Dubai: Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Foundation engages in charity work within and outside the UAE during the month of Ramadan. As part of its constant drive to deliver necessary support to various segments of the society, funds are offered to needy UAE nationals, residents, and Muslims in a number of countries around the world. The Foundation has disbursed funds exceeding AED 25.6 million under 24 projects in the true Ramadan spirit of sharing and helping. This was informed by Chancellor Ibrahim Boumelha, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation at a press conference held at the headquarters in Al Mamzar for signing an MOU between Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Foundation and Lulu Group International, which was attended by HE Abdul Razak Abdullah, CEO of Dubai Islamic Humanitarian Foundation, a subsidiary of Dubai Islamic Bank and other dignitaries. Boumelha added that the policy of the Foundation in this regard came from the state strategy to achieve comprehensive social solidarity among all segments of the society. He said that the Foundation intended to serve the residents in the region during the Holy Month in the best way possible and had chalked out an action plan for early implementation so as to reach the beneficiaries in the right time avoiding last minute crowding and embarrassment. Boumelha thanked HH Sheikha Hind Bint Juma Al Maktoum for her moral and material support for many charitable projects undertaken by the Foundation especially during the Holy Month of Ramadan. He remembered with gratitude Sheikha Hind’s determination to continue the Meer program during Ramadan every year together with the Foundation to support needy families and asked Allah to accept her deeds and reward her virtue and generosity. The Foundation will distribute the Meer Ramadan this year for the fifth time by magnetic smart cards. The Foundation is the first and the only establishment on the state level to implement Meer Ramadan projects this way which ensures value and positive rewards for the beneficiaries. More than 3250 families will benefit from the project this time from a total of AED 2 million. Boumelha said that the project is of great importance to the Foundation as it cooperates with its partners in charity within the UAE for the distribution of the smart cards. 250 cards have been allocated to families in each Emirate. Boumelha said that this year the Foundation has distributed Alzakat early in Dubai and the Northern Emirates to enable the beneficiaries to make the best of it while preparing for the month of Ramadan. The Foundation is committed to helping the poor, orphans, widows and needy citizens of the state and residents of different nationalities making them feel comfortable and happy. A total of AED 19 million towards Zakat has been collected and will be distributed among1000 families. The Foundation has signed a cooperation and partnership agreement with Dubai Islamic Bank to distribute the due Zakat money on the funds held by the Bank in accordance with the legitimacy provisions of Zakat distribution. Zakat amount from the bank reached AED 8 million. The Aid Department of the Foundation has set up an integrated plan for the distribution of Alzakat before the start of Ramadan. It has begun receiving data on cases that needed assistance and has been sorting them out according to the status of each family and their needs. The department staff ran a background check on each case before starting the distribution of Zakat and the process is still in progress. In the case of ?helping orphans, Boumelha explained that the Foundation has implemented an orphan project, which aims to support the families of orphans and help them bear the expenses of raising them. There are about 353 orphans in Dubai and the Northern Emirates who were given a total of AED 600,000. Boumelha pointed out that caring for and adopting orphans is one of the most virtuous deeds mandated by Islam as they have the most unfortunate childhood. Foundation projects within the UAE include the distribution of sugar, which is needed by people in large quantity during the Holy Month. Boumelha thanked Khaleej Sugar Factory, which volunteered for the second year to contribute sugar; this time to the tune of 135 tons amounting to a value of AED 480,000. As for the projects outside the UAE, Boumelha informed that the Foundation continues to reach out to a number of countries, embodying the bonds of brotherhood on such occasions which is required by the religion to observe the Ramadan month. The implementation of Iftar Saaem project in cooperation with a number of charity organizations in other countries for supporting families with limited income deserves special mention. The highlights also include the implementation of Maphater Ramadan in 18 countries disbursing over AED 2.7 million. Maphater aid reached over 1.6 million people in 20026 families around the world including 95,000 people in 8 Asian countries, 504,000 people in African countries, and a combined total of 87,000 people in the USA, Canada and Haiti.