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Dubai Cares Announces 12 Country Plan to Educate and Empower Children in Developing Nations

AED85.5 Million Initiative in Sudan Called "Ground-breaking"

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- After raising an unprecedented AED3.4 billion last fall in an 8-week fundraising drive, Dubai Cares announced today twelve countries that will be the recipients of its Phase One funding. Dubai Cares has become the world's largest charitable establishment solely devoted to improving primary education for children in developing countries.

Dubai Cares was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Save the Children has a 75 year history of helping children recover from wars and natural disasters.

Dubai Cares has prioritized its phase one grants in countries which have the highest level of need and can deliver the maximum benefit for the children. The twelve countries chosen by Dubai Cares for Phase One include Bangladesh, Bosnia, Chad, Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Maldives, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, Palestinian refugees (in Lebanon and Jordan), Sudan and Yemen.

In these countries, Dubai Cares will implement needs-specific, primary education programmes based on its value chain of education which will include the building of new school facilities; rehabilitating existing damaged school premises; ensuring safe water and proper sanitation facilities; distributing school supply materials; improving nutritional intake and conducting medical check-up for students and teachers; and providing training and workshops to adequately empower teachers and principals.

In today's announcement Dubai Cares provided specific details on the overall design for primary education programs in Sudan. Program details for the aforementioned countries will be announced in the near future.

Dubai Cares' partners were selected based on their track record in providing for underprivileged children around the world, as well as their access to adequate resources and infrastructure that can make an immediate impact on the ground.

Save the Children is one of these international partners which will execute specific projects covering the entire value chain of education. The first outcome of this partnership is to provide quality primary education in Sudan country-wide focusing on the following regions: Abyei, Blue Nile, Darfur, Khartoum, North Kordofan, Red Sea, South Kordofan, and Upper Nile.

Speaking about the partnership, Her Excellency Reem Al-Hashimy, Chairperson of Dubai Cares Board of Directors, said: "Save the Children is one of our major partners in Sudan, which we selected based on their 20-plus years of experience in the country. Our partnership with Save the Children is an example of how Dubai Cares ensures the maximum impact of its philanthropic efforts. Partnership agreements are negotiated to ensure minimal expenditure on over-head which increases the direct impact, thus maximizing the number of children who can access quality primary education."

She added: "Save the Children will receive an AED60.9 million grant from Dubai Cares for programmes in Sudan. Save the Children has one of the largest humanitarian programmes currently operating in Sudan, uniquely positioning them to execute the programmes."

The 5-year programmes will initially provide direct support for 115,000 children in 200 schools and 50 early childhood development centres, while also ensuring all students are treated equally regardless of gender or ethnic make- up. Dubai Cares and Save the Children will also train 500 teachers to assist in introducing reading and writing skills to children as early as possible in their development.

"The commitment Dubai Cares is making today for basic education in Sudan is truly ground-breaking," said Dr. Charles F. MacCormack, president and CEO of Save the Children US. "The commitment is more than 3 times the total direct aid for basic education from all donor governments worldwide to Sudan in 2005," said MacCormack, citing the latest education funding report from UNESCO.

He added: "Direct aid for basic education in Sudan has been severely underfunded. Dubai Cares is to be highly commended to making this new commitment to help educate a generation of children in Sudan."

MacCormack noted that Save the Children Sweden and Save the Children UK will work with Save the Children US in implementing the initiative in communities across Sudan.

Dubai Cares also announced an AED24.5 million, 2-year programmes that will be executed by UNICEF to help more than 700,000 children in Sudan. Benefits delivered by Dubai Cares programmes include construction of 200 single room schools in rural areas of Sudan and training workshops for 200 teachers. In addition, children throughout Sudan will receive textbooks and school supplies and the teachers will receive educational materials.

To date, Dubai Cares has initiated primary education programmes in Djibouti, Sudan and the Naher Al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. As a result, 2,400 teachers are currently being trained, more than 400 schools are being built/rehabilitated and 50 early child development centres are being established. These as well as other initiatives will help 924,000 children gain access to quality primary education in these countries.

Dubai Cares today unveiled its geographic footprint for Phase One, naming 12 countries that will receive funding for needs-specific primary education programmes to ensure universal access to education in developing nations. The announcement builds on Dubai Cares' current portfolio of education programmes, bringing it closer to achieving its goal of educating one million children as declared by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Dubai Cares was launched as a fundraising campaign on 19 September, 2007 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, raising more than AED1.7 billion (approx. US$ 500 million) in eight weeks from individuals and businesses in Dubai. At the close of the fundraising drive H.H. Sheikh Mohammed matched the donations from the residents of Dubai, bring the total to AED3.4 billion (almost US$1 billion), making Dubai Cares the largest foundation in the world focusing on primary education globally.

Since its launch, Dubai Cares has established itself as a fully transparent, multilateral, non-profit organization, making sure that every dirham raised is spent strategically for maximum impact. Dubai Cares will operate based on international best practices for foundations worldwide to ensure financial transparency. The charitable establishment has positioned itself as a strategic coordinator actively engaged with international aid agencies to develop primary education programmes and to ensure immediate impact on the ground.

Save the Children is the leading independent organization creating lasting change for children in need around the world. For more than 75 years, Save the Children has been helping children survive and thrive by improving their health, education and economic opportunities and, in times of acute crisis, mobilizing rapid lifesaving assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters.

Dubai Cares is founded on the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed who believes that education is the best long-term solution to combat poverty and that educating children, especially girls, is a key component to fighting the global 'cycle of poverty'. It represents Dubai's contribution to the U.N. Millennium Development Goals for providing primary education to every child by 2015. The initiative validates the emirate's commitment to play an effective role in securing a better tomorrow for future generations.

SOURCE Dubai Cares
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