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Dubai Ruler: Syrian Refugees, World’s Most Pressing Humanitarian Challenge | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Syrian girls attending Al Salam school draw pictures in a workshop with the program Zeitouna in Reyhanli, Turkey, on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. (Credit: Clare Richardson)

Dubai- His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said the world will mark on August 19 the World Humanitarian Day, “and we are also observing the event as a humanitarian capital and the world’s largest donor of development assistance in proportion to its gross national income (GNI).”

“As we also mark this day, the refugee issue, namely refugees from Syria, remains the most pressing challenge. UAE has so far offered AED2.6 billion in support of them and will continue to do so,” he said.

“The UAE hosts the largest pool of international humanitarian and relief organizations. We dedicated an integrated humanitarian city for them. Also, our humanitarian and relief organizations are operating in more than 70 countries,” he added.

Sheikh Mohammed affirmed that the humanitarian work is a common language of mercy among human beings, a language that does not recognize race, religion or identity and this is what characterizes a human being and makes any person a civilized one.

Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation, said, “In the UAE, we have over 45 humanitarian foundations, non-governmental organizations, charity establishments, government entities and private companies providing humanitarian assistance for those in need across the world”.

“There are three main drivers of UAE humanitarian methodology: protecting civilians in humanitarian emergency cases, working tightly with local and international organization and reinforcing humanitarian international efforts through purposeful cooperation”, Hashemi continued.

Hashemi added that although UAE is located in a region that has social, economic and development potentials, in some countries there are conflicts, troubles and displacement. “There are up to 30 million refugees in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) due to these conflicts. UAE donated in 2012-2016 around AED2.65 billion (USD720.7 million) to Syrian refuges in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, turkey and Syria. Throughout the past two years, we donated AED1.5 billion (USD404 million) as humanitarian assistance to Yemen”, she concluded.