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RCA's Humanitarian and Charity Projects

posted on 01/12/2007: 1633 views

The UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) has spent in the last few years more than two billion dirhams on humanitarian and charity projects it embarked upon in many Arab and Muslim countries where the RCA also reached out to needy families and victims of various kinds of human and natural disasters.

Commenting on the RCA's activities and achievements, Deputy Prime Minister and RCA Chairman, Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said the RCA is proud to be among the first to arrive at any disaster-stricken area in the world to reach out to people in distress. "This pride pushes us to do more and to double our efforts to improve upon our performance in humanitarian activities," he said. "Success, they say, leads to more successes," he added.

Sheikh Hamdan said the continuous support the RCA receives from President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his guidance and directives are the secret behind the RCA's successes in implementing its programmes, adding that despite the great successes of the RCA in its humanitarian services both inside the country and abroad, his outfit will continue to exert more efforts to continue to reach out to people in distress in Arab, Muslim and friendly countries worldwide.

The world today continues to witness tragic humanitarian situations, which affects directly the life of millions of people, mainly women and children. Many parts of the world face major humanitarian challenges due to armed conflicts and natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, famine and desertification, in addition to "silent disasters" like hunger, poverty and diseases that are ravaging in poor countries.

In view of this difficult situation and humanitarian tragedies, the UAE is doing its best to minimize the negative effects of those disasters on their victims, to alleviate their sufferings. The UAE has so far excelled in this area, thanks to the late UAE founder and leader, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, for his vision, high humanitarian spirit, generosity, exemplary leadership and humanitarian initiatives.

The UAE made its presence felt in many of the world's hotspots through the good works of a number of UAE humanitarian organisations, including the UAE RCA, which continues to play vital roles on the world humanitarian scenes thereby upholding the name of the UAE to greater heights.

Many factors have contributed to making the RCA a leading organisation in humanitarian services at the international level. Notable among these factors are the big support the RCA continues to receive from President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed forces, General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as the personal follow-up of the RCA activities by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Through their support, the RCA became one of the world's leading supporters of international efforts to minimise the risks threatening many vulnerable peoples of the world.

Commenting on the RCA's activities and achievements, RCA board chairman, Khalifa Nasir Al Suwaidi said the RCA's role has grown in recent years due to the sharp rise in the cases of disasters and crisis in many countries of the world, therefore aggravating the major challenges being faced by humanitarian organisations. He said the RCA, in view of those challenges, drew up effective strategies and plans to deal with those challenges without compromising its basic principles and humanitarian commitments towards the people benefiting from its services inside the country and abroad, adding that records and statistics show that the RCA has spent more than two billion dirhams on its humanitarian and charity programmes inside and outside the UAE in the past two decades.

He pointed out that RCA programmes had witnessed a great development over the years and attributed that to the directives and guidance of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He said the RCA attaches great importance to the execution of its local programmes, which is being closely followed up personally by Sheikh Hamdan, adding that Sheikh Hamdan has been giving directives regularly for the increment of the local budget to improve the lots of the local beneficiaries of the RCA services.

He said the social care department of the RCA reflects the values and principles which the organisation is trying to entrench inside the country. This, he added, is manifested in the RCA's activities and programmes for the low income, the distressed and the weak groups, in addition to the various charity projects which serve a large segment of the UAE society, including UAE nationals and expatriates, as well as its support for a number of institutions operating in vital areas like health, education, social care, etc to help them implement their programmes.

He noted that, on the local scene, the RCA had intensified its activities, having expanded to more areas and increased the number of beneficiaries of its services, which include humanitarian and medical assistance, social sponsorship (sponsoring of students, caring for prisoners, rehabilitating the handicapped persons, etc). "Other programmes include seasonal programmes like "Iftar" meals for Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan, Zakat el-Fitr (Charity) during the Eid el Fitr festival, providing sacrificial rams for poor and deprived Muslim family during the Eid el Adha festival, providing new dresses for poor and deprived Muslim families during the Eid el Fitr and Eid el Adha festivals and providing assistance to poor Muslims to go for Hajj," he explained.

Also commenting on the RCA's activities and achievements, the RCA Secretary General, Dr. Saleh Al Tae, said the Relief and Projects sector of the RCA is fully prepared for emergency relief operations to alleviate the sufferings of people in distress in disaster-stricken areas, adding that the RCA responds rapidly to distress calls from affected peoples, national organisations, the International Community of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other humanitarian organisations.

He pointed out that the RCA also engages in charity, construction and development projects through which it engages in reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructure in conflict or disaster-stricken zones. He said his outfit had expanded horizontally and vertically in the provision of services, adding that the RCA's relief operations cover 95 countries of the world with special emphasis on Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Sudan and other Horn of Africa countries, as well as disaster-stricken Asian countries which were devastated by the tsunami in December 2004 and the earthquake in Pakistan, where the RCA operations continue to date. The RCA is still engaged in those areas by providing assistance to the victims and reconstructing their destroyed infrastructure.

Al Tae said the RCA also lays emphasis on its programme of caring for orphans, which it regards as very important, adding that the response of philanthropists to RCA programmes is very positive and commendable.

He pointed out that the RCA now sponsors 43,468 orphans inside the UAE and abroad, having spent on them from the beginning of the year up to the end of last September an amount of AED57, 392,978, while total expenses on them last year stood at AED92, 411,719. He said the orphans are in 24 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, adding that the RCA provides for the orphans healthcare, education, social services and other things that help them adjust comfortably in the society and give them hope for future life.

Touching on RCA cadres, Al Tae said they are voluntary workers who help implement the RCA programmes inside the UAE and abroad. He said the RCA has special section for volunteers' affairs. The section is tasked with recruiting, training and assigning the cadres. The training polishes their skills and enables them to discharge their assigned duties with utmost competence, he added.

The RCA has won high international reputation for its excellent service. This has won it a special place among international humanitarian organisations, including the board membership of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, membership of the executive committee of the Organisation of Arab Red Crescent and Red Cross Societies, as well as membership of major committees of a number of international organisations.

The RCA has participated in many consultation meetings for improving the performance of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and for protecting human dignity. The RCA is working harder to achieve more international laurels and accolades in humanitarian services.

Locally, the RCA has spread its wings wider to deliver its services in all nooks and crannies of the country by opening branch offices in Al Ain, Western Region of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, in addition to its supply centre at the Jebel Ali Free Zone. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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