Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has announced that the cost of its humanitarian, developmental and relief programmes inside and outside the country has reached more than Dh 728 million for the period between January and November 2014.
In his statement on the occasion of the ERC's 2nd media briefing 2014, Dr. Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, ERC Secretary-General, said that the cost of ERC's programmes in the country amounted to over Dh 178 million while the cost of its programmes outside the country reached Dh 550 million.
During the media briefing, held at the ERC's Headquarters in Abu Dhabi yesterday in the presence of a number of ERC officials and media representatives in the country, Al Falahi said that the efforts of the philanthropic body in the past have witnessed a quantum leap, thanks to the directives and follow up of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and President of the Emirates Red Crescent.
The ERC focussed on implementing developmental projects that support the capabilities of local people in the most vulnerable areas and help them in coping with threats and financial, social and economic crises.
He added that the authority has made great strides in this regard and implemented several projects that have had a favourable impact on the life conditions of the targeted segments in a number of countries.
Al Falahi also said the ERC's efforts in the local field were successful, thanks to the directives of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, aimed at increasing the number of beneficiaries across the country.
Al Falahi indicated that programmes included humanitarian assistance worth more than Dh 40 million and benefited more than 16,000 families across the country, adding that medical assistance touched over Dh 40 million and benefitted 80,000 people.
He added that more than 7,000 students have benefitted from the aid which stood at over Dh 39 million, in addition to the cost of rehabilitation programmes meant for people with special needs. These programmes stood at over Dh 8 million besides an allocation of over Dh 3 million for supporting the institutions that took advantage of the assistance, including 20 educational, health and services organisations as well as prisoners' aid which touched more than Dh 7 million.
Al Falahi added amounts involved in carrying out seasonal programmes, which include Iftar Project, Ramadan Ration, Zakat Al Fitr and others projects, have reached more than Dh 40 million.
The ERC Secretary General also said that external projects for the current year have touched over Dh 95 million, including health, educational, housing and services programmes, especially in the electricity and water fields, as well as small productive enterprises of low income families.
He said that the authority has achieved a quantum leap in its programmes and projects around the world and was able to extend its activities globally to alleviate the suffering of people in the distressed areas to improve their humanitarian conditions as well as rallying international efforts to support them.
Al Falahi affirmed that the ERC's projects and programmes in Palestine topped its list due to the circumstances and developments in Palestine, citing that the cost of its programmes during this period reached more than Dh 264 and covered a number of vital fields.
He further said the authority continued to implement the "Dress 1 Million Needy Children" campaign 2014, launched by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, adding that its cost touched over Dh 26 million while the number of beneficiaries reached more than 540,000 in Chile , Brazil, Egypt , Chad, Eritrea , Somalia, Uganda, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Jordan, Erbil, India, Lebanon, Turkey, Djibouti and Bangladesh.
Commenting on the ERC's efforts and programmes to support the displaced Syrians in the neighbouring countries, Al Falahi said the amount involved in assistance in 2014 reached about Dh 39 million, which covered various kinds of food, medicine, sheltering material and clothing.
He also pointed out to the expansion of the UAE-Jordanian refugee Camp at Mrajeeb al-Fahood in Jordan to accommodate 10,000 refugees. He also indicated that as part of the ERC's future plans, it will direct its efforts towards sustainable development projects in the poor countries and other services in Yemen, Pakistan and Palestine.
Al Falahi said the authority's work and its strategic and operational plans aim to enhance and encourage the tradition of voluntary work among all segments of the society inside and outside the country.