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Accession Day Report - 2004 - UAE RCS

posted on 27/07/2004: 1672 views

At the end of December 2003, ninety five countries from various parts of the world have benefited from the nearly Dh1.5 billion humanitarian assistance so far delivered by the UAE Red Crescent Society, RCS, in line with the directives of President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan and H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and the continuous follow up of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the UAE RCS. It is also in response to the international calls from the international Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC and other international humanitarian and charity organizations.

The UAE RCS is committed to reaching out to the poor and the needy, as well as to people in distress, by dispatching delegation to deliver the needed assistance in coordination with the UAE embassies abroad or through the ICRC. The UAE RCS reaches out to those categories of people without discrimination in terms of colour, creed, gender, political, ideological or religious discrimination.

Sheikh Zayed said: "Assisting brothers and friends is a humanitarian obligation. It is an obligation on a true friend to assist his needy friend. The creator of all creatures has enshrined in all heavenly religions a number of rules and values, which call for mankind's assistance to his fellow mankind. Notable of these values are to show compassion and solidarity towards fellow human beings, the capable to assist the incapable. We cannot live in a different world from others. We honourably make friends and cooperate with others, just as we help without arrogance or showing off and we stand in support of equality and justice.”

The RCS spent last year a total of Dh340 million on humanitarian assistance programs to reach out to victims of various natural and human disasters in various parts of the world. Sheikh Hamdan, in a statement in the RCS annual report, commended Sheikh Zayed for his support to the poor, the needy and other people in distress. He said the world today is being witnessing bloody conflicts and destructive disasters, which have left behind their trails human sufferings which have drawn the attention of those active in the field of humanitarian field.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that the spirit of generosity and compassion which is significant to the UAE people, made the latter to donate generously to the UAE RCS and its humanitarian programs, which include working to put some smiles back on the faces of orphans, widows and other needy people wherever they may be. A move, he said, had carved the name of the UAE solidly in gold in the history of humanitarian work.

Since the establishment of the RCS more than two decades ago, the RCS has been able to make great achievements in the field of humanitarian services, concentrating its work on alleviating the sufferings of the less fortunate in the various societies of the world. The RCS' doors will remain open to its donors and other UAE philanthropists, who, through their generous donations, keep the organization running strongly to sustain its numerous programs worldwide.

Commenting on the humanitarian work, RCS Honorary Chairperson, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the President's Wife and Chairwoman of the UAE General Women's Union, GWU, also said in a statement "...As the date palm tree is deeply rooted in the soils of the UAE, so is charity and humanitarian works in the hearts and minds of the UAE people, who proudly follow the footstep and emulate the good works of their leader, President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, as well as the heritage of their ancestors.

The RCS is but the gateway through which the generosity of the UAE people passes to the poor, the needy and the disaster stricken, including the displaced persons wherever they may be.” Sheikha Fatima conveyed her profound greetings and gratitude to all those who had contributed and continue to contribute to the RCS and its programs. Khalifa Nasir Al Suwaidi, RCS Board Chairman said that the RCS reaches out to all needy people in various parts of the world, adding that this is being done with the support of President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima and with the generous donations from the people living in the UAE, citizens and expatriates alike, he said.

He pointed out that the RCS, since its establishment more than two decades ago, had been able to make its presence felt on the international humanitarian arena. He said the real test for the RCS began with its relief assistance campaign in Bosnia Herzegovina and then Kosovo, where the RCS engaged in various forms of humanitarian and charity services for the peoples of the two countries.

He said in addition to the RCS' humanitarian and relief programs, which extend to victims of disasters and conflicts in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and a number of African and Asian countries, the RCS also engaged in a number of activities which strengthened its role both inside the UAE and abroad. This activities and programs, he said, had contributed to the good reputation of the RCS and its presence at the regional and international scenes.

Sanaa Darwish Al Kitbi, RCS Secretary General said that the RCS, which represents the UAE's exit point for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the needy people throughout the world, has achieved global recognition in a record time. She went on to say that the RCS, which continues to take brisk steps towards more achievements, was the beginning point of women activities in the country, adding that these activities unabatedly continue, with the blessings and support of the country's wise leadership, to make generous contributions to the UAE's national development, making women an effective tool in the country's development program.

She said that women had been able to prove their effectiveness and their presence in the RCS' humanitarian program, playing active role in all stages of the organization's programs. She said the RCS had dispatched a number of women delegations to deliver humanitarian assistance to several hot zones, including Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia Herzegovina. She described that initiative as a giant step forward, which made women real and effective partners and members in the RCS.

She said that the RCS achievements were reflected in its projects worldwide, adding that these projects, which have brought relief to people in various parts of the world, had become symbols, which hold aloft the UAE flag on all the continents of the world. "Wherever you go you'll see mosques, Quran memorization centres, social and educational institutions, hospitals, orphanages and SOS homes, built by the UAE people,” she said, adding "This has been done for Allah's sake, and for the sake of love, peace for other peoples of the world, from Palestine to Afghanistan, Kosovo and many parts of Africa.”

