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Emirates Red Crescent campaign to gather aid

ABU DHABI // Emiratis have shown their philanthropic spirit by pledging to support a campaign to rebuild Yemen.

At the weekend, the Emirates Red Crescent launched its Yemen: We Care – or Relief for Yemen – fund-raising appeal to help millions of Yemenis suffering in the conflict.

Fahad bin Sultan, deputy secretary general of the ERC, urged the public to help out as aid was desperately needed.

“We are looking for the highest amount because we are aiming to reconstruct and build new facilitates and infrastructure, such as schools and hospitals,” he said on Sunday.

“It is better for donations to be financial aid but we accept clothes and food, too.”

With the school year starting, ERC was also accepting stationery for children, said Mr bin Sultan.

“I advise donors to buy new items and not bring in used things. I also advise donors to not bring in medication.”

The donations can be made at 200 sites, including malls, banks and offices.

Ali, a 45-year-old Emirati, said he does his best to support fund-raising drives by the Government.

“These initiatives are a reminder to all of us that there are people out there who need us,” he said.

“We are lucky and blessed but not everyone is, and we have the resources, alhamdulillah.

“This is a blessing for us, too, from Allah, to be able to give back to those who need it and have good deeds to our name.”

Ahmed Al Mhri, 30, said it was a religious obligation for all members of the community to donate.

He said Founder Sheikh Zayed had a track record of charitable generosity, which meant Emiratis should follow his example.

“We are helping those who are in need in all parts of the world and this is following our Islamic religion to help all people in need and assist them in their dilemma,” he said.

Hassan Al Jabri said he had donated as soon as the campaign started.

“The country always initiates aid campaigns for the close and the far, and these factors encourage us to donate,” he said.

“What makes it easier is having organisations such as the Red Crescent who deliver our donations quickly to where aid is needed.”

Amal, a mother of four, said she had gone with her children to buy goods for the campaign “to teach them the notion of giving”.

She said she had given financial aid to other campaigns.

“This time, I wanted my children to participate and they chose what to buy,” she said. “They will also help me box it and deliver to the Red Crescent.

“This way I know the experience will remain with them and in the future they will also initiate donations.”

Mohammed Ali Al Ansari, the managing director Al Ansari Exchange, was among the first to offer his support to the Yemen: We Care drive by offering a Dh1 million donation. The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments has also contributed Dh1 million to the fund.

The campaign was launched under the directives of President Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

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(via The National)