Abu Dhabi: A national strategy for the “Year of Giving” featuring over 1000 initiatives was approved on Sunday by the Cabinet to strengthen the UAE’s position as a global hub of philanthropy.
The strategy was announced during Sunday's extraordinary Cabinet meeting, which was held at the Wahat Al Karama memorial monument in Abu Dhabi and chaired by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, who described Sunday's meeting as “an important day in the history” of the country.
The meeting was attended by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, Lt. General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future at the Cabinet meeting at Wahat Al Karama in Abu Dhabi. WAM
The strategy was “launched in line with the vision of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who dedicated the Year of Giving to UAE martyrs in memory of their heroic stands and in appreciation of their sacrifices,” a statement said after the meeting.
The ‘Year of Giving’ strategy constitutes a roadmap towards the humanitarian and charitable work in the UAE. It is a comprehensive framework to activate, support, institutionalise and sustain humanitarian efforts in the UAE on all levels, the statement added. Its main goal is to transform giving into a sustainable tradition in line with the country’s ranking as the most generous nation in the world.
“Our martyrs paid the ultimate sacrifice for our dear homeland, and their heroic deeds will live forever in the memory of the nation. Let us dedicate the greatest and noblest charitable efforts of the UAE and its people to those who gave their lives for this country. While keeping the memory of our martyrs and heroes alive, we seek to instill and sustain the habit of giving across the nation,” the President said in a statement.
Choosing Wahat Al Karama as a venue for the Cabinet meeting reflects the symbolism of this site, which was built to honour the nation’s martyrs who sacrificed their lives while performing their national duty, the cabinet statement said. The strategy aims to inculcate the values of generosity and selflessness, which the martyrs exemplified, across the nation.
“Dedicating the Year of Giving to the UAE martyrs is the greatest motivation to step up our efforts towards fulfilling its goals. The UAE was established on the spirit of giving and is led by people who love to give,” Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid said.
He added: “Having His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan with us [at the meeting] reminds us of the legacy of the founding father of the UAE, late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who led our cabinet meetings and spurred every member of the government to achieve more.”
He hailed the National Strategy as “ noble plan to sustain charitable efforts undertaken by the UAE and its people”. Shaikh Mohammad stressed that everyone is a partner in this responsibility, and noted that in line with the UAE’s history of giving, the strategy aims to build a sustainable practice of giving in the new generations.
“The beginning of the Year of Giving coincided with the sacrifice of Emirati martyrs who sacrificed their lives while performing their humanitarian and national duties. The people of the UAE have proven their willingness to make sacrifices for the sake of giving. They deserve our utmost admiration, and we call on everyone to celebrate the memory of these heroes with their own acts of generosity,” the Vice-President said.
“The Cabinet meeting at the martyrs’ monument marks an important day in the history of our country and sends out a message that underlines the solemnity of the sacrifice of the UAE’s martyrs,” he added.
The national strategy involves more than 1000 initiatives and programmes prepared by 100 government and private bodies.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed said charity and generosity are not new to the UAE. They are “deeply rooted values that the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan had reinforced since the birth of the nation. Today, the UAE President continues in his footsteps, spearheading the humanitarian efforts of the UAE with the support of the country’s leadership and its people.”
“When we think of these values, we recall the sacrifices of the UAE’s martyrs in the performance of their national and humanitarian obligations. Therefore, we can hardly find a more fitting cornerstone of the National Strategy for the Year of Giving than the example of our martyrs,” he noted.
The National Strategy comprises 1,000 initiatives and strategic projects, supervised by Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future and Chairman of the National Committee for the Year of Giving.
The strategy covers six main themes, including corporate social responsibility, volunteering, developmental role by humanitarian organisations, legislative system and government policies, media and serving the nation.