Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has announced the annual results of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) for 2021, a year in which 91 million people in 97 countries were helped by its various initiatives, projects, programmes and campaigns. Over 12 months, MBRGI also spent Dh1.1 billion on various humanitarian relief, development, community, knowledge, cultural, sports and empowerment initiatives.
Despite the challenge of COVID-19, whose impact continued to be felt globally during 2021, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives was able to increase the number of beneficiaries of its initiatives by eight million people, compared to 2020, and to expand the provision of its programmes, campaigns and relief and community initiatives to an additional 15 countries — confirming its position as the largest regional system for humanitarian relief, development and community work.
The announcement of the results came during a special event held at Shindagha Majlis in Dubai, in which His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum chaired the meeting of the initiative’s Board of Trustees, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of MBRGI; Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council; Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, member of the Board of Trustees of MBRGI; Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Secretary-General of MBRGI; as well as a number of members of the Board of Trustees and executives of the MBRGI.
Meeting the call of humanity everywhere
In a tweet on his official twitter account, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “Today, I chaired the board meeting of the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Initiatives.. We reviewed the 2021 annual report... 91 million people in 97 countries benefited from MBRGI’s initiatives... Dh2.3 billion the total spend during the 2 years of pandemic. Our team was up to the responsibility.”
Sheikh Mohammed further said: “I am proud of the 145,000 volunteers who contributed with us in the work of the initiatives during the year 2021... I am proud of Noor Dubai which reached 33 million beneficiaries... I am Proud of the Reading Challenge, which reached 22 million students... Proud of Dubai Cares, Suqia UAE, our Humanitarian & Charity Establishment, our awards, our societal, knowledge and humanitarian conferences.” Sheikh Mohammed noted that the UAE will continue its journey of giving and goodness. His Highness added: “Our humanitarian, relief and community initiatives are continuing. We will continue our work for the sake of people...”
Sheikh Mohammed reviewed the most important stages and achievements of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives in 2021 through 35 institutions under its umbrella, and he was briefed on many new and sustainable programmes that have been implemented to improve the lives of individuals and communities around the world.
A more stable future for humanity
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of MBRGI, said: “The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives has become a comprehensive system to empower individuals and societies, based on Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision that humanitarian work is an investment in a more stable and prosperous future for humanity.”
He affirmed that “empowering the human being is the basis for the well-being of societies... and this is the message of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, which is reflected in its programs, projects and strategic partnerships”. Sheikh Hamdan added: “The annual achievements of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, with the support of Mohammed bin Rashid and the efforts of the staff and volunteers, have become a symbol of the UAE’s commitment to man and humanity.”
Institutionalisation of humanitarian action
Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Secretary-General of MBRGI, said: “The success of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives in reaching more than 91 million people around the world in just one year under the cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic would not have been possible without the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, which focused on the need to institutionalise humanitarian work and launch sustainable initiatives, projects and programmes.”
He stated that “the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives today builds on its successes over recent years by designing and implementing excellent initiatives, enhancing its capabilities and expertise, continuing innovation in humanitarian relief and development work, and strengthening its pillars, thus enshrining the UAE’s status in this vital sector on the international level.”
Appreciating and honouring donors and the humanitarian team
The launch event of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives 2021 report included a review of the most prominent achievements and also highlighted some of the most inspiring stories of its work around the world.
The event also witnessed a presentation about the ‘1 Billion Meals’ initiative, in addition to the unveiling of the ‘Humanitarian Team’ mural, which includes pictures of all institutions affiliated with MBRGI. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid then signed the mural in a gesture of appreciation for the efforts of the employees and volunteers.
