Year of Giving
In 2016, Sheikh Khalifa declared 2017 as the Year of Giving. Under this initiative, UAE federal and local governments, as well as private sector launched hundreds of humanitarian initiatives. Individuals also contributed donations and volunteered time to serve philanthropic causes inside the UAE and abroad.
The government introduced new legislative and executive frameworks to ensure that the UAE remains a regional and global capital for humanitarianism and that the culture of philanthropy remains deeply instilled in the community.
Read news coverage on the achievements of the Year of Giving on WAM and Gulf News.
H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi is involved in several social, charitable and developmental activities in the UAE.
Sheikh Khalifa launched Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development in 2007 to help develop local investment and entrepreneurs, as well as to support and develop small to medium-sized investments in the emirate.
The fund targets capable, young graduates as well as young businessmen and businesswomen with creative business ideas, coupled with strong administrative and managerial skills.
Khalifa Fund provides funding solutions for a variety of feasible projects that serve the interests of the national economy in different sectors and project categories such as farming, fishing, agriculture and even home-based businesses. These programs include: Micro finance, Khutwa, Bedaya, Zeyada, Tasnea, Zaarie and Al Hasela.
In addition, the fund offers a number of outreach programmes which targets certain categories in UAE community. Some of these are:
- Al Radda programme - this is implemented in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi police. The initiative aims to provide Emirati inmates the opportunity to enter the business sector and reintegrate into society after serving their sentences.
- Ishraq programme - this is implemented in collaboration with the National Rehabilitation Centre. The programme offers the opportunity for recovered drug addicts (citizens) to enter the business sector and reintegrate into society.
- Sougha programme - this aims to preserve the cultural heritage by encouraging entrepreneurship in handicrafts. It targets all artisans and women within the UAE.
- Amal programme - this aims to familiarise Emiratis with special needs with specific business sectors, through identifying the appropriate course-of-action, taking into consideration their disabilities, providing counselling services, as well as financial and non-financial support.
How to apply to Khalifa Fund
The fund is restricted to Emiratis between 21 and 60 years old. Applicant may call any of the available branches to register or use the fund's online downloadable application or collect it from any of the UAE's branches.
In 2007, Sheikh Khalifa established Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation. Its vision is: pioneering initiatives for welfare and its strategies are focused on health and education on domestic, regional and global scales.
Since it was founded, more than 80 countries have received help from the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation. The fund took long-term approach by financing and implementing sustainable development projects, targeting the disadvantaged and the poor in many countries to reduce unemployment and provide job opportunities.
Some achievements include:
- Completion of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Bridge on the Swat River in Pakistan in 2013 after a crossing was washed away in floods. At 448 metres long and 10.7 metres wide, the bridge is the largest in the region and serves as a main route for the residents, where it links 15 cities and 45 villages around the Swat Valley.
- Helping 1,954 low-income pilgrims to travel to Mecca since 2008 in collaboration with the embassies of other countries.
- Investing AED 550 million in Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Building for Personalised Cancer Care in Houston, Texas in 2011. The building houses Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalised Cancer Therapy and Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Centre for Pancreatic Cancer Research.
- Offering 13 honorary fellowships to support education in oncology.
- Funding the establishment of Emirates Hospital in Pakistan with a cost of USD 108 million.
Debts Settlement Fund
Sheikh Khalifa ordered the establishment of the debts settlement fund on 2 December 2011, the occasion of the 40th National Day with an initial allocation of AED 10 billion, to help heavily indebted Emiratis settle their loans.
In 2014, the number of beneficiaries whose debts were dropped amounted to 3,482 citizens and the total value of the waived amount touched AED 1.5 billion.
The beneficiaries fell under the category of 'committed to pay' in addition to the cases of social security, health disability or special needs and a number of humanitarian cases.
The national banks that had waived the debts included Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, First Gulf Bank, Mashreq Bank, Union Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Emirates National Bank Dubai, Hilal Bank and National Bank of Umm Al Quwain.
How does the Debt Settlement Fund work?
Banks write off half of the outstanding amount and the other half is bailed out by the government. Banks then collect the money from their customers and pass it back to the government. Those who are helped by the fund are banned from borrowing any more money from banks in the UAE until the obligation is settled.
Only Emiratis are eligible to apply if their loans are the subject of litigation brought before a specific date. An Emirati who has been taken to court by a bank before 2 December, 2011 can apply.
In 2012, Sheikh Khalifa ordered the rapid replacement of Emiratis' houses built before 1990 in the emirates of Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah. There were some 12,500 such housing units that met the replacement criteria and whose construction was estimated to be AED 10 billion.
Emirates Polio campaign
The Emirates Polio Campaign for polio eradication is made under the directives of H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed AI Nahyan, President of the UAE in support of health-care programmes in Pakistan to bring epidemics under control and deflect the health hazards on the children in the affected areas.
The effort is part of the UAE Government's 2013 pledge of AED 440 million for supporting global efforts to put the world over the finish line for polio eradication by 2018, with a focus on Pakistan, which has one of world's highest rates of polio infection.
Through the Emirates Polio campaign, the UAE has provided 116,177,794 million polio vaccines for Pakistani children aged under five from January 2014 to the end of May 2016.
The Emirates Polio Campaign supports the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) of WHO's General Assembly for eradicating polio by the end of 2018 and the Pakistani Government's National Emergency Action Plan to wipe out the polio virus.
In 2011, H. H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, committed USD 100 million (USD 50 million each) for the purchase and delivery of vital vaccines to prevent diseases and save the lives of Afghani and Pakistani children.
Updated on 28 Nov 2017