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Expanding the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Awards adds to humanitarian work in the UAE

15 Dec, 2020

Local and international organisations have praised the expansion the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Awards to include a new category. The move has been widely recognised for its role in encouraging more research centres and individuals to participate in the award, which was launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The award’s prize total is USD 1 million. It works to find sustainable and innovative solutions to water scarcity around the world.

UAE Water Aid, under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, focuses on new technologies that produce, distribute, store, monitor, desalinate, and purify water using renewable energy consolidate the UAE’s role as a platform for innovation, a destination for innovators and an incubator for creative minds. The new Innovative Crisis Solutions Award keeps pace with rapid changes around the world. It encourages small enterprises, research institutions and NGOs to develop innovative projects or systems that offer emergency relief by providing clean and safe drinking water in afflicted communities that within 48 hours. The award requires a demonstration to assist 1,000 people during the critical early stages of providing humanitarian aid.

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent Authority, said that the expansion of the scope of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Awards, to include new areas, shows its success and its role in creating sustainable solutions to address the problem of global water scarcity, and positively affect the lives of millions of individuals around the world.

His Highness affirmed that the initiatives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, enhance areas of human and humanity development around the world and achieve the highest levels of sustainability in giving and devising appropriate solutions to the many humanitarian issues that plague vulnerable communities.

“The initiatives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, embody the growing role of the UAE in meeting the humanitarian needs and improving the living circumstances of individuals in various countries. His Highness is constantly contemplating and thinking about the issues of the deprived and the marginalised with no discrimination, and standing by them in the worst circumstances, and adopting initiatives that enhance their ability to face their difficult conditions, as His Highness always strives to strengthen the social responsibility aspect of individuals, bodies and institutions,” said His Highness.

“Suqia comes as an extension of the initiatives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to improve life and alleviate the suffering of those who face great challenges in obtaining safe water sources. The initiative aims to mobilise support for the benefit of the victims of drought and represents a strong message of solidarity with their conditions,” added His Highness.

“The initiative, since its launch five years ago, has been a triumph for basic human rights, the most important of which is the right to access to clean water. It enhances livelihood opportunities and stability in the regions and territories that suffer from desertification due to the lack of the most important resource for human survival,” said His Highness.

His Excellency Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said that the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Awards interprets the directions of the UAE in adopting the approach of goodness and giving that has always characterised the UAE since its establishment at the hands of the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may his soul rest in peace. “The Awards encourages research institutions, individuals and innovators from around the world to find sustainable and innovative solutions to address the problem of the scarcity of clean water in the world using solar power,” said Al Mazrouei.

Al Mazrouei praised the great success achieved by the award in its first and second rounds, which confirms the pioneering role of the UAE, as a destination for innovation and innovators, and as an incubator for creators from all over the world. He noted that the UAE is a forerunner in adopting specific projects that serve humanity and encourages many people to invest their innovative and creative energies for what serves and is in the interest of all humanity.

“The high level award plays a major role in supporting creative ideas. The third session of the award varies from its predecessors, as a result of the global changes, conditions and repercussions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic that altered the world from how it was before it. This makes it necessary to encourage research centres, individuals and innovators around the world to find sustainable solutions to various dilemmas and global complications. These include the scarcity of potable water, which is undoubtedly one of the major global problems. The award plays a role in bringing about positive and sustainable changes to the most dangerous global challenges caused by the lack of access to clean water for people to use. It also aims to reduce its effects on poor countries, which suffer from both problems due to water scarcity. The award and the UAE Water Aid’s Hope project confirms, beyond any doubt, that UAE is a land of peace, happiness and positivity, and a country of tolerance, goodness and giving,” added Al Mazrouei.

“In 2016, the World Economic Forum listed Water Crises as one of the top 10 global risks affecting the world, and in line with this; the Sixth Goal of the Sustainable Development Goals focused on ensuring the availability of water and its sustainable management. The UAE has also been keen on adopting proactive ideas and initiatives to conserve water, and researching future solutions in support of this. The UAE had previously launched the UAE Water Security Strategy 2036 to develop a road map to achieve water security, which in turn would enhance planning for water security and risk management. This will be done with tools such as the National Water Risks Register, and an integrated hydraulic model for the water network, and a simulation model for water emergencies,” said Al Mazrouei.

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Suqia UAE, said that expanding the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Awards and adding a new category is a result of the unlimited support by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It also shows UAE Water Aid’s commitment to the vision of His Highness to provide drinking water for the needy and afflicted around the world, regardless of religion, race, culture, or nationality. The Innovative Crisis Solutions Award contributes directly to improving lives, making positive change. The new award enhances the wise leadership efforts to turn humanitarian work into a complete system of giving that combines efficiency, effectiveness and speedy implementation. This consolidates the UAE’s position as one of the most giving and voluntary countries in the world.

Commenting on expanding the award to include renewable energy, Al Tayer said that UAE Water Aid is collaborating with its strategic partners to embark on new prospects of humanitarian work, institutionalise it and consolidate its value in countering current and future crises. This maintains the UAE’s role as a hub for hope, giving, and benevolence.

“The new move increases the significant success in the first and second awards, which had a large turnout by research organisations, individuals, and innovators from around the world. The past 20 winners from different parts of the world were recognised for their high performance and innovative ideas. This underlines the award’s global importance. The award also contributes to Suqia’s efforts since its launch five years ago, to help 13 million individuals in 36 countries so far. This is has been done by implementing over 1,000 sustainable water projects around the world, in collaboration with its strategic partners. These include the Emirates Red Crescent, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, and Dubai Cares. Suqia UAE works hard with local and global organisations to achieve the sixth goal of the UN SDGs 2030 to ensure access to water and sanitation for all and resolve the water scarcity challenges that over 40% of the world’s population faces,” added Al Tayer.


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