The Zayed Humanitarian Work Day is an annual event that takes place in the UAE on the 19th of Ramadan. The day is named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, who is known for his philanthropic and humanitarian work.
The Zayed Humanitarian Work Day symbolises the UAE’s commitment to social responsibility, charity, and volunteerism. It is an occasion to honour Sheikh Zayed’s legacy and to encourage individuals and organisations to participate in humanitarian activities and give back to the community.
The day embodies the humanitarian values that Sheikh Zayed instilled in the UAE, such as generosity, compassion, and giving back to society. This day is important because it highlights the UAE’s commitment to humanitarian work and its efforts to promote social responsibility and community service.
The day is important because it promotes the values of social responsibility and charity in UAE society. It encourages individuals and organisations to take an active role in addressing social issues, supporting disadvantaged communities, and contributing to the development of the country. It also highlights the UAE’s commitment to promoting human welfare and dignity, which is in line with the country’s cultural and religious values.
Importance of social development
The Zayed Humanitarian Work Day is even more significant since it reflects the UAE’s efforts to promote a culture of social responsibility and volunteerism which aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 1 (No Poverty) and Goal 2 (Zero Hunger), which emphasise the importance of social development and humanitarian work in achieving sustainable development.
The Zayed Humanitarian Work Day is closely linked to the UAE’s foreign aid objectives. The country has a strong tradition of providing humanitarian aid and assistance to people in need, both domestically and internationally. It is an important platform for promoting these efforts and encouraging individuals and organisations to engage in humanitarian work.
The UAE’s foreign aid objectives are focused on supporting sustainable development and addressing humanitarian challenges around the world. The country’s foreign aid programs are guided by the principles of effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, and impact, and are aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The UAE’s foreign aid objectives are multifaceted and include a range of initiatives such as providing humanitarian aid, supporting development projects, promoting education and health, and responding to emergencies and crises. These efforts reflect the UAE’s commitment to promoting human welfare and dignity, and to being a responsible global citizen.
As one of the largest foreign aid donors in the world, UAE has a strong record of providing humanitarian and development assistance to countries in need.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UAE was the world’s largest donor of official development assistance (ODA) in proportion to its gross national income (GNI) in 2020.
In recent years, the UAE has significantly increased its foreign aid disbursements, both in terms of financial contributions and in-kind support. The country’s foreign aid programs are guided by the principles of effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, and impact, and are aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The UAE’s foreign aid disbursements focus on a range of areas, including humanitarian assistance, health, education, infrastructure development, and economic growth. The country provides aid to countries across the globe, with a particular focus on the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
Some of the notable examples of UAE foreign aid disbursements include: The provision of humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected countries such as Syria and Yemen, including food aid, medical supplies, and emergency shelter. The funding of education initiatives and projects, such as the construction of schools and the provision of scholarships for students in developing countries. The financing of infrastructure development projects, such as roads, airports, and ports, to support economic growth in developing countries. The provision of in-kind support, such as medical assistance and disaster relief, to countries affected by natural disasters and emergencies.
Promoting a culture of social responsibility
The UAE has introduced several initiatives and efforts to promote a culture of social responsibility and volunteerism.
Launched in 2017, the UAE Volunteer Platform is an online portal that connects volunteers with organisations and projects in need of support. The platform aims to promote volunteerism and provide a platform for individuals to contribute to the development of the UAE.
Inaugurated in 2011, the National Volunteer Program is a government-led initiative that aims to promote a culture of volunteerism across the country. The program provides training and support to volunteers, and works with organisations and government agencies to identify opportunities for volunteer engagement.
In 2017, the UAE declared it the “Year of Giving,” with the aim of promoting a culture of philanthropy and social responsibility. The initiative included a range of programs and activities, such as charity campaigns, volunteer initiatives, and community service projects.
The Emirates Foundation is a government-led organisation that aims to promote social development and youth empowerment in the UAE. The foundation provides funding and support to projects and initiatives that promote social responsibility, volunteerism, and community development.
Also, worth mentioning is Dubai Cares, which is a philanthropic organisation that aims to improve access to education for children and young people in developing countries. The organisation works with partners and donors to fund education programs and initiatives, and also engages volunteers to support its work.
Overall, the UAE has demonstrated a strong commitment to promoting social responsibility and volunteerism, and has launched several initiatives and programs to support these efforts. These initiatives have helped to create a culture of volunteerism and social responsibility in the UAE, and have contributed to the development of the country.
Dr Kristian Alexander is a Senior Fellow and the Director of International Security & Terrorism Program at TRENDS Research and Advisory (Abu Dhabi), as well as the Head of the Strategic Studies Department