The RCS was one of the few international organizations which availed themselves early in Pakistan and Afghanistan to provide assistance to the Afghan refugees fleeing war in their country. It is also the first humanitarian organization to be present in Palestine to provide relief assistance to the Palestinians who are facing various brutalities from the Israeli forces. To alleviate the sufferings of the Palestinians, the RCS set up hospitals, health centres, and distributed medicines and medical equipment and food items. It also set up social and educational centres, rebuilt and renovated a number of destroyed houses, in addition to the renovation of the Al Aqsa Mosque.

Locally, the RCS continues to play active role in various kinds of charity works. It also receives and collects donations from donors and philanthropists in the country through its various programs and campaigns. The RCS has spent last year an amount of Dh681,000 on 45 charity construction works, including the building and renovation of mosques. It spent Dh6.61 million on seasonal projects like provision of Iftar meals for Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan, provision of Sacrificial lambs for poor Muslims during the Eid Al Adha, paying for Muslims to perform Haj and providing Zakat Al Fitr for the poor and the needy.

The RCS social welfare program also accounted for Dh14.429 million. About 1720 families benefited from the program last year. Other local expenditure by the RCS last year include medical assistance at a total amount of Dh2.789 million, material support for poor and needy families accounted for Dh6.819 million. About 12,265 families benefited from the assistance. Externally, the RCS spent about Dh298.166 million on various relief and humanitarian assistance. Iraq got the lion's share of the assistance accounting for Dh143.839 million in view of the difficult situation the Iraqi people found themselves in as a result of the US invasion of Iraq.

The RCS flew in thousands of tons of food and other relief items to Iraq through a series of air bridge operation. 23 flights, five truck convoys of sixty truckloads and three ships delivered the items through Mosul airport, and Umm Qasr seaport. The RCS also delivered last year humanitarian assistance to 30 countries in response to a various disasters, including flood, earthquake and other natural disasters, as well as to the poor and the needy in those countries, which include Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chechnya, Chile, Comoro Islands, Djibouti, Eritrea, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Chad, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen.

The RCS has spent last year a total amount of Dh37.439 million on charity programs outside the UAE. The programs include construction and seasonal projects and material assistance, in addition to a number of projects in Palestine. The RCS constructed in various parts of the world 211 mosques at a total cost of about Dh11.821million, dug 321 water wells at a total cost of Dh2.760 million, renovated a number orphanages, health and educational centres at a total cost of Dh3.908 million. Beneficiary countries of these projects include Somalia, Kazakhstan, Ghana, Chad, Yemen, Albania, Bosnia, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Syria, Vietnam and Sudan.

To garner resources for its programs, the RCS, introduced various programs inside the country and abroad, including donation campaigns, which is boosted by special donations from philanthropists in the country and abroad. The RCS got last year a total revenue of Dh210,582,416 through its seasonal campaigns like the Ramadan and Eid Al Adha festivals and other campaigns. It also held an emergency campaign in the name of the Iraqi people, which yielded about Dh45,058,923.

Other campaigns which fed the organization's chest include Bank Customers' consensual donation fetched Dh26,600,839, while donation boxes placed at various shopping centres and malls fetched Dh5.162,839, while the Dirham for Charity program also fetched Dh700,642.

Revenues collected from the RCS' real estates endowment projects also fetched Dh11,418,500, while revenue collected from rents of the RCS owned administrative services offices and billboards fetched Dh1,705,446, while other investment projects also fetched Dh8,910,659. donations made in kind by philanthropists, companies and other institutions in the country also fetched about Dh127.456 million, the RCS report said. The RCS, which is committed to the strategies of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, also embarked on a number of programs to improve the performance of its staff and volunteers.

In achieving this, the RCS organized last year 27 first aid training courses and celebrated the International First Aid Day. It also organized a seminar on women and war, issued a book on the international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians during armed conflict. The RCS, in collaboration with the Emirates Media Incorporated, organized a special aid program to assist the Palestinian people.

Entitled "For Your Sake, Oh Rafah!", the campaign seeks to gather money to rebuild the over 800 Palestinian houses destroyed by the Israeli forces in Rafah. the campaign yielded about Dh100 million, donated to that cause. Out of the amount, Sheikh Zayed ordered the Sheikh Zayed Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation to donate Dh20 million to that cause, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan also donated Dh15 million, Sheikha Fatima donated Dh5 million, Sheikh Hamdan donated Dh10 million, Sheikh Saudi bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras al Khaimah, donated Dh2 million, while a number of sheikhs, UAE nationals and expatriates also made various forms of donations in cash and kind to the cause.

The organization also signed a number of agreements with various international and humanitarian organizations, notable among them is the Memorandum of understanding, MOU, signed between the RCS and the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, UNHCR, to set up a special fund to take care of refugee women. the MoU was part of the implementation steps of the special initiative of Sheikha Fatima, who donated Dh2 million as the seed money of the Fund. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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