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She is powerful testimony to what humanitarian initiatives can achieve when undertaken in the spirit of undiluted altruism.

When seven-year-old Mahina Ghaniva from Tajikistan walked up to the stage last week and thanked His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for giving her a second lease of life, it was the most visible validation of the successes being achieved by the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI). Mahina’s rare heart condition, which stymied her chances to lead a normal childhood, was treated by a team of Dubai doctors as part of the MBRGI’s global healthcare outreach, and now she has her health and hopes back. Mahina is just one among the millions of people around the world who have benefited from the MBRGI’s initiatives since it was established in 2015.

In 2018 alone, the foundation transformed the lives of 70 million people in 86 countries, with 33 entities and initiatives under the foundation collectively spending Dh1.5 billion, its annual report revealed last week.

The UAE has always recognised and respected the importance of human development, not just within its own borders but also in the region and across the world.

- Gulf News

Four new countries — Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua — were added to the MBRGI’s education outreach last year, with its expenditure on education totalling Dh628 million and benefiting over 41.1 million, while Dh313 million was spent on healthcare and disease control benefiting 13.1 million people. Whether it is providing clean drinking water, safe medicines, access to schools or a new window of opportunity for voc ational training, all these helplines hold the potential to positively transform the lives of the underprivileged and the deprived. The MBRGI, with its humanitarian programmes, has year-upon-year facilitated millions of such life-changing moments for people across the world.

The UAE has always recognised and respected the importance of human development, not just within its own borders but also in the region and across the world. This understanding forms the bedrock of its humanitarian efforts which have earned it the status of the top aid donor in the world, an honour it richly deserves for its unflagging work in this field over the decades.

The MBRGI, through its five critical human development domains — humanitarian aid and relief, spread of education and knowledge, health care and disease control, innovation and entrepreneurship, and the empowering of communities — is charting new paths of hope and ambition for people who are on the verge of giving up.