Humanitarian Aid & Relief

“We are a global humanitarian capital and a major relief station for every person in need. We will not be late in supporting a brother, a friend, a victim, or anyone requiring our help, wherever he or she is.”
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Humanitarian services, programmes and initiatives, whether involved in developmental aid or relief campaigns, are some of MBRGI’s most important activities, reflecting the foundation’s mission to build communities, improve quality of life, and alleviate the suffering of people in need.

During the year 2016, MBRGI's reach expanded through many of its organisations and initiatives, with total expenditure on humanitarian aid and relief initiatives amounting to AED 252 million.

Moreover, the number of beneficiaries of these humanitarian aid and relief initiatives reached 22.6 million people all over the world, of which 10 million people benefitted from the multiple water aid projects implemented by UAE Water Aid (Suqia) and Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian & Charity Establishment, including wells, pumps and water plants to provide clean water for disadvantaged communities.

International Humanitarian City, which is considered the world’s largest hub for humanitarian services, plays an active role in addressing humanitarian crises and natural and humanitarian disasters in record time with enormous financial, logistic and supply capabilities. The city, with an area of more than 1 million sq ft, includes an inventory of urgent aid worth AED 400 million, ready for delivery.

  • International Humanitarian City
  • UAE Water Aid (Suqia)
  • Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian & Charity Establishment
  • Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy
  • UAE Food Bank
AED 252 Million

spent on humanitarian aid and relief initiatives

22.6 Million beneficiaries

of humanitarian aid and relief around the world

10 Million beneficiaries

of water aid projects around the world

International Humanitarian City
The largest city for humanitarian services in the world
1.1 Million SQ FT

the total area of the International Humanitarian City

AED 400 Million

in inventory ready for delivery

Positioned For Immediate Response

Humanitarian Aid & Relief Initiatives


beneficiaries around the world in 2016


spent on initiatives in 2016

International Humanitarian City


in total


in inventory ready for delivery

MBRGI has worked in all continents of the world; its intervention is spread across the five main pillars outlined in this document and covers immediate relief and long-term strategies to aid war-torn and poverty-stricken communities.

In 2016, total spending on humanitarian aid and relief initiatives totalled AED 252 million. Starting with the first response, Dubai is the home of the world’s largest humanitarian hub, located within eight hours by air of two-thirds of the world’s population.

At 1.1 million sq ft, International Humanitarian City (IHC) is more than 861,000 sq ft larger than the next biggest humanitarian city. As such, it contains AED 400 million of stock – about AED 367 million more than other centres – ready to be delivered to those who need it most.

Founded in 2003, IHC hosts members including nine United Nations agencies and 44 international humanitarian organisations. It has helped deliver assistance in some of the worst humanitarian crises of the past decade, including the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the recurring wars in Gaza, the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, as well as the Nepal earthquake and Cyclone Pam in 2015. IHC has also carried out several evacuation operations over the years, protecting more than 600 UN staff from conflict in Afghanistan, Yemen and Egypt.

In response to the increasing need for assistance, IHC has ambitious expansion plans to triple in size by 2022. The increased space will also be home to a centre of excellence for training and innovation within the humanitarian aid sector.

Rebuilding Societies

If IHC’s role is to provide immediate relief, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian & Charity Establishment follows up with long-term infrastructural support and initiatives aimed at rebuilding sustainable communities.

Established in 1997, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian & Charity Establishment invests in the fabric of society to help the poor, the sick, widows, orphans, the needy and distressed all around the world, as well as at home in the UAE. Its entrepreneurial programmes enable impoverished families to earn a living.


beneficiaries of UAE Water Aid (Suqia) in 2016


invested in building schools, hospitals, residences, wells and other facilities in 2016 by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian & Charity Establishment

The charity has touched the lives of 1.1 million people in 2016, provided iftar for 11.5 million people fasting outside the UAE and invested AED 94 million in building schools, hospitals, homes, wells and more in 20 war-ravaged countries around the world, including AED 75 million in the Arab world.

The right to clean drinking water is also a major concern of UAE Water Aid (Suqia), which invested AED 3.6 million in wells and other charity initiatives in 2016, providing clean water to 10 million people.

This included drilling two boreholes in Ghana, in cooperation with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian & Charity Establishment.
Wells are also underway in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Benin, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Somalia, Tajikistan and Uganda.

UAE Water Aid (Suqia) is also involved in innovating to develop sustainable water solutions for the future.

The UAE Food Bank was launched early 2017 and added under MBRGI's umbrella as a national initiative with the aim of totally eliminating food waste. It focuses on both the distribution and production of food in the country, encouraging public-private sector cooperation in its mission to achieve zero food waste.

The food bank relies on international best practice in the fields of collecting food waste and redistributing it with the support of and in coordination with all stakeholders including suppliers, distributors, volunteers and regulators, to ensure that it achieves its ultimate objective of reducing and eliminating food waste in the most effective way.

Since its launch, the UAE Food Bank has signed agreements with 85 hotels covering hundreds of restaurants, in addition to 100 supermarkets from across the country. The bank also aims to open 30 distribution centres across the UAE within the next five years, and eventually more branches and distribution centres outside the UAE in less privileged countries in the region.

Innovative Endowments

In 2016, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched Dubai’s awqaf and endowments vision and strategy, which aspires to make the UAE the country in the world most dedicated to serving humanity.

The Dubai awqaf and endowments vision and strategy is managed by the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy, which was launched in March 2016 with the goal of reviving awaqf as a development tool for the community. The centre developed an innovative model for any institution to provide endowments, regardless of its size and net worth. Institutions can link any type of assets, resources or services to the concept of innovative endowment.

Dubai’s awqaf and endowment vision and strategy aspires to make the UAE the country in the world most dedicated to serving humanity.


in innovative endowment assets

  • 38% for knowledge and innovation
  • 29% for education
  • 21% for social services
  • 12% for other sectors

Within a year of its inception, the centre has helped various entities to launch a range of innovative endowments, with an estimated value of more than AED 12 billion for knowledge and innovation, education, social services and more.

The knowledge and innovation sector benefitted from 38% of its assets, which were dedicated to training and consulting platforms, while the education sector received 29% of assets, dedicated to funding university tuition and more.

The social services sector received 21% of assets to support medical treatment, families in need, awareness campaigns and marriage, while other sectors, including environmental programmes, youth projects and medical research, received 12%.

These innovative endowments provide community services worth AED 1 billion annually, through more than 80 initiatives that have adopted the ‘waqf’ model.

“We opened the doors to being the most supportive nation for endowments for the service of humanity.”
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum