a grant offered by the UAE to Bahrain in 2013 as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council's development program for Bahrain. The UAE Government offered Bahrain a grant of Dh9.19 billion (US$2.5 billion) towards achieving social and economic prosperity for the people of Bahrain.
HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain laid the foundation stone of the project in the presence of Basem bin Yacoub Al Hamar, Bahraini Minister of Housing, Redha Abdullah Khouri Ambassador of the UAE to the Kingdom of Bahrain, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, as well as a number of senior officials in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Basem bin Yacoub Al Hamar, Minister of Housing, said, "The East Sitra housing project is one of the initiatives in the Bahrain Housing Ministry's plan to build 25,000 housing units over the next four years. Conceptualised following royal orders to construct nearly 40,000 housing units in the Kingdom to meet the country's growing demand for quality housing, the project has provided a strong impetus to the housing sector in Bahrain."
Bin Yacoub Al Hamar thanked the UAE for its supportive role in the development of this strategic project that reflected the depth of outstanding relations between the people of the brotherly countries.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development , said, "The excellent bilateral relations between the UAE and Bahrain have achieved new heights across all sectors due to the continued support of the President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and King of Bahrain, HM Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. These relations are set to witness further progress through promoting stronger synergies between the people of both countries and achieving common development goals across all economic and social sectors."
Al Suwaidi also lauded the efforts of the Bahraini Government for its continued commitment to fulfilling the aspirations of the people of Bahrain for a better quality of life through the development of several housing projects at par with best-in-class quality and sustainability standards.
Al Suwaidi added, "The contribution of the UAE to this vital project articulates our priority to support sustainable development in the Kingdom of Bahrain, as well as improve the quality of housing provided in the Kingdom. We are confident this contribution will help enhance the economic and social prosperity of Bahrain's citizens. The UAE has previously collaborated to develop the housing sector in the Kingdom through contributing in financing the construction of the Sheikh Zayed Housing City in 1996, one of the key urban centres in Bahrain today.
ADFD Director-General also revealed that the fund's engagement in the development of Bahrain dates back to 1974, when the Fund contributed to the financing and management of 25 development projects that support infrastructure.
Established in 1971, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, is an independent national entity affiliated with the Abu Dhabi Government. To help developing countries achieve sustainable development, the Fund offers concessionary loans, manages government grant through the direct supervision of such aid in project implementation and makes long-term investments and direct contributions. Since its inception, ADFD has overseen the provision and management of Dh64 billion towards financing 439 development projects in 76 countries around the world. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395281945297.html

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UAE delivers equipment aid to support Somali police
posted on 15/06/2015

MOGADISHU: The UAE has presented equipment to the Somali police within the framework of the support it provides to the people and Government of Somalia in various fields.
The equipment was delivered at a ceremony in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, in the presence of Mohammed Ahmed Al Hammadi, UAE Ambassador to Somalia, Abdirazak Mohamed Omar, Somali Minister of Internal Security, and General Mohamed Sheikh Hassan Hamid, Commander of Somali police, along with a number of police officers.
In a statement on the occasion, the Minister of Internal Security thanked the UAE, which he said plays a leading role in Somalia through its development and humanitarian projects and its assistance to the people and Government of Somalia.
The Minister also praised the military aid provided by the UAE to the Somali police, stressing that this military equipment helps the Somali police in its security task to serve the nation. He noted that the assistance confirms the strength of relations between the Governments of the UAE and Somalia.
Al Hammadi reiterated the UAE's willingness to provide more aid and support to Somalia in various fields based on the strength of relations between the two countries, saying that the military aid provided by the UAE to Somali police comes within the framework of Emirati projects to support Somalia's security institutions as per the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/international/1395281860034.html

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Lubna Al Qasimi explores prospects of UAE-UNDP partnership
posted on 14/06/2015

