Dubai: Emirates Islamic, one of the leading Islamic financial institutions in the UAE, on Tuesday announced the launch of the Emirates Islamic charity fund, to govern and manage the bank’s strategy for charitable donations and giving, one of the key pillars of its overall CSR framework.

The Emirates Islamic charity fund will provide financial aid under several main areas, especially food, shelter, health, education and social welfare.

The fund’s activities will be managed by Awatif Al Harmoudi, general manager, Operational Quality and Processes, under the guidance of the bank’s senior management. The fund has been set up with the primary objective of allocation of financial aid to large charities, public and private institutions, as well as individuals in need.

In 2015, the bank disbursed over Dh26 million for charity purposes, including support to charitable institutions such as Red Crescent, Tarahum Foundation and Beit Al Khair.

Discussing the strategic intention behind the launch of the fund, Abdullah Showaiter, Deputy CEO — Wholesale Banking Management at Emirates Islamic, said: “Charity and giving back to the community is a cornerstone of Islamic finance. As one of the country’s largest Islamic banks, we have always supported those in need and we are happy to now launch the charity fund which will be dedicated solely to oversee our charitable contributions. The establishment of the fund will create a framework to guide the selection process of beneficiaries and its management.”

Elaborating on how the fund will function, Al Harmoudi said, “The Emirates Islamic charity fund cements our commitment to giving back to the community and exemplifies the true spirit of giving, according to Shari’a. The fund will reach out to all who require urgent and prioritised financial help.”

In 2015, the bank also paid the medical expenses of individuals and supported students through school and college.

In 2016, the bank has so far distributed nearly Dh30 million to various charitable causes. In health care, Emirates Islamic has disbursed funds towards medical and rehabilitation equipment to government and privately run institutions including Ministry of Health, Ajman Club for disabled and Al Ihsan Medical Complex.

The bank has also extended charitable aid to Sharjah Police, Ajman Police and RAK Police to improve prison facilities, upgrade the prisons’ pharmaceutical and medical equipment and help support prisoners to pay diya.