Dubai's major humanitarian foundation improved 91 million lives in 97 countries in 2021, the largest scope of beneficiaries reached in a single year since its inception.

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) rolled out $290mln (Dh1.1bln) worth of humanitarian aid, social and developmental projects in 2021, bringing the foundation's total spending on relief during the last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic to $626mln (Dh2.3bln).

In its quest to scale up its impact annually, the foundation reached eight million more beneficiaries in 2021 compared to 2020 and expanded its work to 15 additional countries to empower vulnerable communities as the world recovers from Covid-19 repercussions.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the results of the MBRGI's annual "Year in Review" report at a special event at Shindagha Majlis in Dubai.

"Our team was up to the responsibility," he said.

"I am proud of the 145,000 volunteers who helped us carry out impactful initiatives in 2021. I am proud of Noor Dubai for supporting 33 million beneficiaries and of the Arab Reading Challenge for reaching 22 million students."

In 2021, Dubai Cares also increased its number of beneficiaries to 21 million people and launched six new programs covering youth skills, the future of work, health and school nutrition.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid noted that year after year, MBRGI consolidates its position as the region's largest foundation in terms of the number of institutions leading far-reaching programmes across the world.

"Our humanitarian, relief and social initiatives are ongoing. We will continue our work to improve lives across the world."

During the event, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid reviewed the key achievements of MBRGI's 35 entities in 2020. He also reviewed the sustainable campaigns, programmes and initiatives launched to empower communities in the post-COVID-19 era.

Enhancing operational efficiency

In a statement, the foundation reported enhancing its operational efficiency and utilization of resources to reach more beneficiaries in 2021.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of MBRGI, said, "The foundation has become a comprehensive system to empower individuals and societies, driven by Mohammed bin Rashid's vision that humanitarian work is an investment in a more stable and prosperous future for humanity."

He noted that "empowering people is the basis for the well-being of societies, and this is the message of MBRGI, which is reflected in its programs, projects and strategic partnerships."

Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Secretary-General of the MBRGI, said, "The success of MBRGI in reaching more than 91 million people around the world in just one year under the cloud of the Covid-19 pandemic would not have been possible without the vision that focused on the need to institutionalize humanitarian work and to launch sustainable initiatives, projects and programs."

He added, "The MBRGI builds today on its successes over recent years by designing and implementing distinguished initiatives, enhancing its capabilities and expertise and driving innovation in humanitarian relief."

In addition to its 571 employees, the foundation's various campaigns attracted about 145,000 volunteers, an increase from 23,000 in 2020.

It presented Dh17.7 million worth of prizes to reward charity, humanitarian and development work.

From 100 Million to 1 Billion Meals

Last year saw the conclusion of "100 Million Meals" campaign, the impetus of this year's larger '1 Billion Meals' that successfully concluded on Wednesday after reaching its target in about three weeks.

During the event, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid honoured the top donors who contributed to the campaign's massive success.

The event also saw the unveiling of the "Humanitarian Team" mural, which featured pictures of the MBRGI-affiliated institutions in appreciation for the efforts of employees and volunteers. The mural was signed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

The foundation's 35 entities implement hundreds of projects, programs and campaigns within five main work pillars: Humanitarian Aid and Relief, Healthcare and Disease Control, Spreading Education and Knowledge, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Empowering Communities.

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