Making a crucial difference
According to reports, food supplies are running drastically short in Yemen, and one in every three children is severely malnourished. Reportedly, close to 45 per cent of the entire population of the country is facing acute food shortage.
Whatever be the reasons for the crisis, what cannot be ignored is the impact of the food shortages on Yemenis, especially on children and women. International agencies warn that a near-famine situation is looming, compounded by chances of massive outbreaks of diseases such as cholera.
Safe drinking water is in short supply in several regions and food that is essential for mere sustenance is hard to come by for many vulnerable sections of the society.
The UAE has never shied away from extending its support to countries in need. From supporting the victims of the devastating flood in Pakistan to committing itself to the Millennium Development Goals, the nation has always demonstrated its caring side, transcending all differences in the process.
In fact, the immediacy with which the UAE responds to humanitarian situations is a mark of the country’s thought-leadership and the growing international role it plays in matters that affect the wider humanity.
In 2009, the UAE was identified as the 14th most generous donor nation in the world by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, based on the foreign aid provided by the country as a proportion of its gross national income.
The UAE has donated more than Dh163 billion in the four decades since its formation to address hunger and poverty across the world — making the country one of the largest donors of aid in the Arab world. Global Humanitarian Assistance, which monitors charitable aid from governments, placed the UAE as the only non-Western nation in the global top 10 humanitarian aid donors per head of population in 2010.
While there has been extensive public support to charity initiatives undertaken by the country, the Government has been at the helm of it, leading by example, providing generous sums to support development programmes and make a difference to people who need.
This is further underlined by charity programmes undertaken by the UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid, and the Dubai Cares initiative, which today serves as a model for how people can work together to address pressing challenges such as illiteracy.
As part of the campaign to assist Yemen in tiding over one of its grave national concerns, the UAE is hosting a range of activities, especially under Red Crescent Authority. A telethon is also being planned and it is for every individual who cares for humanity to be part of such efforts. Remember that a little act of kindness can potentially save the life of a child.