Current indexes on the international development represent a true culmination of efforts being exerted by UN developmental and humanitarian agencies to fulfil aspirations and contributions of the world's countries to build better future for the humanity, 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 emphasised.
That promising future, she said, would only be built through delivery of development aid to developing countries and communities plagued with poverty, diseases and ignorance, and swift humanitarian response to those affected by crises as well as through support of countries to deliver the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Sheikh Lubna commended the role being played by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in advancing development plans in developing nations during a meeting with Dr. Sima Bahouth, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States at the UNDP, at MICAD.
Sheikha Lubna underscored the commitment of the UAE 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, to supporting international development efforts in the developing world through enhancement of constructive partnership and cooperation with UN agencies specialised in international development and partnership.
The meeting reviewed the state of affairs of the UAE-UNDP partnership and discussed best ways to exchange expertise. Sheikh Lubna and the UNDP representative also exchanged views on the major international development issues and explored solutions to them.
While briefing Sheikh Lubna about the UNDP projects in developing countries and poor communities, Dr. Bahouth applauded the UAE efforts in that respect, affirming the UNDP's commitment to expanding channels and mechanism of cooperation and partnership with the UAE in various spheres of international development and capacity-building of developing countries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395281816201.html

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ADFD extends Dh33 Million loan for Hybrid Solar Project in Mali
posted on 14/06/2015

ABU DHABI, 14th June, 2015 (WAM)--Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has signed an Dh33 million loan agreement with the Government of Mali to finance a hybrid solar energy project in Mali.
The funding articulates ADFD's commitment to supporting renewable energy projects in brotherly and friendly nations given the sector's crucial role in aiding economic and social development.
The agreement was formalised at a signing ceremony at the ADFD headquarters in Abu Dhabi that was attended by Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, and Mamadou Frankaly Keita, Minister of Energy and water, Republic of Mali.
The project aims to contribute to the economic development of Mali through the optimal deployment of its renewable energy resources, reducing the cost of electricity on Mali where power generation is largely dependent on diesel.
The project will have positive impacts on the lives of rural population in the country through the supply of solar-powered electricity to 30 villages, benefiting nearly 123,000 people. The initiative will also boost job creation and economic activity in the region through the construction, operation and maintenance works that the project will involve. Additionally, the provision of electricity will improve the quality of healthcare and education in the areas served by the project.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said, "Given the critical role of the renewable energy as a key enabler of sustainable development, ADFD is keen to finance vital projects in this sector to help developing countries unlock their potential. In line with this priority, ADFD supports countries that lack access to sufficient energy sources through enabling them to utilise their renewable sources."
"The development of such massive projects in Mali will help create hundreds of job opportunities for its citizens and increase their contribution to nation building and development, while attracting new investments to the country to achieve sustainable development."
In its priority to support renewable energy sector, ADFD in 2009 committed Dh1.285 billion (US$350 million) towards the deployment of renewable energy in developing countries across seven loan cycles. ADFD agreed to provide loans worth Dh183 million annually in each cycle to finance renewable energy projects in IRENA member countries.
The hybrid solar project is being funded as part of the Dh150.6 million (US$41 million) second cycle of the ADFD/IRENA Project Facility that was announced at the end of 2013. This cycle provides concessionary loans to six renewable energy projects in Ecuador, Maldives, Mali, Samoa Islands, Mauritania and Sierra Leone.
The financed projects have a combined total capacity of 21MW and will bring reliable and sustainable power to rural communities that currently lack access to a modern energy grid.
The first and second cycles of ADFD/IRENA Project Facility provided US$98 million in loans to fund 11 projects in Ecuador, Maldives, Mali, Samoa Island, Mauritania (two projects), Sierra Leone, Argentina, Cuba, Iran, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The loans were approved following close collaboration between ADFD and IRENA to assess and select the projects that meet specific criteria.
Commending the UAE's pioneering role in supporting social and development projects in his country, Mamadou Frankaly Keita, Minister of Energy and water, Republic of Mali, said, "The Republic of Mali is keen to promote stronger synergies with ADFD in the area of financing development projects that serve key economic sectors and improve the standard of living for the people of Mali. The bilateral relations between Mali and the UAE have witnessed remarkable progress over the past few years due to the continued efforts of the UAE to support stability and progress in Mali through providing precious development assistance."
He pointed out that Mali has massive potential to achieve its development growth, adding that the government of Mali looks forward to furthering economic and trade cooperation with the UAE through increasing joint investments that benefit the people of both countries.
ADFD's engagement in the development of Mali began in 1976, when the Fund financed five development projects across transportation, water and agriculture sector at a total project outlay of Dh230 million. The Fund also managed an Dh30.6 million grant provided by the UAE Government to support the transportation sector in the African nation. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395281813603.html

