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Accession Day Feature: Zayed Foundation for Charitable and Humanitarian Works

posted on 03/08/2003: 2240 views

The UAE has made great contributions in support of charity and humanitarian works at local, regional and international levels. These contributions were made through various channels, including the Zayed Foundation for Charitable and Humanitarian Works, which reflects President H.H Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan's nobility and generosity in charity works both inside the UAE and abroad, through his financing of many charity projects worldwide.

The Foundation has become a renowned international organisation in the field of humanitarian and charity works within the very short time of its existence. Its hard and distinguished services in this area has won it the respect and accolades at both the regional and the international levels.

In its annual report for the year 2000, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, which is taking care of over 65 million refugees worldwide, of which 70 per cent are Muslims, rated the foundation at the fifth position at the international level in the area of providing assistance to refugees. The Foundation signed with the UNHCR in 1999 at the Commission's Geneva headquarters a memorandum of understanding, which made their partnership in humanitarian services official.

The MoU also put in place a framework to enable the UAE make its significant contributions to this noble cause side by side with the international community. The Zayed Foundation was founded in August 5, 1992 with a capital of Dh3.671 billion, with the aim of funding mosques, Islamic Cultural centres, Scientific research centres, health and educational institutions, in addition to sending relief supplies to disaster stricken areas. Thus the major aim of the foundation is to extend help to the needy wherever they may be.

In line with the directives of President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, H.H Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Industry and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Zayed Foundation, the foundation, since its establishment, has sent relief assistance and undertaken charity projects wherever they were needed. Sheikh Khalifa, who was the Foundation's first Chairman of the Board of Trustees before relinquishing the post to Sheikh Ahmed, continues to extend his generous hands in support of the foundation and its undertakings.

The Foundation is co-operating with a number of local and international human institutions and is sponsoring a number of long-term programmes as part of its contribution to alleviate the sufferings of people in disaster stricken areas. From 1993 to date, the Foundation has spent about Dh 544,567,193 about (US$147,343,011) on various types of humanitarian projects it undertook both inside the UAE and abroad. They include relief assistance, medical treatment, grants, scholarship etc.

In the UAE, the foundation has spent a huge amount of money to build grand mosques bearing the name of Sheikh Zayed in Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Dibba and Al Ain. The Foundation has also sponsored various humanitarian programmes, including assistance to other charity organisations, renovation of mosques and Quran memorisation centres, supporting rehabilitation centres, schools, orphanages, Senior Citizens Home and other projects like the renovation and cleaning of the Abu Dhabi mosques, in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Awqaf.

At the Gulf level, the Foundation has spent a huge amount of money on various projects, including the building of a number of mosques in Oman, supporting a number of charity organisations in Bahrain, in addition to supporting a number of projects related to the establishment and maintenance of Quran memorisation centres and centres for the rehabilitation of the handicapped. At the Arab level, the Foundation is providing assistance in various fields, including humanitarian, educational, cultural, religious and medical fields.

These include support for three universities in Palestine, Palestinian charity organisations, a number of medical centres, hospitals and orphanages in Palestine, regular supply of medicines and medical equipment to the Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Ramallah, the Sheikha Salama bint Butti Hospital in Nablus, and the funding of a Palestinian archaeological encyclopaedia. In Egypt, the Foundation supports the Cairo-based UNESCO Centre, the Al Azhar Library, as well as various projects in many Arab countries, including the Central Library of the Al Manar University in Lebanon, it funded an inoculation programme and water well drilling project in Mauritania.

In Sudan, the Foundation has also provided urgent relief assistance for the famine-stricken and war-devastated people in Southern Sudan, drilled 50 water wells in various parts of Sudan and built the Argo Mosque. As part of its phase2 plan, the Foundation has adopted a number of projects in some Arab and African countries, including the Zayed University project in Djibouti, building of health centres in Mauritania and the building of Senior Citizens Home in Baghdad in collaboration with the UAE Red Crescent Society, in addition to providing support for a number of organisations in various Arab countries.

