Dubai: Noor Dubai Foundation has answered the call from Australian international development organisation, The Fred Hollows Foundation — based at International Humanitarian City — to help address the eyesight crisis faced by Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

The Fred Hollows Foundation estimates that an overwhelming 50,000 Rohingya refugees need eye surgery.

Dr Manal Taryam, Noor Dubai Foundation CEO, said: “The UAE has shown global leadership by helping Rohingya refugees with significant humanitarian support. In the Year of Zayed, there is no better way for Noor Dubai to honour his humanitarian legacy than to commit to help The Fred Hollows Foundation restore sight to the some of the world’s most vulnerable people.”

The foundation was the first to offer eye-screening clinics in the camps, transporting those needing cataract surgery to the local eye hospital in Cox’s Bazar.

Fred Hollows Foundation CEO Ian Wishart said: “The refugees’ situation is harrowing, but imagine fleeing in fear and also being blind. The stories of hardship we have encountered are numerous and we needed to reach out to our partners to help us give them back their sight and hope.”

After opening a regional office at International Humanitarian City in 2017, Fred Hollows Foundation and Noor Dubai Foundation began building a relationship. This is their first project together. “The Fred Hollows Foundation thanks Noor Dubai for acting decisively to help us restore sight to Rohingya refugees. Noor Dubai’s support will provide 2,000 screenings and 500 surgeries in January and February.”

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, set up Noor Dubai in 2008 with the vision for a world free from all preventable forms of blindness.