Middle East’s largest development and community foundation includes 1,400 development programmes and initiatives targeting 130 million in need through to 2025
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced today the launch of one of the largest development and community foundations in the Middle East region, to be called the “Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Initiatives”. The new foundation consolidates the work of 28 organisations focusing on fighting poverty and illness; spreading knowledge and culture; empowering the community and driving innovation. Combined, the foundation’s initiatives will implement over 1,400 human development programs in more than 116 countries around the world. Commenting on the launch, Sheikh Mohammed said, “The Arab region is undergoing massive challenges. We will not turn our backs on our region, we will provide our support and bring hope for our youth.” He added: “The world today is facing great challenges on all levels; in terrorism, wars and mass immigration and the only solution lies in human development which can be achieved by educating people and helping them build their future.” The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives will target over 130 million people over the coming years and will focus its programs on the Arab region. It will also launch the largest and most comprehensive development program in the Arab region focusing on human development in an integrated manner starting with providing the basic human needs from health, fighting illiteracy and poverty through to providing knowledge, the dissemination of culture and the d evelopment of education. It will work in parallel on developing a new generation of young Arab leaders, supporting real change in the area of good governance in the region and providing the largest incubator for Arab innovators, scientists and researchers. The primary basic goals of the new foundation were announced, focusing on four main sectors: Fighting Poverty; Dissemination of Knowledge; Community Empowerment and Innovation for the Future. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives will work on supporting and educating 20 million children and on the prevention and treatment of 30 million people from blindness and eye diseases until 2025. The foundation will also invest 2 billion dirhams establishing medical research centres and hospitals in the region. The Initiatives include dedicating 500 million dirhams for research projects to address the need for concrete solutions to the water shortage issues of the region, a key challenge which will only intensify in decades to come. Sheikh Mohammed commented: “Today we are embarking on a new beginning. My invitation is open to all countries, international foundations and organizations to participate with us in bringing new hope for our region.” The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives will continue with its relief work and will empower more than 2 million families, enabling them to become self-sufficient within the next ten years. The new institution will also support young entrepreneurs in order to provide more than half a million jobs over the next few years. In the field of spreading knowledge and science, and encouraging the translation of key works into Arabic, the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Initiatives will work on printing and distributing more than 10 million books, and the translation of the top 25,000 titles from various languages to Arabic, as well as continuing with promoting a vibrant reading culture among school students. The Foundation will support programmes that aim to see over than 500 million books read over the next ten years across the Arab world. The investment in educational, knowledge, and scientific initiatives will total AED 1.5 billion to create real change in this sector. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives will work within its overall development strategy on establishing a new culture in societies based on tolerance and cultural and civilisation openness. To achieve this goal, the foundation has dedicated more than 600 million dirhams to promote a transparent and lively media dialogue and also to enable communities to live in harmony, away from extremism, ethnic, religious or sectarian discrimination. 150 million dirhams will be awarded to encourage creatives, intellectuals, and journalists to create cultural discourse that is based in empowering communities, enhancing their cohesion, and increasing their cultural creativity. The institution will target over a million participants in awards and forums related to community empowerment over the next 10 years. As part of its overall vision to develop the region, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives will support innovation and scientists in the region by fostering 5,000 innovators and researchers and will invest more than 5.5 billion dirhams in building a better, world-standard environment for innovators in the region. This reflects His Highness’ belief that nations without innovation cease to evolve and build leadership of the future. The institution will also focus on fostering entrepreneurship by supporting and nurturing 50,000 young entrepreneurs and supporting the establishment of new companies that will provide 500,000 job opportunities in the region during the coming years. All of this is part of the institution’s comprehensive development vision to contribute, even if for just a little bit, towards eradicating unemployment and providing Arab youth with a dignified life, preventing them from being misguided and lured to terrorism. The new foundation will be managed by a Board of Trustees which includes representatives of all the organisations brought together by the new Foundation. It will be chaired by Sheikh Mohammed who confirmed during the launch that “The Arab region is undergoing massive challenges, and these challenges will continue for decades to come. We will not turn our backs on our region, we will provide our support, and bring hope in a better future for our youth.” Sheikh Mohammed said during the launch, “The world has spent tens of billions on addressing global challenges. If only a quarter of this amount was spent on development in our region, we would overcome our challenges and our people could overcome their difficulties to restore their role in building vibrant societies which contribute to the development and wellbeing of mankind.” The Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Initiatives foundation includes all programs, institutions and awards launched by His Highness during the previous years in preparation for a new era of humanitarian and global development work where these institutions can focus on specific development goals of specific geographic areas, as well as take advantage of available resources optimally. The annual operating budget for the new foundation is over one billion dirhams and it will work in general within 116 countries focusing mainly on the Arab region within the coming period. Sheikh Mohammed commented, “Humanitarian work and development nowadays have transformed and today’s challenges requires huge global foundations to contribute in contribute realistic societal change. The huge challenges faced by our region require a foundation of a scale that can meet the scale of these challenges.” He added: “With all our work and initiatives we seek nothing but God’s approval. Our true value is measured by what we add to this life and our true happiness lies in what we offer to make people happy. God has blessed the UAE with many gifts and we show our thankfulness with such acts.” Over the past few years the total amount spend by the organisations affiliated with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Initiatives has surpassed 8 billion dirhams in over 100 countries. Over 54 million people have benefited directly from these initiatives, including the construction or restoration of over 2,000 schools and educational facilities, education initiatives that have touched over 10 million children and training programmes that have seen over 400,000 teachers qualified. In the field of fighting poverty and illness the organisations affiliated with the new foundation have worked on the prevention and treatment of 23 million people from blindness as well as providing more than 81 million vaccines to prevent blindness and eye disease, in addition to working on the prevention and treatment of 3.6 million children from intestinal diseases and the construction and support of some 46 hospitals around the world. They also worked on supporting and providing immediate humanitarian relief to more than 1.5 million families in 40 countries. Moreover, the Awards and Forums held under the new foundation during the past period attracted more than half a million participants from creators, intellectuals and media. The foundation’s initiatives have touched over 23,000 entrepreneurs as well as 3,000 companies which together have supported the creation of over 160,000 jobs. Thousands of young people have graduated from leadership programs alongside programs held to train leaders in more than 155 government entities around the world. The new foundation is planning to double these numbers by making use of the resources available through the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives.