Majid Rashid Al Usaimi, President of Asian Paralympic body, (left) at the signing of the MoU with Emirates Red Crescent. Image Credit: Supplied photo

Dubai: The Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) and the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the two organisations work closely together to improve the lives of people with an impairment across Asia.

The MOU identifies areas where collaboration between the two organisations can have a direct impact on people with an impairment - from job creation projects designed to increase financial independence, providing medical services and equipment to working together to encourage Asian governments to renew and update their legislation in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol.

The impetus for the MOU came after a series of meetings that the Asian body held recently with the Asian National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) to understand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on them and their athletes. The meetings highlighted that the economic impact of the pandemic in some countries has been devastating, effectively removing the casual work that has allowed athletes to generate an income whilst training.

APC President Majid Rashid Al Usaimi was pleased with the latest initiative. “At our initial meeting with UAE Red Crescent, it was clear that both organisations have a shared goal to improve the lives of people with an impairment across the region,” he noted.

“We know that, as well delivering health and well-being benefits, sport can be a great force to raise awareness of people with an impairment and drive inclusion. The Paralympic Movement is making people with an impairment more visible and driving social change as a result. With our NPCs we can help UAE Red Crescent understand the situation on the ground across Asia and can identify projects that will have tangible benefits for all people with an impairment,” Al Usaimi said.

The agreement was signed on behalf of the ERC by their General Secretary Dr Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi. He stated that the MOU stemmed from the two organisations’ desire to work together on their shared ambition to enhance the services provided to people with an impairment across Asia.

The MOU will be valid for two years and will be reviewed on an annual basis.