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Lubna Al Qasimi: MICAD seeks to translate aspirations of leadership for development of government services system
posted on 11/06/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) and Head of the UAE Committee for Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid, has said the Ministry seeks to translate the aspirations of the wise leadership about development of government services' system into reality.
She added that this will be attained through a shift to smart government in line with the UAE vision 2021 to become one of the world's best governments.
Sheikha Lubna was commenting on participation of the MICAD along with a number of federal institutions at the Smart Government Conference and Exhibition, which concluded yesterday.
Even though the MICAD was established only in 2013, she continued, it was able to develop the system of smart services, thus facilitating provision of services, stressing that the Ministry is moving ahead with determination to strengthen the technical aspects to expedite the process of providing services efficiently.
During the event, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum toured the MICAD pavilion, where he was briefed on the UAE's foreign aid and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The MICAD pavilion received much attention from the public, visitors and stakeholders. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395281739395.html

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Hunger eradication, nutrition and climate change are FAO's top priorities
posted on 09/06/2015

ROME: Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, Jose Graziano da Silva, in his first policy statement since his overwhelming re-election, on Monday outlined that eradicating hunger, raising levels of nutrition and addressing climate change will be among FAO's top priorities over the next four years.
"I thank you for showing confidence in the Organisation under my leadership," Graziano da Silva told members of FAO's governing Conference meeting in Rome this week.
"You have given me a clear mandate to lead this Organisation in my second term, pressing on the path that we charted together," he added.
On Saturday Graziano da Silva received a total 177 of 182 votes cast by FAO member countries. That represents the highest number of favourable votes ever garnered by a candidate for the Organisation's top post.
Setting another record, this year's meeting of the biennial Conference is being attended by 191 delegations, the highest level of participation in the Organisation's history. These include 15 heads of states and government.
FAO, which this year celebrates the 70th anniversary of its foundation, has together with its member countries made a "great contribution to increasing food production" in the world, Graziano da Silva noted.
On Sunday, at an awards ceremony held at the Organisation's headquarters, 72 countries received recognition for having achieved the Millennium Development Goal target of halving the proportion of hungry people. Of these 29 have also met the more stringent goal to halve the number of hungry people as laid out by governments when they met in Rome at the World Food Summit (WFS) in 1996.
The FAO Director-General underscored that now the next step must be the complete eradication of chronic undernourishment. This, together with ending malnutrition has been included in the Sustainable Development Goals which will be finalised later this year setting the global development agenda for the decades to come.
Raising levels of nutrition has always been "at the heart" of the mandate of FAO, Graziano da Silva said.
He described how the Organisation has been responding to this challenge, and that adequate nutrition is the complement to food security. "We need both. Quantity and quality must come together," he said.
"While global undernourishment numbers are falling, obesity is going up. It is a problem in developed and developing nations, for poor families and rich families, especially in middle-income countries," Graziano da Silva said.
Global warming is having an impact on food security and agriculture on all countries, especially drylands and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) where many of the world's poor and hungry live, Graziano da Silva said.
He referred to some of FAO's work in this area, including through the Blue Growth Initiative, which proposes to integrate fisheries and sustainable environmental management in coastal areas and oceans.
"With the right policies, we can increase food security, adapt to and mitigate climate, but this will require a paradigm shift from the dominant input intensive approach to more sustainable and resilient food systems," he added.
In his statement the FAO Director-General also drew attention to social protection, which falls under the spotlight at this year's Conference, lasting through Saturday 13 June and including a series of side events showcasing FAO's work.
"Today, around 150 million people are able to stay above the poverty line thanks to social protection programs. They are essential for responding to the main cause of hunger today: insufficient access to food," he said.
To end hunger or extreme poverty social protection, must however, be part of wider action that includes productive support, health and education, the FAO Director-General said.
Bringing these elements together would create what he described as "virtuous cycles of local development".
In particular the FAO Director-General cited the giving of cash transfers to women. "With money in their hands, families can buy food locally, stimulating family farming. And family farming can provide healthy school meals for children." – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/international/1395281627949.html