In Africa, the Foundation has also pumped millions of dirhams in various projects in 22 African countries. These include the building of the Grand Mosque in Nairobi, Kenya, one of the best Islamic and cultural landmark in the Kenyan capital and the most important Islamic centre in east Africa which was built at a total cost of 20 million dirhams. Others are the building of two new mosques in Ethiopia and the reconstruction of the Central Mosque in Zanzibar.

In addition, the Foundation also adopts a number of educational and social projects in West and East Africa, including the Zayed University College in the Malian capital, Bamako, regular financial and material assistance to Islamic universities in Uganda and Niger on annual basis, regular supply of humanitarian and relief assistance to refugee camps in Ethiopia and Eritrea and support for six mosques in West and Central Africa, as well as for four schools in Kenya.

During its 18th meeting held on May 5, 2003, the board of trustees of the Foundation agreed in principle to establish the Zayed Academy for Social and Administrative Sciences in Burkina Faso, a maternity and childcare hospital in the capital of the Republic of Niger, Niamey and to undertake various charity projects in Congo and Liberia to help alleviate the sufferings of the peoples in those countries, devastated by civil wars.

The Foundation has also completed a number of projects in several African countries, including a hospital in Zanzibar, the Marouf Hospital in Moroni, Comoro Islands, the Zayed Scientific Institute in Chad. It has also commenced work on the Zayed Maternity and Childcare Hospital in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

In Asia, the Foundation has sponsored a number of projects of various kinds, in 16 Asian countries, including the construction of a number of Islamic schools and mosques. In Pakistan, the Foundation has built tens of charity projects in line with the directives of Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Khalifa. The projects include the building of universities, schools, hospitals, orphanages, houses and the modernisation of infrastructure. In India, the Foundation has built a number mosques and supported various Islamic centres. In the Philippines the Foundation has undertaken a number of vital projects, including the Golden Mosque and the Jolo Mosque in Mindanao.

The Foundation will soon commence work on a number of projects in various Asian countries. These include the Zayed Scientific Institute in Jakarta, Indonesia, the of a girls hostel block for the Islamic University in Shitagong, Bangladesh, the maternity and childcare hospital in Afghanistan. These are in addition to the orphanage building which has been completed, while the General Hospital in Aidijia is regularly been supplied with drugs and medical equipment. In Europe, the Foundation has also funded a number of projects in 11 European countries, including the building of the Al Taqwa Mosque in Spain, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Zurich, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Stockholm and the Grand Mosque in Leon, France. In addition, the Foundation, in cooperation with the International Community of the Red Cross, ICRC, has implemented emergency relief assistance programme during the wars in Bosnia Herzegovina and Kosovo. It also implemented a number of reconstruction projects in Bosnia and Kosovo in collaboration with the United Nations Higher Commission on Refugees, UNHCR.

Other projects by the Foundation include, offering of financial and material assistance in support of several scientific researches and projects in a number of universities, including the setting up of a permanent chair, the Sheikh Zayed Chair, at the Cambridge and Oxford universities, the construction of students hostel at the European College in France and a three-storey Islamic centre, bearing the name +Sheikh Zayed Mosque and Centre+, which was opened in June 2000 in the outskirts of London.

The Foundation has funded number of projects in the United States, including its contribution to the building of a mosque in Chicago in co-operation with the Mohammed Ali Islamic Charity Organisation. In New Zealand, the Foundation has built girls school at a total cost of 13 million dirhams. The Foundation's policy in the execution of its projects is based on a careful choice of projects, after making field studies of the location for the projects. It also takes into serious consideration suggestions from the local government authorities, agencies and organisations in charge, or related to those projects.

The Foundation executes these projects through its various organs, either directly or indirectly, with the cooperation of similar charity organisations in the host countries. Its administrative work is based on the use of modern technology, using state-of-the-art means and scientific means of planning in the implementation of programmes. It also applies scientific method in the analysis of results as per its mid and long term strategic objectives. The Foundation was awarded the ISO 9001/2000 quality certificate in recognition of its efforts and for excelling in the field of humanitarian services. This made Zayed Foundation the first charity and humanitarian organisation in the country, as well as in the Arab and Islamic worlds to achieve this feat. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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