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Shaikh Mohammad at the launch of annual report of MBRGI at Dubai Opera Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: More than 70 million people across 86 countries benefited from Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) in 2018, the humanitarian group’s annual report revealed on Tuesday.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the results during an iftar gathering at Dubai Opera.

The report revealed that 33 entities and initiatives under the foundation collectively spent Dh1.5 billion.

The group’s initiatives were spread across the five main pillars of humanitarian aid and relief, spreading education and knowledge, health care and disease control, innovation and entrepreneurship, and empowering communities.

Shaikh Mohammad said: “With the leadership of my brother President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE carries on UAE Founding Father Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s legacy of giving. We believe that the more we give for humanity, the more the Almighty blesses our country with prosperity and peace.

“We seek to create new hope for our region, improve people’s lives and share the UAE’s message of giving with the world,” added Shaikh Mohammad, who also said: “I thank my team who devoted themselves to serving humanity. I am proud of them and their achievements in humanitarian work. I am equally proud of the competitive spirit among our humanitarian entities to do good.”

According to the report, the biggest share of MBRGI’ expenditure was on education with Dh628 million benefiting over 41.1 million last year, while Dh313 million was spent on health care and disease-control benefiting 13.1 million people.

MBRGI Year in Review 2018 Image Credit: Dubai Government/Gulf News

Mohammad thanks employees and volunteers

“I am proud of 660 employees and more than 100, 000 volunteers who helped us in changing the lives of millions of people for the better in 86 countries worldwide in 2018,” His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tweeted.

Leading MBRGI’s education efforts, Dubai Cares benefited more than 22.6 million people in 39 countries last year, with its projects expanding to four new countries: Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

Dubai Cares also launched 24 new international programmes that comprised constructing and renovating 2,029 classrooms and schools, training 118,873 teachers, building 6,055 school bathrooms, and providing meals for 484,490 students. In addition, it helped provide intestinal worm prevention to around 16 million children, including 15.3 million in India and 690,654 in Vietnam.

Among the highlights of MBRGI’s humanitarian works last year was its effort to quench the thirst of millions of people who were otherwise without drinking water. Under this initiative, 216 water projects, including wells, water purification plants and water networks were developed, benefiting 8.2 million people.

The expenditure on humanitarian aid and relief totalled Dh271 million, supporting 11.9 million beneficiaries in addition to Dh126 million invested in various projects and initiatives dedicated to empowering communities, which benefited 3.2 million individuals.

The report revealed that 33 entities and initiatives under the foundation collectively spent Dh1.5 billion. Image Credit: Supplied

Acting as the hub of MBRGI’s relief work, the International Humanitarian City in Dubai (IHC) dispatched 2,000 tonnes of aid.

Last year, IHC set up airbridges to deliver medical supplies, food and relief items to crisis-torn countries. It carried out 20 shipments of aid and relief material to 10 countries.

According to MBRGI figures for 2018, 11.7 million patients received trachoma medications in Ethiopia, where 32,474 eye surgeries were performed last year. Over 1.4 million tetanus vaccines were provided in 20 countries to save mothers and their newborn babies.

Noor Dubai’s mobile eye clinics examined 12,181 patients, conducted 1,146 critical surgeries and distributed 7,923 eyeglasses.

Total spending on initiatives for innovation and entrepreneurship amounted to Dh131 million, directly benefiting around 640,000 individuals.

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council and Vice Chairman of MBRGI Board of Trustees, expressed his pride in the accomplishments of MBRGI’s projects.

“Thanks to Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s foresight, the Foundation’s achievements in 2018 demonstrate that investing in creating hope and improving the lives of others is the ideal decision to ensure a better tomorrow,” said Shaikh Hamdan.

Founded in 2015, MBRGI is the largest regional and international foundation dedicated to humanitarian aid and social work, established to unify efforts of more than 30 humanitarian initiatives supported by Shaikh Mohammad over the last 20 years.