Dubai: The Water Aid Foundation (Suqia) launched in 2015 has become a central arm of the UAE’s humanitarian efforts, alleviating human suffering, regardless of gender, race or religion, in accordance with the noble values that stem from the principles of Islam and Arab traditions.
The establishment Suqia confirms that the approach of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan is continuing and that the UAE’s wise leadership is continuing its efforts in the service of humanity.
In June 2014, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the UAE Water Aid Suqia campaign to provide access to fresh drinking water for five million people around the world. The campaign surpassed its target, mobilising over Dh180 million, enough to provide water to over seven million people around the world. In March 2015, Shaikh Mohammed issued law No. 3 of 2015, establishing the UAE Water Aid Foundation as a non-profit organisation.
The foundation works to provide potable water to the needy, the disadvantaged, and those who are in distress around the world.
“The UAE, headed by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE; and Their Highnesses Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, plays a leading role, globally, in addressing the challenges facing humanity, by providing the necessary support and delivery of humanitarian assistance throughout the world, helping poor communities and supporting sustainable development,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Suqia.
“The UAE was ranked the world’s top development assistance donor in 2016 relative to its national income, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development,” said Al Tayer.
“At the foundation, we are committed to achieving one of the key objectives set by the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives foundation, which is to combat poverty and disease by contributing to finding permanent and sustainable solutions to water scarcity around the world. We are also committed to providing water to millions of disadvantaged and needy people around the world, without any discrimination based on race, colour, religion, or culture. In the words of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid, ‘UAE Water Aid will not differentiate between one person and another, so are all of our humanitarian works’,” added Al Tayer.
Suqia projects provided drinking water to eight million people in 19 countries worldwide, up to the end of 2016, in collaboration with a number of leading charity organisations.
Mohammad Abdul Kareem Al Shamsi, acting executive director of the UAE Water Aid Foundation, noted that some of Suqia’s projects, in the Year of Giving, include drilling artesian wells in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Benin, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Thailand and Burkina Faso. About 122,000 people are expected to benefit from these projects.
Al Shamsi highlighted that the foundation also distributes water to mosques and Ramadan tents, in the seven emirates, in cooperation with 13 local charities and associations, during the month of Ramadan.
As part of its efforts in the Year of Giving, and in support of the ‘For Your Sake, Somalia’ campaign, launched by the Emirates Red Crescent, Suqia is implementing two projects to provide drinking water to more than 90,000 people in that country, in cooperation with the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Establishment.
Global award worth $1 million
Suqia also oversees the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Award, which is worth $1 million. The award was launched by Shaikh Mohammad to encourage research centres, individuals and innovators from around the world to find innovative and sustainable solutions for clean-water scarcity around the world, using solar power. It has three main categories: Innovative Projects Award, Innovative Research and Development Award, and the Innovative Youth Award.
Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, honoured 10 winners from eight countries during the first edition of the award in April this year.
“We received 138 applications from 43 countries. We were also pleased with how many young people took part, which reaffirms the role of the UAE as a platform that motivates innovation, an incubator of creativity, and a destination for innovators from all over the world,” said Al Tayer.