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Lubna: UAE continues to provide aid to help eradicate hunger
posted on 08/06/2015

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, said the UAE continues to provide aid as part of efforts to eradicate hunger through its international partnerships with countries and organisations thanks to the directives of the country's wise leaders, 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.
Sheikha Lubna made the remark as she led the UAE delegation to an international awards ceremony organised in Rome by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, FAO, to recognise the effort made by countries around the world which has led to the near achievement of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target to halve the proportion of hungry people by a 2015 deadline, or bringing it below the 5 percent threshold.
A majority - 72 out of 129 - of the countries monitored by FAO, including the UAE, have achieved the MDG target. Out of the total 72 countries, 29 have also met the more stringent goal to halve the number of hungry people as laid out by governments when they met in Rome at the World Food Summit (WFS) in 1996.
And another 12 of the total 72 countries have maintained their hunger rates below 5 percent dating back to at least 1990.
Sheikha Lubna recalled that the UAE founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, once said, "Give me agriculture and I will give you civilisation."
"The UAE has achieved the goal to halve the number of hungry people as laid out by governments at the World Food Summit," she said, adding that the effort is in line with the country's commitments to international development.
Since its establishment in 1971, she noted, the UAE adopted a strategy to close the food gap despite the harsh climate and succeeded in developing its agricultural and food sector.
In the ceremony, FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva paid tribute to the achievements of the countries saying, "Since 1990, 216 million people have been freed from hunger," he said.
Da Silva noted however that almost 800 million people still suffer from chronic undernourishment.
FAO defines this as a state of dietary energy deprivation lasting over one year.
Moving from the reduction of hunger to its eradication The UN State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015 (SOFI 2015) report released last month noted that countries that have made progress in fighting hunger have enjoyed stable political conditions promoted inclusive economic growth and the development of agriculture, fisheries and forestry.
This year's annual report, "State of Food Insecurity in the World: Meeting the 2015 international hunger targets, taking stock of uneven progress", takes stock of progress made towards achieving the internationally established Millennium Development Goal (MDG1) and World Food Summit hunger targets and reflects on what needs to be done, as we transition to the new post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395281606999.html

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UAE Ambassador visits Pakistani-Emirati Military Hospital
posted on 07/06/2015

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of the UAE to Pakistan, Eisa Al Basha Al Nuaimi, has made an inspection visit to the Pakistani-Emirati Military hospital being built on directives from President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan as part of the UAE's assistance to Pakistan.
The 1000-bed Pakistani-Emirati Military Hospital is being built on an area of 115,000 sq m at a total cost of US$108 million (Dh398 million). When completed, the hospital can serve up to 6000 outpatients per day, or two million per year, with 50 surgeries to be performed per day at 16 operating theatres. It includes wards for emergency, orthopaedics, gynaecology, maternity, Internal medicine, dermatology, ENT, radiology, as well as a laboratory and a pharmacy.
Director of the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE PAP), Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, briefed Al Nuaimi on the phases of construction, wards, types of equipment and modern electronic systems used in the new hospital.
Since their experimental opening in mid-October 2014, the outpatient clinics of the hospital have served an average of 5000 people per day .
The ambassador also visited the buildings under construction as part of the second phase of the project.
Ambassador Al Nuaimi commended the directive of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to provide humanitarian and development aid for Pakistan through the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE PAP).
The hospital, he said, is among the biggest and most important health projects in Pakistan.
Noting that the hospital is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment to provide quality services representing a quality addition to the Pakistan's healthcare system, the UAE ambassador said it is in fact an integrated medical city that can also provide training opportunities for top-performing medical students. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395281527159.html

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President of Somalia opens Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Mogadishu
posted on 06/06/2015

