The Zayed Humanitarian Initiative Day
- 6 July 2015
The United Arab Emirates today (Monday) celebrates the Zayed Humanitarian Day, which is marked on the 19th of Ramadan every year as the death anniversary of the Founder of the UAE, the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may God bless his soul). This day embodies the values that are deep-rooted in the culture of the UAE. They promote cooperation and tolerance among people and present a bright image of the country in the hearts and minds of millions of people.
For his services to humanity, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may God bless his soul) will remain a symbol of generosity in the Arab world and internationally. He laid the foundation that developed the humanitarian dimension of the UAE’s foreign policy and established the country’s image as a generous nation. Sheikh Zayed’s humanitarian achievements and initiatives across the world have engraved his name in the hearts and minds of the people and continue to drive projects supported by him. Streets and cities are named after him, which is a testimony to the fact that he was a symbol of virtue, progress, stability, and dignity of human being all over the world.
In the year 1971, he established the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development to assist friendly and brotherly countries by contributing toward development projects for their people. In 1992, he established Zayed Foundation for Charity and Humanitarian Works as a philanthropy wing to work in and outside the country. These projects and initiatives have furthered the UAE’s humanitarian efforts under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him) and turned into major pillars in international humanitarian system.
Zayed Humanitarian Day has become an occasion for launching charitable and humanitarian initiatives at the local, Arab and international levels, and for highlighting the aid provided by the UAE to countries and people. In recent years the UAE has launched various global humanitarian initiatives that serve millions of weak and marginalized people living in troubled regions of the world. These initiatives help victims of natural disasters, armed conflicts, violence, wars, hunger, poverty, disease and destitution.
During the current year, it provided urgent relief to help people facing difficult circumstances. Starting with Yemen, the country sent thousands of tons of relief, food and health material and fuel on 5 vessels, 11 flights and 40 trucks. It also provided aid to Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. In Pakistan, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan launched an initiative for the vaccination of millions of children. The country has also provided development assistance to many other countries helping them achieve millennium development goals.
The UAE has set an example in this field due to its effective role in facing challenges associated with humanitarian work all over the world. It occupies leading position among donor countries as confirmed by the data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee, which stated that the size of the official development aid submitted by the UAE amounted to AED18 billion ($4.89 billion), which is 1.17 percent of its GDP. This is the largest proportion of official development assistance provided by any country in comparison to its GDP.