ABU DHABI, -- H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent, stressed that the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, had a rich humanitarian heritage and was part of several development initiatives that enabled it to be at the forefront of countries working in the area of regional and international humanitarian work.

He highlighted that the UAE's strength lay in the positive impact it had achieved in humanitarian situations in conflict and war zones, as well as in the promotion of human development. He stressed that the UAE is continuing its global mission to reduce suffering and improve the lives of people.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan added, "The achievements made by the UAE and the advanced rank it occupies in humanitarian and development work is due to its initiatives, and the support it gets from Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

In his statement to mark the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day on 8th May, he said that it is not a coincidence that the UAE maintains its position among the largest donors in International Development Assistance for the fourth consecutive year, in comparison with its national income, highlighting that the UAE occupied the first position among the most giving countries in 2016, according to recent data released by the Development Assistance Committee of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan called attention to the developments in the current humanitarian situation in several countries in the region, resulting from the escalation of conflicts and their repercussions on the civilian populations, including innocent children and women, as well as their impact on the conduct of humanitarian operations that had been facing obstacles in the form of attacks on relief teams, volunteers and humanitarian workers.

He also referred to the recent targeting of the UAE Red Crescent delegation in Somalia.

"This will not deter us from pursuing our role of supporting the victims and the affected people," he asserted.

He stressed that the allocation of a global day for the International Movement of the Red Crescent and Red Cross represented a significant opportunity for dialogue, discussion and exchange of ideas on the core topics of interest to the movement, especially as the world was witnessing many changes, which required partnerships and co-ordination efforts, as well as the development of voluntary and humanitarian work, in line with the changes in the international arena.

"For us in the Emirates Red Crescent, the 8th May represents an opportunity to evaluate our journey, take it forward and contribute more efficiently in gaining support for our programmes, besides encouraging partnerships with all sectors of society, as well as promoting the values and principles that we seek to accomplish, in addition to harnessing the potential and activating the available mechanisms to achieve further expansion.

"We want to add new achievements to our targeted humanitarian activities and programmes inside and outside the UAE, while enhancing mobility, disaster preparedness and rapid response to humanitarian appeals everywhere, which are the main goals that we are always striving to achieve," he affirmed.

"In this context, we are working hard to make optimum use of our capabilities, benefit from the advantages we have to strengthen partnerships with others, work together and achieve better co-ordination in the field," the Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent said.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan stressed the importance of the role played by the various components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in the international humanitarian arena, despite its challenges and lack of resources. He said the movement has gained great experience in rapid intervention during crises and disasters, and reducing their impact on humanity. He called on donors from countries, governments, institutions and individuals to fulfil their financial obligations towards the international movement to realise its aspirations to preserve the dignity of individuals and the development of societies.

His Highness also praised the role of donors and philanthropists in supporting the efforts of the Emirates Red Crescent, emphasising that their noble initiatives have strengthened the country's humanitarian position and deepened the values of giving and virtue inherent in the hearts of the nation's people.

He expressed his thanks and appreciation to the employees for their work in the most difficult circumstances and the most dangerous locations, noting the great responsibility they bear and the vitality of the message they convey with impartiality.

Source: Emirates News Agency