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Mohamed bin Zayed Champion of Global Humanitarian Generosity

Photo : Reuters

Abu Dhabi: President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is recognized globally as a beacon of inspiration in the humanitarian landscape. His life has been marked by unwavering support for people and nations in crisis, reinforcing the UAE’s commitment to global humanitarian efforts.

Under Sheikh Mohamed’s leadership, the UAE has been at the forefront of numerous charitable and humanitarian projects worldwide. His dedication has fostered a culture of compassion and generosity that strengthens the UAE's position as a leading global donor. Sheikh Mohamed’s initiatives reflect the principles of human fraternity, tolerance, coexistence, and peace, continuing the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Sheikh Mohamed was recently honored with the ‘Global Humanitarian Personality’ award by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM). This award underscores international recognition and appreciation for his significant contributions to humanitarian relief efforts worldwide. It further solidifies his status as a notable figure in the history of humanitarian work.

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The UAE’s response to humanitarian crises, guided by Sheikh Mohamed, has become an enduring feature worldwide. This generosity transcends geographical boundaries, ethnicity, and religion, highlighting the UAE’s commitment to global aid.

Health Initiatives

Sheikh Mohamed’s journey is characterized by numerous initiatives aimed at advancing global healthcare, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. His swift actions included inaugurating hospitals, providing vaccines, establishing humanitarian cities, and sending aid worldwide without discrimination. The UAE provided over 2,000 tonnes of medical supplies to 135 countries through approximately 200 flights during the pandemic.

Field hospitals and mobile clinics were set up in countries like Sudan, Guinea, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkmenistan. Aid was also dispatched from Dubai’s International Humanitarian City to 117 countries, and a $10 million in-kind donation was made to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The UAE has continued efforts to combat neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affecting over 1.6 billion people. Sheikh Mohamed launched the Reaching the Last Mile Fund (RLMF) in 2017, allocating $500 million to eradicate two NTDs in Africa. The fund has provided over 100 million treatments and trained 1.3 million healthcare workers.

At the Reaching the Last Mile Forum during COP28, the UAE, African leaders, and global partners pledged over $777 million to combat NTDs. Additionally, Sheikh Mohamed’s polio eradication initiative provided Pakistan with 667.5 million doses of the polio vaccine from 2014 to 2022, benefiting 17 million children.

In 2019, Sheikh Mohamed, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, established the Global Institute for Disease Elimination (GLIDE) to accelerate the eradication of preventable infectious diseases like malaria, polio, and river blindness.

Operation Chivalrous Knight

In February 2023, Sheikh Mohamed launched Operation Chivalrous Knight 2 to support Syria and Türkiye after a devastating earthquake. The operation, lasting until July 13, was one of the UAE's most successful humanitarian efforts. It resulted in rescuing dozens of people, treating 13,463 cases, and delivering 15,164 tonnes of aid via 260 flights and four cargo ships.

In November 2023, Sheikh Mohamed initiated Operation Chivalrous Knight 3 to support Palestinians in Gaza amid critical circumstances. The UAE provided 22,627 tonnes of relief aid, established field hospitals, set up desalination stations, and operated a floating hospital off Al Arish’s coast. Additionally, Sheikh Mohamed directed hosting 1,000 cancer patients and 1,000 Palestinian children from Gaza for treatment in UAE hospitals.

The UAE also launched the "Tarahum for Gaza" campaign, involving humanitarian and charity institutions, volunteering centers, the private sector, and society at large, along with the media.

Response to Natural Disasters

Under Sheikh Mohamed's directives, the UAE has swiftly provided humanitarian and relief aid to those affected by natural disasters worldwide. In 2023, the UAE assisted victims of Storm Daniel in Libya and the earthquake in Morocco, among other countries facing humanitarian emergencies.

In May 2022, Sheikh Mohamed directed AED 35 million in urgent humanitarian aid to Somalia. In June, he ordered an airlift carrying food baskets, medical supplies, and a field hospital to aid earthquake victims in Afghanistan. The UAE also provided $25 million to support Al Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem and AED 25 million to flood victims in Sudan.

In October 2022, Sheikh Mohamed directed $100 million in additional humanitarian relief to civilians affected by the crisis in Ukraine, emphasizing the importance of humanitarian solidarity in times of conflict.

Mohamed bin Zayed Water Initiative

In February 2024, the UAE launched the Mohamed bin Zayed Water Initiative to address global water scarcity. The initiative aims to raise awareness, develop innovative solutions, and enhance international cooperation to tackle water scarcity. A partnership with the American XPRIZE foundation was announced to launch the XPRIZE Water Scarcity competition, funded by the initiative with $150 million, including $119 million in prizes to incentivize sustainable solutions for water desalination technologies.

Zayed's Legacy

On March 29, 2024, Sheikh Mohamed launched the Zayed Humanitarian Legacy Initiative, worth AED 20 billion, to support humanitarian activities in vulnerable communities globally. This initiative reinforces the humanitarian values of the late Sheikh Zayed, extending his legacy of generosity and supporting communities worldwide. The initiative aims to improve the quality of life for those in need, building a prosperous future and achieving sustainable development.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s humanitarian efforts have left an indelible mark on the global stage, embodying the UAE’s commitment to compassion, generosity, and support for those in need. His initiatives continue to inspire and strengthen international cooperation in addressing global challenges.

May 18, 2024 2:56 p.m. 557

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