Sheikh Mohammed also honoured the major donors and partners of the ‘1 Billion Meals’ initiative who are playing an active role in achieving the humanitarian goals of the campaign. The list of major donors included: Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian & Charity Establishment, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Dubai World, Khalaf Al Habtoor, Azizi Developments, Al Rostamani Group, Tiger Group, Emirates Islamic, Abdul Qader Al Sankari, Dubai Duty Free, Mohammad Ibrahim Obeid Allah, Emirates Group, Aldar Properties, Mubadala Investment Company, AW Rostamani Group, Hussain Sajwani — Damac Foundation, ADQ and Dar Al ber Society, ADNOC, and Dubai Islamic Bank.
Also, the list of honoured partners included: Etisalat, Du, Abu Dhabi Police, The roads and transport authority (RTA), and Emirates Auction (EA).
The meeting of the Board of Trustees of MBRGI and the launch event of the Initiative’s business report for the year 2021 were attended by Reem Bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Chairperson of Dubai Cares; Mohammed Al Murr, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation; Abdulla Al Basti, Secretary General of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Dubai; Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award; Dawood Al Hajri, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Food Bank; Awadh Seghayer Al Ketbi, Chairman of the Board Noor Dubai Foundation; Ibrahim Mohammed Bu Melha, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment; Jamal bin Huwaireb, Executive Director the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation.
Enhancing operational efficiency
While MBRGI witnessed further enhancements in its operational efficiency and utilisation of resources in 2021, it was able to raise the number of beneficiaries of its initiatives to 91 million people in 97 countries, with a total expenditure of Dh1.1 billion, reaching its largest number of beneficiaries in a single year.
In addition to its 571 employees, the initiative’s various campaigns attracted a record number of volunteers in 2021. In total, 144,936 volunteers, an increase of 23,260 over 2020, supported the implementation of many humanitarian relief, health, knowledge, cultural as well as community projects, programmes and campaigns.
To encourage charity, humanitarian, development, relief and community work, MBRGI presented in 2021 appreciation and incentive prizes for charity, humanitarian and development work with a total value of Dh17.7 million.
MBRGI includes 35 organisations and institutional initiatives that implement hundreds of projects, programmes and campaigns, within five main work pillars: Humanitarian Aid and Relief, Healthcare and Disease Control, Spreading Education and Knowledge, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Empowering Communities.
Humanitarian aid and relief pillar
Some 22.9 million people benefited from the programmes and initiatives of the Humanitarian Aid and Relief pillar during 2021, with the volume of spending on various initiatives, projects and programmes under this pillar amounting to Dh417 million, an increase of Dh35 million from the Dh382 million spent in 2020.
Initiatives that fall under the Humanitarian Aid and Relief pillar include The International Humanitarian City, the UAE Food Bank, the Mohammed bin Rashid Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, the UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia), and the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy.
It also included the ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign, which was launched from the UAE on the eve of Ramadan in 2021 and provided the equivalent of 220 million meals in 47 countries. It succeeded in more than doubling its declared goal through the support of 385,000 donors from 51 nationalities, along with a large number of institutions and companies.
The UAE Food Bank raised the total quantities of food it provided in 2021 to 10,018 tonnes in support of the needy. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment succeeded in increasing the number of beneficiaries of its programmes and projects to 3.3 million people during 2021. The contribution of the International Humanitarian City to the World Health Organisation’s response to COVID-19 epidemic reached 80 per cent, while the relief campaigns organised by the International City, based in Dubai, benefited about 1.1 million people during the year.
In 2021, Suqia UAE increased the number of its water projects to 58, an increase of 20 projects over the previous year. It also promoted the use of innovative and sustainable solutions to provide clean water, including mobile solar photovoltaic plants for seawater desalination and mobile reverse osmosis water desalination units based on solar energy.
In addition, the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy announced the launch of the first innovative sports endowment to stimulate the participation of athletes and sports lovers in supporting humanitarian work by participating in charity sports challenges.
Health care and disease-control pillar
The pillar of Healthcare and Disease Control is one of the most important pillars of MBRGI, based on the premise that combating infectious diseases is an essential step in building healthy societies. The initiative extended a helping hand to 14.6 million people in 2021, spending Dh51.2 million, marking an increase of Dh1.6 million over 2020.
