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Mohammed bin Rashid announces golden visas for humanitarian workers

18 Aug, 2021

Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced that the UAE would offer Golden Visas to charity and humanitarian aid workers in recognition of their efforts and sacrifices.

The announcement made by Sheikh Mohammed to provide long-term residence visas to humanitarian workers was made on World Humanitarian Day, commemorated every year on 19th August to honour the work done by humanitarian workers and remember those who lost their lives working for humanitarian causes.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said, "On World Humanitarian Day, we pay tribute to the selfless heroes in the UAE, as one of the world’s largest humanitarian hubs, to support charity and aid professionals who have dedicated their lives to improving the welfare of underprivileged."

He added, "Aid workers are ambassadors of the UAE and role models instilling pride in us all. Giving is embedded in the fabric of Emirati society and culture, and we aspire to be the most vibrant humanitarian destination in the next fifty years."

"The UAE has always led impactful humanitarian initiatives and empowered those implementing them, and in the year of the UAE’s Golden Jubilee, it aspires to become a world leader of humanitarian efforts in the next five decades."

"Having always paid tribute to hope makers, the UAE extends its commitment to global cooperation to include the humanitarian sector’s pioneers, groups, specialists and workers, so that the UAE can become a second home to these individuals."

Sheikh Mohammed pointed to the UAE having established Dubai International Humanitarian City (IHC) in 2011 as an example of its efforts to lead humanitarian causes. The largest humanitarian destination in the world, IHC is a non-profit, independent, humanitarian free zone authority that hosts over 80 members comprising of UN organisations, non-profits and non-government organisations, and commercial companies.

He concluded, "Not only is the UAE an economic hub, it is also a humanitarian one nowadays."

The theme for this year’s United Nations World Humanitarian Day is "Race for Humanity" and "Supporting the Real Heroes". It calls for the international community to support workers in the relief and humanitarian fields by providing them with a safe and supportive environment.

Today more than ever, there is an urgent need for volunteers, charity workers and humanitarian work. UN figures indicate that there will be 235 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection by the time 2021 is out, with the rate needing humanitarian assistance reaching one person in every 33 around the world.

The UAE has been supporting communities and countries across the globe through development projects and humanitarian response to disasters and crises, to sustain stability and prosperity in collaboration with regional and international partners and UN agencies working in the humanitarian and development fields, where the volume of UAE's foreign aid amounted to AED320 billion across 201 countries since the UAE was founded.

In recent years, the UAE has consolidated its position as a world leader in immediate crisis and disaster response. The level of humanitarian aid provided by the UAE throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic amounted to 2,154 metric tonnes of medical aid, respiratory and examination devices and personal protection equipment.

Furthermore, aid was sent to 117 countries from the warehouses of international organisations located in the Dubai’s IHC, while the UAE organised 196 trips to transport medical aid, with six field hospitals established in Sudan, Guinea, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Lebanon and Jordan, and a mobile clinic in Turkmenistan.

The Golden Visa system allows its beneficiaries in the UAE – including expatriates and their families who wish to come to work, live and study in the country – to enjoy long-term residency.

The UAE implemented the Golden Visa system in 2018. It included the granting of a long-term residence visa, for 5 or 10 years, which is automatically renewed for people who fall into any of certain categories including investors, doctors, entrepreneurs, scientists, creators, inventors, researchers in various branches of science, technology and innovation, and outstanding students.

The move to grant the Golden Visa to outstanding charity and humanitarian workers residing in the UAE provides them with a safe haven to continue their work. It will also enhance their ability to communicate with local, regional and global charity and humanitarian organisations, from the most digitally advanced and connected places on the planet.

The institutionalisation of humanitarian work is a significant addition to the UAE’s track record of charitable and humanitarian work and is represented by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), which was established in 2015 to form a support umbrella for a set of initiatives and institutions launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum during the past decade.

During 2020, the MBRGI’s philanthropic work reach 83 million people in 82 countries, where a total of AED1.2 billion in aid was distributed to those in need. Today, it includes dozens of initiatives and institutions that carry out humanitarian work programs around the world.

They fall under five pillars: Humanitarian and Relief Aid, Health Care and Disease Control, Spreading Education and Knowledge, Future Innovation and Leadership, and Empowering Communities.

In 2020, the total humanitarian and relief aid provided by the MBRGI amounted to AED382 million, while the number of beneficiaries reached 34.8 million people.

Meanwhile, MBRGI’s Healthcare and Disease Control pillar allocated AED49.6 million in 2020 to implement therapeutic and preventive initiatives and campaigns, which helped 38,000 people.

The work of MBRGI’s Spreading Education and Knowledge pillar reached 45.5 million people in 2020, with spending on various initiatives, projects and programs amounting to AED265 million.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives’ pillar for Future Innovation and Leadership allocated AED440 million, with 1.3 million people benefitting from its activities.

The Community Empowerment pillar allocated AED79.5 million to various projects, initiatives and programs, benefiting 1.1 million people in 2020.

The country's humanitarian operations, through the Emirates Red Crescent, reach more than 100 countries annually to provide messages of love, peace, relief and help to those in need. The relief programmes and operations of the authority include vital areas such as health, education, social services, environment, water and infrastructure projects.

In order to consolidate the principle of human solidarity in times of crisis, the "100 Million Meals" campaign, the largest of its kind in the region, helped feed those in need in 30 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe and South America.

The campaign was implemented by MBRGI in cooperation with the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the Food Banking Regional Network, and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, in addition to a number of charity and relief institutions and groups in the countries covered by the campaign. Over the Holy Month of Ramadan, the campaign collected contributions equivalent to 216 million meals, through multiple donation channels from more than 385,000 donors from the business community, as well as many government and private institutions.

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