ABU DHABI // Despite a broad humanitarian reach spanning 60 nations, the UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) wants to focus its efforts closer to home, officials said yesterday during the celebration of the organisation's 28th anniversary.
Dr Saleh al Taee, secretary general adviser at RCA, said the organisation is shifting most of its attention towards the UAE, under the Islamic concept that relatives and neighbours are more deserving of good deeds.
"Those close to us are more deserving of virtue," he said yesterday.
The aid will come in the form of free medical tests and treatments, as well as equipment for the disabled and lectures on medical matters. The shift in emphasis began in Al Gharbia, where the RCA offered medical tests during a seven-day campaign, and will spread to the Northern Emirates.
Yesterday's event looked back on the activities of the RCA since it was founded 1983 as a small charity providing basic local aid to orphans and building mosques.
"Then we started with our foreign activities after we became an official society and received accreditation from the United Nations," said Dr al Taee.
The authority's first aid outside the UAE went to Iraq in 1990 during the Iraq War.
"From that point we started spreading our relief missions; we helped out after earthquakes in Iran and Turkey. Then we moved to Palestine, when we started there we had 10 delegations there who stayed for four years. We sent 40 aeroplanes with relief material."
RCA also is permanently present in 24 countries, with nine offices and 15 agents across the world.