The UAE was one of the first countries to reach out and support global humanitarian initiatives when Covid-19 broke out over two years ago.

Under the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the new President of the UAE; and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, the young Arab nation’s aid accounted for 80 per cent of the international response to countries struggling to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

As at July 2021, the UAE had sent 2,154 tonnes of medical aid, ventilators, screening equipment, personal protection equipment and testing kits to 135 countries around the world.

Altogether, 196 medical aid flights were dispatched. Besides, six field hospitals were set up in Sudan, Guinea Conakry, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Lebanon and Jordan, and a fully equipped mobile clinic was set up in Turkmenistan.

Data shows that 117 countries received aid from the international organisation’s warehouses in Dubai International Humanitarian City. The UAE’s in-kind aid to the World Health Organization (WHO) amounted to $10 million (Dh36.73).

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed has offered to pay all costs related to stem cell therapy for critical patients with the coronavirus. The initiative came after Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Centre (ADSCC) announced the development of an innovative and promising treatment for Covid-19 infections using stem cells.

Stem-cell therapy involves extracting stem cells from the patient’s blood and reintroducing them after activating them. The treatment was administered to 73 Covid-19 patients in the UAE, and they were all cured of the virus.

Significantly, the UAE established a preventative health centre in the Emirates Humanitarian City complex to provide 24-hour health care for citizens of neighbouring countries evacuated from Wuhan, the epicentre of Covid-19, in central China’s Hubei province.

Thousands of Emiratis were evacuated from affected countries and returned to their homeland under the guidance of Sheikh Mohamed and the wise leaders of the UAE.

The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) announced that it would be a patron and provide care to the families of those who died of Covid-19, irrespective of their nationality. The gesture, which is part of the country’s initiative “You are among your Families”, includes several vital steps and enhances the philanthropic organisation’s programmes.

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) contributed to the pledge of the Arab Coordination Group to allocate $10 (Dh36.73) billion to help developing countries recover from the economic stagnation caused by the pandemic.

The ADFD also launched a pioneering initiative that allowed the postponement of debt repayments by developing countries benefitting from the Fund’s loans during 2020.

On March 25, 2020, The Fund of the United Arab Emirates: Homeland of Humanity was established in the UAE to unify the national efforts to combat coronavirus. Individuals and organisations could contribute either by cash or in kind through the offices of Emirates Red Crescent and other charities across the country.

The fund was a collaboration of the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, Emirates Red Crescent and other humanitarian organisations in the UAE. “Together We Are Good” was another local community programme or Ma’an — a social impact incubator — by the Abu Dhabi Government to address the health and economic challenges engendered by the unprecedented viral outbreak.

The programme opened doors for financial and contributions in kind from people and corporate entities to offer a helping hand to those, who needed medical and educational aid and food supplies.

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