International Humanitarian and Philanthropy Council convenes to implement AED20 billion Zayed Humanitarian Legacy Initiative


The Zayed Humanitarian Legacy Initiative will allocate AED20 billion (US$5.45 billion) over 10 years in support of institutions and projects working to deliver aid, address inequality, and advance sustainable development solutions, the International Humanitarian and Philanthropy Council said today.
The Council, chaired by H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Court for Development and Fallen Heroes’ Affairs, met Thursday to discuss the structure and immediate funding priorities of the initiative, which was announced by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to mark Zayed Humanitarian Day.
The initiative, which commemorates the 20th anniversary of the passing of the UAE’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, represents a major new commitment to accelerate progress towards global development goals, with an emphasis on support for low- and middle-income communities around the world. Its areas of focus will include education, health, environment, food security, and humanitarian aid response, among other critical priorities.
H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed said: “Under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and oversight of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, the Zayed Humanitarian Legacy Initiative represents an extension of our Founding Father’s enduring compassion and generosity for communities in need worldwide.”
“This initiative highlights the UAE’s long-standing commitment to social and economic progress and to pioneering development solutions that save and improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable,” H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed continued.
The UAE has consistently topped the rankings of the most generous donor. In 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017, the UAE was the world’s largest donor of official development assistance (ODA) per the gross national income (GNI) according to the OECD Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC). And the UAE still considered one of the top donors of official development assistance.
This generosity can be traced to the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed, whose commitment to uplifting communities worldwide remains an integral part of Emirati culture and national identity.
The Council noted it will engage with philanthropic and humanitarian organisations, as well as relevant stakeholders, to develop an implementation roadmap for the initiative while considering sustainable funding plans to further enshrine the Founding Father’s legacy.
The International Humanitarian and Philanthropy Council was established in January 2024 by federal decree to oversee international aid, development, and philanthropic initiatives and policies. The Council is also tasked with developing a future vision for the UAE’s global humanitarian and philanthropic activities and building out delivery programmes and frameworks.
The Council is chaired by H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed, with members including Her Excellency Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation; Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Head of the International Affairs Office at the Presidential Court; Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Community Development; His Excellency Faris Mohammed Ahmed Al Mazrouei, Adviser to the Presidential Court; His Excellency Dr Hamdan Musallam Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Red Crescent; His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development; and His Excellency Sultan Mohammed Al Shamsi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development Affairs.

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