Falling within the pillar of Healthcare and Disease Control are the Noor Dubai Foundation and the Al Jalila Foundation to support education and research in medical fields, which work to advance the levels of health care, medical sciences and scientific research.
The year 2021 witnessed the collection of Dh350 million in donations dedicated to the establishment of Hamdan Bin Rashid Cancer Charity Hospital, which falls under Al Jalila Foundation, as the first hospital of its kind in the UAE to care for cancer patients who are unable to afford treatment costs.
Al Jalila Foundation also forged significant partnerships to develop and fund medical research at the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences. In addition to securing Dh8 million annually, they have been able to continue the medical scholarship programme and organise awareness events that present inspiring stories for cancer survivors.
For its part, Noor Dubai Foundation provided more than 14.5 million doses of antibiotics against trachoma in 2021, helping to combat one of the most prevalent infectious eye diseases that cause blindness. They also trained 25,000 public health workers on the procedures of drug care to combat trachoma.
Noor Dubai also continued to provide its eye health and comprehensive care services in remote areas of African and Asian, including Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana and Bangladesh, through a number of treatment camps.
The construction of the first floor of the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Foundation was completed in 2021 in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, which was supported by the Arab Hope Makers initiative, which is affiliated with MBRGI. Upon its completion, the foundation will provide free treatment services to serve 120,000 patients annually, in addition to training for more than 1,500 doctors and surgeons.
Spreading education and knowledge
The Spreading Education and Knowledge pillar of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives Foundation recorded a remarkable increase in the number of beneficiaries in 2021. Its programmes managed to reach 48.4 million people, marking an increase of 2.9 million over 2020, while the total volume of spending on various initiatives and knowledge and cultural projects reached Dh253 million.
Under this pillar are Dubai Cares, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, the Knowledge Summit, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Award, the Madrasa Platform for Arabic e-Learning, the Digital School, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation, and the Mohammed bin Rashid Arabic Language Award, and the Arab Reading Challenge.
In 2021, Dubai Cares increased the number of beneficiaries of its programmes to 21 million people and launched six new programmes covering youth skills, the future of work, health and school nutrition.
The Dubai Cares’ Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai attracted tens of thousands of visitors and 58 delegations as part of 47 events organised by the foundation to explore the future of learning and education.
The number of beneficiaries of the Recovery and Return of Education programme implemented by Dubai Cares in Iraq reached 154,000 people, while its Safe and Supportive Education programme in Egypt impacted more than 39,000 students.
In 2021, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation launched the new structure of the Global Knowledge Index at the United Nations headquarters at Expo 2020 Dubai, with the introduction of 16 new countries and 75 new variables among the 155 variables of the index.
The Arab Reading Challenge, in its fifth session, raised the number of participants to more than 22 million from 52 countries, helping to further its goals of instilling the culture of reading and love of knowledge in the Arabic language among students from kindergarten until the age of 18.
The number of beneficiaries of the Digital Knowledge Center of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation reached 465,000 people during the year 2021, while 12,497 people of different nationalities and specializations attended the ‘Knowledge Dialogues’ sessions.
The ‘Bil Arabi’ initiative of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation launched a digital campaign under the slogan ‘Arabic is the language of knowledge’, in which 700,000 people participated during 2021.
The number of beneficiaries of the school platform affiliated with MBRGI in 2021 reached 2.9 million people and its free educational content on its YouTube channel recorded 58 million views.
In 2021, the Digital School Initiative, the first integrated digital school in the Arab region, completed various preparations and experiments for its official launch, putting digital education within the reach of 20,000 students in the region, in preparation for reaching one million digital learners within five years.
