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UAE Red Crescent - National Day Report 2003

posted on 29/11/2003: 2195 views

As at the end of August 2003, ninety five countries from various parts of the world have benefited from the nearly one-billion-Dirham 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, 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.”

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 programmes, 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 organisation running strongly to sustain its numerous programmes 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 programmes. 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.

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 programme.

She said that women had been able to prove their effectiveness and their presence in the RCS' humanitarian programmes, playing active role in all stages of the organisation's programmes. 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 organisations 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 programmes and campaigns. In Palestine, the RCS has so far spent Dhs322,142,399 on various projects in Palestine, including relief programmes like distribution of food items, clothing and cash, in addition to building and rehabilitating a number of hospitals and supplying medicines and medical equipment to various hospitals in the occupied territories.

The building of 800 housing units at the total cost of Dh99.225 million is another project embarked upon by the UAE in line with the directives of President Sheikh Zayed. In Iraq, the UAE RCS has also spent so far a total amount of Dh142,269,210. Out of the amount, relief assistance accounted for Dh61,332,109, while the remaining amount was spent on various projects, including projects in the field of health care, construction and seasonal projects.

In Afghanistan, the RCS has spent Dh55,817,157 on various relief, humanitarian and reconstruction projects since 1987 to date. Out of the amount relief assistance accounted for Dh37,592,578, an amount of Dh15,283,709 was spent on reconstruction projects, including building of hospitals, healthcare centres, destroyed houses, mosques and drilling of water wells, while seasonal projects like the provision of Iftar meals for Muslim fasters during Ramadan, distribution of Zakat al Fitr (alms given on the early morning hours of the Eid Al Fitr), Eid clothing and Eid Al Adha meat also accounted for Dh190,000 from 2001 to 2003.

In a move which reflects the great respect and trust the RCS commands from other regional and international humanitarian organisations, the Omani Red crescent Society entrusted the UAE RCS with the execution and supervision of a number of projects in Afghanistan, including the construction of two mosques, a primary school, a senior citizens home, an orphanage and a library for the College of Engineering at a total cost of about Dh1,733,034.

Other countries which benefited from various RCS projects include Yemen Dh15million, Jordan Dh14.5 million, Iran Dh12.227million, Bangladesh Dh12.433 million, Kuwait Dh10 million, Syria Dh6.698 million, Sri Lanka Dh7.257million, Chechnya Dh3.436 million, Azerbaijan Dh1.473 million, Lebanon Dh4.529 million, Turkey Dh1.568 million, Pakistan Dh1.763 million, Sudan Dh28.211 million, India Dh2.048 million, Indonesia Dh5.314 million, Somalia Dh12.123 million, Ethiopia Dh1.479 million, Eritrea Dh6.5 million, Djibouti Dh3.7 million, Mauritania Dh7million, Niger Dh1.232 million, Benin Dh0.793 million, Tanzania Dh0.523 million, Algeria Dh2.014 million, Bosnia Herzegovina Dh134.012 million, Kosovo Dh120 million, while other countries totalling 48 countries got a total aid of Dh2.44 million.

These countries are South Korea, China, the Philippines, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russia, Kyrgystan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Bahrain, Thailand, Malaysia, Nepal, Mongolia, Rwanda, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, the Comoro Islands, Uganda, Mali, Burundi, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Chad, Malawi Gabon, Zanzibar, Lesotho, Czech Republic, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Colombia, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Barbados, Guatemala, Chile and Salvador. The RCS has also given various forms of assistance at a total amount of Dh1 million to a number of social, humanitarian and educational centres in nine countries from different continents. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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