Dubai – MENA Herald: HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Water Aid Foundation has today announced details of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award, which was launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and is worth one million dollars. The details were discussed in a press conference at the Armani hotel in Dubai. The Award is presented by The UAE Water Aid Foundation, under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, to find sustainable solutions to the issue of water scarcity, using solar energy to purify and desalinate water.
In June 2014, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the UAE Water Aid initiative to provide clean water to approximately five million people worldwide. Suqia, UAE Water Aid’s campaign, has raised AED180 million to provide clean drinking water to seven million people around the world.
The press conference was attended by HE Ahmed Buti Al Muhairbi, Secretary General of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, HE Brigadier Ahmed Khalfan Al Mansoori, Secretary General of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for World Peace, , HE Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi Executive Vice President of Khalifa University, Nasser Lootah, Executive Vice President of Generation at DEWA, Waleed Ali Salman, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at DEWA, and Mohammed Abdulkareem Al Shamsi, Acting Executive Director of UAE Water Aid.
“I would like to announce details of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award. The award was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and is overseen by the UAE Water Aid Foundation, also known as Suqia, under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, one of the largest development and community foundations in the Middle East. It consolidates the work of 28 organisations and targets over 130 million people over the coming years. The primary goals of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives include four main sectors: Fighting Poverty, Dissemination of Knowledge, Community Empowerment, and Innovation for the Future, Suqia works to provide drinking water to people in Somalia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Ghana, and Benin help 60,000 people in 10 different projects. Suqia provides relief assistance to Yemen in cooperation with the Ministry of Development and International Cooperation, helping 1,087,500 people, according to the Ministry. In the UAE, a number of campaigns were launched to distribute water to Ramadan tents and mosques in collaboration with nine local associations and charities in the UAE. 100,000 people benefited from this during the holy month of Ramadan,” said Al Tayer.
“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the global award, worth one million dollars, to find sustainable solutions to address international water shortages, and fulfil our country’s ambition to build a knowledge-based economy, with a focus on technology, research, development, and innovation. The UAE Water Aid Foundation encourages leading organisations, research centres, and innovators from around the world, to compete to find sustainable and innovative solutions to water shortages using solar energy. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has observed that, “Water is the spirit of life and providing it for the needy means reviving millions of people. The UAE Water Aid Foundation will not differentiate between one person and another, so are all of our humanitarian works; such is the UAE humanitarian mission that lies in helping the afflicted, the needy and disadvantaged people all over the world without any distinction,”” added Al Tayer.
“The National Innovation Strategy, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to make the UAE one of the most innovative nations in the world, focuses on seven national sectors to stimulate innovation. These include encouraging innovative solutions to the challenge of water scarcity. This Award will help to achieve this objective by driving the search for sustainable solutions to address water scarcity around the world. The UAE Water Aid Foundation promoted the Award at various international events such as COP21 in Paris, activities and meetings that coincided with the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, the Solar Decathlon in California, USA, and the Carbon Ambassadors Programme, in Dubai, UAE.” he added.
Al Tayer noted that the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award comprises three categories. These are: Innovative Projects Award (Small and Large projects), Innovative Research and Development Award (National and International institutions), and the Innovative Youth Award. The award is given to innovative projects and organisations that find sustainable solutions to the issue of water scarcity, using solar energy to purify and desalinate water. The UAE Water Aid Foundation is working to provide potable water to the needy, the disadvantaged, and those who are in distress around the world, contributes to finding permanent solutions to water shortages around the world using modern technologies, and provides new and innovative solutions for societies that suffer from water shortages, scarcity, and pollution. The Foundation will also take part in conducting studies and research to combat water scarcity using solar energy. It also partners with international educational and academic institutions to achieve this goal.
“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s launch of UAE Water Aid Foundation underlines the commitment by the UAE leadership to support international humanitarian efforts. The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was a figure of benevolence to the world, as are his sons, who are always keen to tend to the needs of the less fortunate. In the short time since its launch, the UAE Water Aid Foundation has become one of the most distinguished organisations for providing aid to the needy and distressed around the world. It has contributed to the UAE’s ever-growing global reputation for philanthropy, in addition to supporting sustainable development. The enthusiasm of the people, government, and private organisations in the UAE to contribute in the Foundation’s initiatives and extend helping hands for all, reflects the key role of the UAE in humanitarian areas. The UAE will always be a hub for doing good deeds and the hearts of its people will always be open to extend their helping hands for everyone,” concluded Al Tayer.
Mohammed Abdul Kareem Al Shamsi, Acting Executive Director of the UAE Water Aid Foundation noted that the Innovative Projects category is for organisations that succeed in innovating distinguished projects to produce, desalinate, or purify water using solar power. This category consists of two sub categories: the Small Projects category is for projects by for-profit or non-profit companies, and government or non-government organisations. Projects must have a capital expenditure of up to USD 10 million. The Large Projects category is for projects by for-profit or non-profit companies, and government or non-government organisations. Project must have a capital expenditure exceeding USD 10 million.
Applicants for the Innovative Research and Development category must submit innovative technologies or a prototypes for using solar energy to produce, desalinate, purify, or effectively manage water resources. This has two sub-categories: The National Institutions category is for educational or non-profit institutions and research centres in the UAE. The International Institutions category is for educational or non-profit institutions and research centres outside the UAE.
Applicants for the Innovative Youth Award must present innovative technological solutions to address water scarcity exclusively using solar energy to produce safe drinking water. Applicants must be younger than 40. The project must be developed and implemented by individuals, not groups. The UAE Water Aid Foundation will start accepting applications on 22 March 2016, coinciding with World Water Day.