MOGADISHU: President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia on Thursday opened the Sheikh Zayed Hospital in the nation's capital Mogadishu.
Present at the opening ceremony were Mohammed Ahmed Al Othman, UAE Ambassador to Somalia, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, Somali Prime Minister, Mahd Oud Abdulla, 2nd Deputy Speaker of Federal Parliament of Somalia, Hawa Hassan, Somali Health Minister, Hassan Hussein Mongab, Mayor of Mogadishu, Nicholas Kay, UN Special Representative for Somalia, ministers, heads of diplomatic missions and other personalities.
In the first phase, the Sheikh Zayed Hospital will receive 300 patients who will receive free medical care. The hospital also has other specialised sections for a day surgery and radiology.
President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud said the hospital is equipped to the highest standards and will provide excellent medical services to the Somali citizens.
"The second phase will see the hospital expanded to a 200-bed capacity with four major surgery rooms and units for different specialisations," he added.
The Somali President said that besides setting up development projects in Somalia, the UAE also provides considerable support to the country in the fields of security, education, health-care and reconstruction.
Ambassador Al Othman said the hospital will receive 300 patients a day who will get free medical treatment services.
He said the UAE seeks to provide medical services to all categories of citizens and is currently building clinics in different Somali cities.
The Sheikh Zayed Hospital is part of the Somalia development project undertaken by the UAE. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395281519008.html

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ADFD extends Dh183.6 million loan to Montenegro to support agricultural development
posted on 06/06/2015

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has offered an Dh183.6 million concessionary loan to the Government of Montenegro to support agricultural development sector.
The agreement was formalised at a signing ceremony at the ADFD headquarters in Abu Dhabi between Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD and Dr. Zoran Vukcevic, Director of Montenegrin Development Fund in the presence of Prof. Dr. Petar Ivanovic, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro.
Aimed at accelerating economic development in Montenegro through supporting food security and boosting agricultural and livestock exports, the agreement seeks to enhance the competitiveness of Montenegro's products to international levels. Towards this priority, the agreement supports mechanisms that elevate the quality and safety standards of agricultural and livestock production in the country, while opening up new markets for the country's exports.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said, "As a catalyst for inclusive development and food security, the UAE, through the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, pursues an active policy in supporting agricultural investment across the developing world. To achieve this goal, ADFD is committed to ensuring necessary funding for development projects, especially in strategically important sectors that can significantly benefit the economies of developing countries."
He added, "Increased production and investment in agriculture will serve as an effective tool to achieving sustainable economic and social development across developing countries. In supporting such vital projects, we hope to create hundreds of job opportunities in the beneficiary countries, while contributing to the diversification of their economies and helping them achieve self-sufficiency in food and agricultural production."
Commending the efforts of the UAE and ADFD in promoting synergies with Montenegro, Prof. Dr. Petar Ivanovic, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro, said, "ADFD's active involvement in financing agricultural projects in Montenegro will have a significant economic impact in the development of agricultural sector across the country."
Describing the project and its implementation stages, he added, "The project funded by the ADFD comprises two phases. Phase one includes the provision of loans to farmers and companies operating in agricultural and livestock production as well as assisting and guiding them towards effective management and implementation of their projects. Meanwhile, phase two involves the procurement of services relevant to machinery, factories, warehouses, and agricultural land, as well as the refurbishment and construction of new factories and agricultural assets."
In 2010, ADFD funded an Dh38.9 million project that supports the water sector in Montenegro, providing drinking water to the coastal cities of Montenegro which are famous for their tourist attraction, and reflecting positively on the local economy. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395281508211.html

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UAE mobile hospital to open in Somalia soon
posted on 03/06/2015

MOGADISHU: Mohammed Ahmed Osman Al Hammadi, UAE Ambassador to Somalia, has announced that the UAE will soon open a mobile hospital in the Abdul-Aziz district of the Somali capital Mogadishu in response to the requests of the Somalis for more health services.
In his statement during the opening of the training camp for Somali troops in last month, Al Hammadi said that the hospital will receive about 300 patients daily, who will receive free medical treatment, along with a provision for treatment to those affected by any epidemic.
The UAE projects, particularly in the field of health in Somalia, are welcomed by the locals there since they save lives.
The UAE also implements multiple developmental and humanitarian projects in Mogadishu and other cities in Somalia. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395281376328.html

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Lubna, Latvian FM discuss cooperation in humanitarian field
posted on 02/06/2015

