Dubai: On the occasion of World Humanitarian Day, the UAE stands out due to its philanthropic approach becoming one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance in the world. Improving the lives of the less fortunate is a key objective of the UAE’s foreign aid policy.
The UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia), under the umbrella of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) supplements the UAE’s humanitarian efforts. This shows that the approach of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, is still alive today. Our wise leadership follows the same path in the service of humanity. Suqia continues its efforts in providing safe drinking water to communities suffering from water scarcity and pollution, in cooperation with the relevant local and international organisations. By the end of 2018, Suqia’s projects had helped over 9 million people in 34 countries, aligning with the goals and themes of World Humanitarian Day.
“Celebrating World Humanitarian Day is particularly relevant in the Year of Tolerance, as it carries the values instilled by the late Sheikh Zayed who extended his helping hand to the needy anywhere in the world, regardless of nationality, race, colour, or religion. All Suqia’s humanitarian, social, and voluntary initiatives and programmes reflect the worthy values and principles instilled in the hearts of Emiratis by our founding fathers in the UAE,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Suqia.
Our initiatives are also aligned to our strategy and identity, which was affirmed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who once said that, “UAE Water Aid will not differentiate between one person and another, so are all of our humanitarian works, such as the UAE’s humanitarian mission that lies in helping the afflicted, the needy and disadvantaged people all over the world,””
“World Humanitarian Day is one of the most important milestones in the UAE’s annual agenda. On this day, we are reminded of the achievements of the late Sheikh Zayed, whose initiatives contributed to improving the lives of millions of people around the world. His name is associated with giving and generosity to all humankind,” added Al Tayer.
Sustainable Development Efforts
Water is at the centre of economic and social development, and its security is a global challenge due to the world’s increasing population and economic growth. Water scarcity affects over 40% of the world’s population. Providing drinking water is important to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030, with the 6th goal being to ‘ensure access to water and sanitation for all.’ According to the UN World Water Development Report 2019 titled ‘Leaving no one behind,’ 3 out of 10 people do not have access to safe drinking water, over 2 billion people live in countries experiencing high water stress, and about 4 billion people experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year. Water scarcity will continue to increase as demand for water grows and the effects of climate change intensify. Water-related diseases remain among the major causes of death in children under 5; with more than 800 children dying every day from diseases linked to poor hygiene.
Suqia focuses on projects that promote women’s comfort and prosperity. In many developing countries, women and girls are often responsible for collecting water for their families, and many girls leave school at an early age to collect water, over long distances, multiple times a day. This leads to suffering, health problems, and other threats. Suqia’s projects help to overcome these challenges and empower women in education and family care.
During the Year of Zayed 2018, Suqia launched 6 local and international initiatives inspired by the ideas and vision of the late Sheikh Zayed. These focus on sustainability, preserving the environment and its natural resources, and assisting people. Suqia’s initiatives included the ‘100 Volunteers’, ‘100 Letters to Zayed’, ‘100 Water Projects’, ‘100 Water Endowments’, ‘International Initiatives’ and ‘Suqia Zayed’, which expanded internationally, in cooperation with Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment (MBRHCE) to reach 13 countries.
Local and Global Initiatives During the Holy Month
Suqia launched its annual Ramadan campaign to provide 8 million cups of drinking water in mosques and Iftar tents throughout the Holy Month of Ramadan in the UAE and abroad, in cooperation with 14 local charities, to reach 4 million people. For the second consecutive year, Suqia’s Ramadan campaign spans different countries around the world. The objectives of this year’s Ramadan campaign are aligned with the 2019 Year of Tolerance in establishing the values of communication and co-existence in society, positioning the UAE as a global model for tolerance. In addition to distributing drinking water, the Ramadan campaign highlights the water crisis around the world and urges members of society to donate to provide clean water to the needy.
2nd Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award
Suqia is accepting applications for the 2nd Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award. Overseen by Suqia, the award was launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to encourage companies, research centres, individuals, and innovators around the world to find sustainable and innovative solutions using solar power to address the scarcity of potable water. This year’s award builds on the success of the first one in the Year of Giving in 2017, which recorded considerable participation and innovation by global research centres, institutions, and individuals. 138 participants from 43 countries around the world took part, with the award going to 10 winners from 8 countries.
Terms & conditions for applying are available on Suqia’s website (www.suqia.ae). The deadline for receiving the applications is 1 September 2019.
The award has three main categories: Innovative Projects Award, Innovative Research & Development Award, and Innovative Individual Award, with prizes totalling USD 1 million.
The Innovative Projects Award targets government, semi-government, and non-government organisations. It has two categories: the Large Projects Award with total prizes worth USD 300,000, and the Small Projects Award with total prizes worth USD 240,000. The Innovative Research & Development Award targets academic institutions and research centres that are independent or part of the government or semi-government organisations. It has two categories: the National Institutions Award and the International Institutions Award with total prizes worth USD 200,000 each. The Innovative Individual Award has two categories: the Youth Award, which targets youth between the ages of 15 and 35 with a prize value of USD 20,000; and the Distinguished Researcher Award with a prize value of USD 40,000.