Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, (AETOSWire): In support of its ongoing encouragement for sustainable development around the world, the Zayed Sustainability Prize has announced the launch of “20by2020” – an impact-focused, global humanitarian initiative, implemented with key support from Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), Mubadala Petroleum, Masdar and The Year of Tolerance.
Building on the UAE’s leading global role in international development, the initiative aligns with and seeks to advance progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals and is guided on its mission by the values of inclusiveness and compassion advocated in the UAE’s Year of Tolerance. This objective will be realised through the donation of sustainable technologies and solutions to disadvantaged communities in 20 countries. Each solution or technology has already transformed other communities around the world and has been recognised by the Zayed Sustainability Prize as a winner or finalist.
Commenting on the launch, H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Director General of the Prize, stated: “The ‘20by2020’ initiative is a creative way to leverage the outcomes of the Zayed Sustainability Prize for greater impact around the world. By drawing on the innovative solutions created by Prize finalists and winners, many more people will benefit and the legacy of our founding father, who was a committed humanitarian and advocate for sustainable development, will be honoured.”
H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber added: “We are pleased to collaborate with like-minded organisations such as ADGM, ADFD, Masdar and Mubadala Petroleum, all respected UAE entities who share the nation’s vision for affecting positive transformation in vulnerable communities around the world. We hope that the initiative will inspire others to join us in addressing the most pressing global challenges.”
The first phase of the initiative, which will primarily target ‘last mile’ communities located across 10 countries, has already begun. Solutions that are being donated in this phase include solar suitcases developed by ‘We Care Solar’ (2019 Prize Winner – Health Category) for health facilities located in Nepal’s Bhojpur and Shankhuwasabha districts, and the Minister’s Village of Ntinda, Kampala in Uganda. 6,000 mothers and babies in Nepal, and 12,000 mothers and babies in Uganda, are expected to benefit from these deployments. Furthermore, a food dosifier technology for the fortification of flour, developed by Sanku (2019 Prize Winner – Food Category) is being donated to Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania, which is expected to help feed 50,000 people with nutritious food every day.
H.E. Ahmed Al Sayegh, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of ADGM, also commented on the announcement, stating: “Abu Dhabi has been at the forefront of global innovation and transformational developments that underpin UAE’s strengths as a global business hub and sustainable economy. The ‘20by2020’ initiative is another excellent humanitarian and sustainable development programme that leverages innovation to meet the urgent needs and growth of the region.”
He added: “This initiative resonates well with ADGM’s focus and lead on sustainable finance, green financing, technology innovation and commitment to national initiatives that bolster the UAE’s sustainability agenda. As an International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi, ADGM will continue to advocate a vibrant and open financial ecosystem that attracts new investments and facilitates greater flow of funds to support impactful projects and development needs in the UAE and wider MEA region. We are pleased to be part of ‘20by2020’.”
As part of deployments’ first phase , the installation of solar street lights developed by Sunna design (2018 Prize Winner – SME Category) is currently happening outside of Prince Hamza Hospital in Amman, Jordan, and the Habisha Village located in the Asyut Governate of Egypt. The installation of these lighting solutions will be completed within three months, and is expected to benefit 3,000 people in Jordan, and 3,500 people in Egypt daily. Among the other solutions set to be donated in 2020, are ‘Safe Water Cube’ fountains, a local filtration technology for surface waters, developed by Agir Ensemble Association (2019 Prize Finalist – Water Category). This solution will be installed in Cambodia’s Preak Toal, Meat Khlar and Peak Kanteal villages, providing access to clean water to 5,000 people daily. The water purifiers will also be installed in Madagascar, to benefit 5,000 people.
H.E. Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and Chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Year of Tolerance said: “This initiative exemplifies the values of our Founder Sheikh Zayed and his approach to build bridges of coexistence and peace with global communities. Tolerance is a key value engrained in the UAE identity; the country now has over 200 nationalities that coexist, living together in peace and respect.”
Her Excellency added: “The launch of 20by2020 at the end of The Year of Tolerance reinforces our mandate to support sustainable initiatives that impact future generations, especially that Tolerance, as a value, is not timebound. By deploying these projects in multiple cities, the initiative aims to respond to existing needs of these communities, raising the standards of living and ultimately nurturing an environment that respect humanity. We believe that this initiative will promote the UAE model of Tolerance globally.”
HE Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, stated: “The dedicated efforts of the UAE leadership, in the domain of international development aid, have positioned the nation as one of the world’s largest Official Development Aid Donors, relative to national income. Stemming from these directives, ADFD, to date, has financed crucial sustainable development projects in 95 countries, to the tune of AED92 billion through concessionary loans, government grants, and investments. Improving the livelihood for millions of people, ADFD-funded projects support the outlined objectives of beneficiary countries and advance the implementation of the UN SDGs. We commend the ‘20by2020’ initiative for its inspiring and intelligent approach to tackling global development challenges, and we have every confidence that in partnering with the Zayed Sustainability Prize, ADFD will amplify the transformative impact of the Prize, and bring its 48-year-track-record to bolster economic self-reliance and prosperity in communities worldwide.”
During the first quarter of 2020, Solar Home Systems developed by d.light (2013 Prize Winner – SME Category) will be donated to Indonesia, impacting 8,000 people through improved access to electricity which will drive better health, education and economic activity. Similarly, Solar Home Systems developed by the Bright Green Energy Foundation, which was established by Dipal Barua (2009 Prize Winner – Lifetime Achievement Category) will be donated to Bangladesh. This is expected to impact 3,000 people. Donations will also be made to Costa Rica, with more information on the solution to be announced at a later stage.
The initiative’s second phase is scheduled for completion before the end of 2020, with a further ten countries set to receive another range of technologies and solutions. All the ‘20by2020’ donations combined, will tackle four integral themes on the global sustainability agenda including Health, Food, Energy and Water.
Dr Bakheet Saeed Al Katheeri, CEO of Mubadala Petroleum, commented: “As Abu Dhabi’s international upstream oil and gas company, we have always been committed to contributing to the long-term, sustainable development of communities where we operate – which is reflected in our well-established, impactful and recognized community investment initiatives. We are very pleased to be partnering with the Zayed Sustainability Prize for the ‘20by2020’ humanitarian initiative, to reach other vulnerable communities and bring real change to their lives. Simultaneously, with the ‘20by2020’ initiative, we continue to globally share the values of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed, and of the Year of Tolerance in the UAE, while also supporting the UN’ Sustainable Development Goals.”
Since the first awards ceremony, in 2009, over 318 million people have been directly or indirectly impacted by the sustainability solutions and school projects of the 76 Prize recipients.