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, emphasised that the distinguished and growing relations between the UAE and Latvia is the fruit of the directives of wise leadership 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 His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. These relations developed out of the UAE's keenness to enhance partnership ties with all countries across the globe and boosting international partnership as well as strengthening cooperation in view of shared visions and joint interests.
Sheikha Lubna made the remarks when she met with Edgars Rinkevics, Latvia's Minister of Foreign Affairs and his accompanying delegation at MICAD's headquarters. During the meeting, Sheikha Lubna said the UAE is looking forward to enhancing its relations with Latvia in all fields for the benefit of the joint interests of both sides.
She also brought to attention that the UAE has accomplished multiple achievements in all domains, especially in the field of national development and achieving pioneering indices as well as enhancing its gains, especially development of human resources domain.
She also reviewed MICAD's role in the field of overseeing all the country's humanitarian departments and institutions which provide the UAE's foreign aid as well as coordinating their efforts. The ministry also documents the country's foreign assistance at the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD).
On his part, Rinkevics underscored his country's desire to boost cooperation and partnership with the UAE in the light of the UAE's potentials and vital stature in the Middle East region. He also expressed his appreciation for the UAE's wise leadership for its developmental achievements in the country as well as its growing contributions in the international humanitarian and developmental map.
The two sides also tackled the latest developments as well as ways to enhance bilateral partnership channels between the two countries.
Among those who attended the meeting were Hazza Mohammed Falah Al Qahtani, Undersecretary of the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) and other officials. – Emirates News Agency,

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Al Maktoum Foundation implements development project for poor families in Upper Egypt
posted on 01/06/2015

CAIRO: Al Maktoum Charity Foundation and the Ministry of Local Development in the Arab Republic of Egypt yesterday signed an agreement to implement a development project for poor families in Upper Egypt.
The agreement was signed by Mirza Al Sayegh, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Al Maktoum Foundation, and Major General Adel Labib, Egyptian Minister of Local Development.
During the signing of the agreement, Mr. Al Sayegh conveyed the greetings of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and patron of Al Maktoum Foundation, to the attendees, referring to his directives to work to meet the needs of poor families.
Al Sayegh said that the project aims to enable the development of poor and needy families in the Sohag Governorate through the provision of up to 60 sewing machines for poor families. He added that the Al Maktoum Foundation will also distribute 1,000 food parcels on the occasion of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
In a speech during the signing ceremony, Major General Adel Labib thanked the Al Maktoum Foundation on the generous initiative, applauding the historical and close relations between the UAE and Egypt which were founded by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
He also expressed the appreciation of the people of Egypt to the leadership of the United Arab Emirates, 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.
The Egyptian Minister also expressed his thanks and appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum for the aid provided by the Al Maktoum Foundation in Egypt. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395281263665.html

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Antonio Guterres: Jawaher Al Qasimi leads efforts in advocacy & support of refugees in the MENA humanitarian crisis
posted on 31/05/2015

