Dubai: A Dubai-based Pakistani business tycoon Hussain Dawood has pledged Dh22 million (Pak Rs1 billion) for his country to fight novel coronavirus pandemic.
“This is a huge commitment from Mr Dawood and his family, and they are actively working with the Pakistan government, NGOs and private enterprises to ensure funds reach the most vulnerable, said a statement sent to Gulf News.
Well known philanthropist Dawood committed the contribution in services, kind and cash on behalf of his family and the flagship entities of Dawood Hercules Group (DH Group) of which he is chairman, including Dawood Hercules Corporation, Engro Corporation, The Dawood Foundation and Karachi School of Business and Leadership.
Commenting on the donation Dawood said: “We as a family and as a Group are committed to playing our part in helping solve the most pressing issues of our time and are donating to Pakistan to help the country overcome this pandemic. I pray that this aids the relief efforts and helps to reverse the tide of this pandemic.”
The funds will be allocated by DH Group to help both government and non-governmental organisations in Pakistan, including private initiatives, with their relief efforts, focusing on reducing the spread and impact of the virus.
According to the statement, since the donation is for the short, medium and long-term, at this stage all the funds are being allocated from the resources in Pakistan.
Funding both for government and private sector
Dawood and the Group have reserved the fund, which will work with both government and non-governmental organisations in Pakistan to address the impact of Covid 19 in the short, medium and long-term. We are actively evaluating this fast moving situation and working with a number of parties, including a large number of NGOs, to ensure funds reach the most the most vulnerable.
A dedicated committee at the Group, headed by Dawood’s daughter Sabrina Dawood, who heads the family foundation, is developing the overarching strategy and assessing applications for funds according to a criteria of sustainable impact and saving lives.
The funds are open to any credible organisation, whether government, NGO or private, who can apply. Upon successful completion of the assessment, funds will be allocated by the Group. The usage of funds will be actively overseen by the Group.
COVID-19 impact on society
Dawood added: “This global pandemic has exposed many areas of improvement, but also shined a light on the generosity and altruism of our fellow human beings, particularly healthcare workers across the world. In Pakistan, the country’s lockdown is impacting society’s most vulnerable and those who rely on a daily wage to feed themselves and their families. We are determined to play our part in supporting Pakistan in its fight against the pandemic.”
Dawood focuses on his philanthropic activities in education and has supported many education and humanitarian associations. He has been a resident in Dubai since 2017 and is a member of the University Leadership Council (ULC).
Dawood has also made valuable contributions as the Chairman of Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF). He has also served on the board of London and Asia House, London. He is an active member of the World Economic Forum since 1992.
Areas earmarked for the COVID-19 funds include:
•Disease prevention, with a major focus on testing and diagnostics;
• Protecting and enabling health care practitioners and other key workers, who are at the front line of the fight against this pandemic;
• Enabling patient care and facilities; and,
• Bolstering the livelihoods and sustenance of society’s most vulnerable