The Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation hosted a lecture and a photo exhibition yesterday that reflected the humanitarian work of the late president and founder of the nation.
Sheikh Zayed established the foundation in 1992 to fund and undertake humanitarian projects locally and internationally. It has since spent Dh800 million abroad, and the same amount in the UAE.
Its vision is based on that of Sheikh Zayed and his belief “that the grace of wealth bestowed upon us by the almighty must be unfolded to encircle our friends and brethren around the world”.
The foundation spent Dh34m last year alone, working in Nepal, Kosovo, Slovenia, Croatia, Portugal, and Korea for the first time.
In 2009, it opened the Ras Al Khaimah Centre for People with Special Needs, at a cost of more than Dh13.5m. It runs care homes for the elderly across the Northern Emirates, provides housing maintenance for low-income Emiratis and has built mosques with the capacity for 1,500 worshippers in five emirates.
The foundation also provides study grants and scholarships and supports hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centres, first aid centres, child care centres and orphanages. It has funded medical and cultural centres on all continents, and offers relief to disaster victims.
In the region, the foundation spent more than Dh20m reconstructing Palestinian schools in 2008. In Yemen, it built the Dh25m Zayed Mother and Child Hospital, with 130 beds, and drilled wells to help against drought. It has built similar wells in ten African countries.
The foundation has also built mosques, libraries, hospitals and reconstructed institutions in Morocco, Lebanon, the Comoros Islands and Egypt.
It has built colleges throughout impoverished African countries, such as the Adam Barakah University in Chad and Zayed College for Administrative and Legislative Sciences in the Republic of Mali. It also established the Zayed Regional Sight Savers Centre in Gambia.
The foundation works in Asia too, building training centres, centres for special needs, schools, colleges and hospitals in India, the Philippines, Bangladesh, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In Europe, the foundation has set up cultural centres for children in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2008, at a cost of nearly Dh2m. It spent a further Dh5.5m two years later providing housing for Bosnian refugees, encouraging them to return to their homeland.
The same year it built a complex including a college and an administration building in Kosovo for Dh7.3m.
It has also helped in more affluent, stable countries such as the UK, the US, Sweden, New Zealand and Belgium, where it builds mosques, Islamic centres and schools.
The foundation this week announced a donation of US$500,000 towards an Islamic centre and school in Podgorica, Montenegro.