Dubai: The Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment was formed initially in 1997 by a decree issued by the late Shaikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The patron of the Establishment is His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The Establishment, whose head office is based in Al Mamzar in Dubai, has a mandate to assist needy residents as well as overseas communities. It is involved in various efforts and programmes, from housing to education, healthcare to relief aid.
It has a number of sub-divisions looking after dedicated programmes, including a housing project to build 60 homes for low-income families and parents of large families in each of the seven emirates that make up the UAE. The cluster of homes is collectively known as the Village of Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Another one of its programmes is the distribution of smart cards that enable holders to purchase monthly food and groceries through UAE cooperative societies.
In healthcare, the Establish has and continues to contribute funds for the treatment of patients, bearing the cost of surgeries and medicines, and providing equipment for hospitals in the UAE.
It also provides direct financial aid to struggling families to help them meet obligations such as utility bills, loan repayments, and rent.
Every Ramadan, the Establishment facilitates food stocks to needy families in the UAE, and coordinates the disbursement of Zakat, the Muslim alms tax, to deserving cases. Children also receive cash or in-kind gifts for Eid. Additionally, Muslims are assisted in fulfilling their dreams of going for the Haj pilgrimage.
To achieve its aims, the Establishment often partners with public and private sector entities to expedite programmes of social welfare.
Beyond the UAE, the Establishment is also active in a variety of humanitarian fields in more than 40 countries.
In the Palestinian territories, it provides financial and in-kind aid to families, distribution of school bags, supplies and uniforms, and supports local NGOs.
It has contributed to building schools and mosques in Kosovo, which was engulfed in conflict.
In Afghanistan, the Establishment came to the rescue of displaced refugees, providing them with food, shelter and clothing. It also established the Zayed House for Orphans for students in Kandahar province and nearby areas. Since the project began in 2003, four batches of graduates have passed at high school level. It also built 200 homes for disabled people and drilled wells to replenish fresh water supplies.
The Establishment also took part in relief operations in Haiti and Iran, which were hit by deadly earthquakes.