The meeting in session. Image courtesy: Wam
UAE Year of Giving to cover 1,000 programmes
ABU DHABI, March 6, 2017
The United Arab Emirates has launched its National Strategy for the Year of Giving comprising more than 1,000 programmes and initiatives to be implemented by over 100 entities and strategic projects.
The Year of Giving was declared earlier by the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The launch took place during a Cabinet meeting held at the Wahat Al Karama memorial site in Abu Dhabi that commemorates the UAE’s martyrs who laid down their lives in service of the nation, a Wam news agency report said.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, were in attendance.
The strategy, the largest of its kind on a national level, aims to promote philanthropic and humanitarian work across the public and private sectors, and place giving at the heart of the national agenda. It was formulated based on the outcomes of the Year of Giving Retreat, held in February in Dubai, that brought together more than 100 national dignitaries to share ideas on boosting charity and philanthropy.
With the aim of instilling a culture of giving across the UAE and institutionalising charity efforts, the National Strategy for the Year of Giving is a major step towards promoting and sustaining philanthropy and humanitarian work in the UAE. In addition, it intends to ensure that private sector companies contribute their fair share to the development of the country.
The National Strategy has launched a total of 1,000 government-backed initiatives – each with a specific agenda and timeframe – with the goal of establishing a comprehensive giving framework that will boost the levels of happiness, stability, and well-being. One of these initiatives seeks to develop and implement four policies focused on social responsibility, volunteerism, endowment, and serving the nation respectively.
Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future and Chairman of the Higher National Committee for the Year of Giving, said: "The National Strategy serves as a detailed roadmap for philanthropic and charity work in the UAE through a series of unique programmes and initiatives that reinforce the status of the country as a beacon of humanitarianism. It reflects the vision of our wise leadership to make giving an integral part of social and corporate culture with the participation of all segments of society."
He emphasised that the strategy was based on in-depth studies of the field on the local level as well as on international experience and global best practices across all sectors of developmental and humanitarian work.
"Humanitarian and development organisations play a crucial role in our efforts. They gain people’s support, contribute to the soft power of the UAE, and reinforce its image as the most generous country in the world," he added.
The National Strategy will be supervised by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi and it encompasses six pillars.
Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, is in charge of the corporate social responsibility pillar. The volunteerism pillar falls under the remit of Najla bint Mohammed Al Awar, Minister of Community Development. Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation, oversees the humanitarian organisations pillar. Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of the National Media Council, is responsible for the media pillar. Ohoud bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness, heads the legislations and policies pillar. Finally, Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth, is in charge of the pillar related to serving the nation. Each of the six pillars represents a specific objective. The first pillar aims to engage private companies in development projects as part of their corporate social responsibility. The second pillar promotes the spirit of volunteerism in the UAE through launching specialised volunteering programs among various segments of society. The third pillar enhances the desire to serve the nation through emphasising the responsibility of individuals to contribute to the prosperity of the nation. The fourth pillar supports the development of humanitarian organisations in the UAE. The fifth pillar seeks to establish a comprehensive legislative framework to enhance the governance of charity work with the ultimate goal of ensuring the sustainability of humanitarian and charity activities. The purpose of the sixth and final pillar is to leverage the role of the media in supporting the Year of Giving and promoting its initiatives, the report said.