GENEVA: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres, has praised H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children and Chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation, for her help and support to refugees throughout the world.
Guterres said, "In the true spirit of solidarity, Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi's humanitarian service and unfettered commitment to refugees is heartening and commendable. In her capacity as UNHCR Eminent Advocate, she spearheaded initiatives that have served to mobilise support and raise awareness for thousands of refugees. These have made an enormous difference and above all, are inspiring others in the region to give. I have the great honour to celebrate H.H.'s outstanding contribution to supporting the forcibly displaced. Her dedication and leadership will continue to be a guiding example."
He added, "As UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children, Sheikha Jawaher has launched many initiatives to rally support and raise awareness about the issues of thousands of refugees scattered across the world. Her efforts have made a tremendous difference, and more importantly, her ability to inspire others to give more and exert extra effort has contributed to our efforts. It is a great honour for me to recognise her momentous contributions to supporting refugees and displaced people."
The High Commissioner pointed out that Sheikha Jawaher's devotion and leadership will remain as an example to be followed, and stressed that the Big Heart Foundation led one of the most important and successful campaigns dedicated to refugee children on the global level.
During the meeting, Guterres presented the UNHCR Advocacy Award to Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi in recognition and appreciation of her efforts to alleviate the suffering of families and children affected by wars and conflicts, and her eagerness to launch initiatives to raise awareness about refugee issues and secure the financial resources needed to provide humanitarian aid worldwide.
The High Commissioner asked Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi to continue in her post as UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children and to carry on leading the way in advocacy and support for refugees caught up in the MENA humanitarian crisis.
The High Commissioner conveyed this message when he welcomed Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi at the UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on the second anniversary of her appointment as UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children.
Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi was received at UNHCR headquarters by Antonio Guterres, UNHCR High Commissioner and senior staff members from UNHCR. Firas Kayyal, Senior External Relation Officer at UNHCR, praised Sheikha Jawaher and The Big Heart Foundation for their direct involvement and monitoring of projects that were jointly launched, as well as her commitment to providing assistance to all refugees in MENA.
Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi said, "I'd like to express my profound appreciation for the role played by UNHCR in highlighting the plight of refugees and assisting them to overcome the challenges of displacement. Instability throughout the world and in MENA has led to large numbers of refugees who are faced with a myriad of problems which they are able to tackle and overcome with the invaluable assistance provided by UNHCR and its partners. I call for a concerted effort to address the plight of refugees and to help ease the burden on the host countries."
She added that finding a better way of living and a dignified life for refugees requires support and assistance to the host countries and securing budgets for relief operations. The action taken against refugee smuggling networks should not affect the security and safety of refugees themselves, as they often have no choice but to flee to escape death, as they fear for their lives, they risk all on dangerous vessels in search of refuge.
Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi underlined the importance of education and knowledge for refugee children and said the issue needs to be a priority for the leaders of the region and the world in order to ensure the future of children is not left hanging in the balance or they may fall prey to conflicts and international inaction.
"Advocating for the rights of children and helping the needy stems from the values of philanthropy, kindness and compassion, which are characteristics that distinguish the UAE and Arab community. These are values that were laid down by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was a unique humanitarian leader that we all learned from and follow," she said.
Sheikha Jawaher reiterated that she would always remain a supporter and advocate for the issues of refugee children and people in need across the world, and noted that the mission has not yet reached completion; that what has been achieved is but a fragment compared to the magnitude of the prolonged ordeal of refugees worldwide.
She discussed with the High Commissioner for Refugees and UNHCR prominent officials the current refugee situation in light of recent developments in the Arab region, as well as wars and natural disasters across the globe. A short documentary was shown during the meeting highlighting the achievements of Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi since her appointment as Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children.
The UNHCR praised the Big Heart Foundation's contributions that have provided life-saving medical services to over 365,000 Syrian refugees and given more than 400,000 others vital food and financial aid. During the colder winter months, the Foundation provided basic essentials to children and their families, and education to 1.2 million Syrian refugee children.
In 2013 and 2014, the Foundation implemented several projects and initiatives, including providing healthcare services valued at Dh 7.3 million for 106,000 Syrian refugees in Iraq. The Foundation launched healthcare programmes in Jordan for 150,000 Syrian refugees at a cost of Dh 18.4 million. The Big Heart Foundation created a clinic in Zaatri for the refugee children and families. As well as providing aid worth Dh 753 000 for children, infants and the elderly. The Foundation has also provided healthcare services worth Dh11 million to 10,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and a healthcare project costing Dh3.7 million in Syria for 9,150 refugees. It also provided Dh 6.6 in Eid Al Fitr for 60,000 refugees.
Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi was accompanied by Noura Al Noman, Director General of H.H. Executive Office, Erum Mazhar, Advisor at H.H. Executive Office, and Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of Salam Ya Seghar.
In May 2013, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, appointed Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi as UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children in recognition of her outstanding efforts to raise public awareness about the problems faced by refugees and about the work of the UN Agency, with a focus on children.
The award signifies the international recognition of Sheikha Jawaher's commitment to alleviating the suffering of women and children affected by wars and disasters, and her eagerness to launch life-saving and life-changing initiatives aimed at raising awareness about the issues of refugees, mobilising humanitarian support and securing financial resources, most notably the Big Heart Foundation. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395281215051.html

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