During the year 2021, the preparation for the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library continued to provide 1.5 million paper, audio and video titles to be a beacon of knowledge in the UAE and the region.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship pillar
As a vital field within MBRGI, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship pillar registered a significant increase in the number of beneficiaries of its programmes and projects, reaching 2.9 million people in 2021 compared to 1.3 million people in 2020. The total amount of spending in its various initiatives and programmes came to Dh337 million.
Under the Innovation and Entrepreneurship pillar are the Museum of the Future, the One Million Arab Coders initiative, the Mohammed bin Rashid Fund for SME, the Mohammed bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award, and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award. The year 2021 witnessed the completion of all the operational work necessary for the opening of the Museum of the Future, which constitutes a new beacon for innovation in Dubai.
The year 2021 also saw the conclusion of the activities of the One Million Arab Coders initiative, after the successful training of one million young women and men from 80 countries.
In addition to empowering 3,621 Emirati entrepreneurs, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund for SMEs launched the ‘Dubai Next’ platform to enable young people of different nationalities in the UAE to present creative ideas in the hope of obtaining the financing they need to turn them into commercial reality, while 394 companies received financial support from the Mohammed bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders in 2021.
A total of 83 projects benefited from the services of the Hamdan Center for Creativity and Innovation, increasing the number of beneficiaries of its services since its establishment until 2021 to 690 entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, the Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy assisted 5,776 people during the year 2021.
Also, 33 companies from the UAE and the Gulf Cooperation Council won the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award in 2021 for their contribution to achieving sustainable development in the region. Last year, there were also 228 international nominations for the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award.
Empowering Communities pillar
Under the Empowering Communities pillar, the number of beneficiaries reached 2.1 million people, an increase of one million over the year 2020. The total amount spent on the initiatives of this pillar in the year 2021 came to Dh88.7 million, an increase of Dh9.2 million compared to 2020.
The Empowering Communities pillar, a backbone of MBRGI, includes the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government, the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Centre for Cultural Understanding, the Arab Media Forum, the Arab Journalism Award, the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit and Award, the Dubai International Sports Conference, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Sports Creativity, the Arab Strategy Forum, the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Leadership Development, and Arab Hope Makers.
During the year 2021, 32,400 people of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds benefited from the initiatives and activities of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Centre for Cultural Understanding.
The number of participants in the executive education programmes of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum School of Government reached 2,692 during the year 2021.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Leadership Development celebrated the graduation of the fourth batch of the ‘Impactful Leaders Programme’ during the year 2021, in addition to the graduation of the first batch of the ‘Dubai Leaders’ programme.
The Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government continued to offer Masters’ programmes affiliated to the ‘Future Government Programmes’ in college, where it registered 132 graduates in 2021, while the number of beneficiaries of the government knowledge portal launched by the Emirates Center for Government Knowledge affiliated with the college reached 12,000 people.
In developing the capabilities and skills of young people, 1,364 people attended training sessions in the Real Madrid Academy, which was launched in 2019 in partnership between MBRGI and the Real Madrid Foundation.
Also, the Dubai International Sports Conference 2021 registered more than 500 people, while 28 athletes were honoured with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Sports Creativity in 2021.
The number of followers of the publications of the Arab Strategy Forum of MBRGI reached 30,000 people in 2021.
The year 2021 also witnessed the establishment of the 20th session of the Arab Journalism Award, which was awarded to 15 personalities from various disciplines in professional journalistic work in the Arab world.
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives Foundation was launched in 2015 as an umbrella for dozens of charity and humanitarian institutions that have been sponsored by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for decades, within a vision based on the institutionalisation of humanitarian and community work.
These efforts rely on continuous innovation and development and building a work system based on studied plans and sustainable strategies, by improving the efficiency of operational, field and logistical activities, strengthening strategic partnerships, optimal investment in human capabilities, empowering youth culturally and cognitively, unifying capabilities, making optimum use of expertise and experiences and meeting the basic needs of societies, thus contributing to communal stability and peace and instilling a culture of hope as a driving force for positive change.