More than 83 million people in 82 countries benefited from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives’ (MBRGI) humanitarian and social projects in 2020, the foundation’s annual report has revealed.
Amid the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020, MBRGI, the region’s largest philanthropic foundation, carried out $330 million (Dh1.2 billion) worth of humanitarian, social and developmental projects to aid the vulnerable and empower disadvantaged communities in the face of the biggest health crisis of the century.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the Year in Review 2020 in a special event, held at The Union House in Dubai, to highlight the far-reaching influence of MBRGI’s initiatives and activities during 2020.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that strategic and sustainable humanitarian work is the best way to serve people in times of crisis,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
He added: “Despite the obstacles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, our projects and initiatives rose to the challenge and, in line with our expectations and ambitions, touched over 83 million lives in 82 countries.”
“Besides its influential economic and political role, the UAE is also a humanitarian entity and a beacon of hope in the region.”
Praising the team’s efforts, Sheikh Mohammed said: “Over 121,000 volunteers and personnel showed competence, courage and determination in the face of the pandemic.”
He stressed that “we will continue creating hope across the world, regardless of any circumstances. We will heed the call of humanity wherever it takes us.”
He concluded: “As we continue our work every year, our determination to fulfill our vision grows stronger. We attract more partners and serve more people, and our conviction that humanitarian work is essential to reigniting civilization burns brighter.”
During the event, Sheikh Mohammed reviewed the key achievements of MBRGI’s 35 entities in 2020. He also reviewed the latest campaigns, programs and initiatives that were launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the event, Sheikh Mohammed also honored major contributors and donors to the ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign, the region’s biggest food drive, launched to provide food aid to disadvantaged communities in 30 countries across the four continents of the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe and South America during the holy month of Ramadan.
The key contributors, recognized for their pioneering role in supporting the campaign to achieve its goals of raising AED100 million in just 10 days from its launch, were Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment (MBRCH), Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), the Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai (RTA), Dar Al Bar Society, Al Rostamani Group, Emirates Islamic Bank, Etisalat, Emirates Auctions, and Dr Abdulkader al-Sankari and his sons.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of MBRGI, said: “The MBRGI extended a helping hand from the UAE to the rest of the world. Its ongoing efforts have affirmed that what others may see as a challenge, the Foundation sees as an opportunity to achieve more, improve people’s lives and build stable societies.”
He praised the efforts of MBRGI’s teams and volunteers whose innovative ideas during the first weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak contributed to the Foundation’s swift response to help millions in need across the world, despite the world lockdowns and field restrictions.
Despite the logistical and technical obstacles posed globally by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, MBRGI reached more beneficiaries than in previous years.
MBRGI spent AED 1.2 billion on the projects, programs and campaigns under its umbrella, touching 83 million lives across 82 countries, compared to 71 million beneficiaries in 2019.
In 2020, 576 employees joined hands with 121,676 volunteers working in beneficiary countries with varying areas of expertise to carry out various humanitarian and developmental programs and projects.
The MBRGI’s 35 entities implement hundreds of initiatives, campaigns and projects across five main pillars: humanitarian aid and relief, healthcare and disease control, spreading education and knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurship, and empowering communities.