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1992: Establishment of Zayed foundation

A charitable foundation established in 1992 at the behest of Sheikh Zayed, the UAE's founding President, has helped earthquake victims, built mosques, and assisted people suffering from famine.

Born of Sheikh Zayed's vision for helping victims of disasters as well as building mosques, Islamic cultural centres, and health, educational and scientific institutions, The Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation was established in 1992.

The charity named after the founding President began with capital of Dh3.6 billion.

Over the years, it has supported rehabilitation centres, purchased vehicles for use as mobile blood banks, bought ambulances, and - true to its core mission - built mosques.

Last year, it sent an aircraft with more than 77 tonnes of supplies of food, medicines and essential items to Haitians, after an earthquake killed hundreds of thousands of people, and injured hundreds of thousands more.

This year, the foundation has assisted Somalis who have been reeling under the country's worst famine.

The foundation has also donated money, clothes and food to Libyan refugees.

Last year, the foundation paid more than Dh20 million to help 1,000 pilgrims - 600 Emiratis and 400 people from other countries - perform the Haj.

Since 2002, the foundation has donated Dh70m to Haj pilgrims. It also supports universities in the Palestinian Territories, and has undertaken several initiatives in the Gulf.

In 2008, the foundation announced that it had spent more than US$338m (Dh1.24bn) on humanitarian, educational and developmental projects.

* Preeti Kannan

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