Dh87 million raised in telethon Filed on August 21, 2011

ABU DHABI - A three-day nation-wide telethon organised by Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) and Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI) concluded on Friday midnight with Dh87 million raised for the victims of famine and drought in Somalia and rest of the Horn of Africa.

In Abu Dhabi alone, the telethon brought in Dh60 million, including the Dh27 million raised during the final day of the campaign.

This adds to the Dh27 million raised in Dubai during the single-day campaign on Wednesday.

This is in addition to the millions raised during the ongoing campaign launched by the UAE Red Crescent Authority and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment for the emergency relief for the African people facing thew starvation. Commenting on the successful telethon ran by the ADMC and Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI), Shaikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and RCA Chairman, on Friday said the large scale response for the three-day nation-wide telethon to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to victims of famine and drought in the Horn of Africa that coincided with the death anniversary of the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan confirmed that the UAE was home to charity and giving.

Millions of dirhams were also raised during the three-day campaign across the country outside the telethon.

“Principles, values and virtuous practices Shaikh Zayed planted call for exerting every possible effort to assist those in distress wherever they are in the globe. These values have been deeply embedded and embodied in the policy of the country’s leadership represented by the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; Their Highnesses Rulers of the emirates; and General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces,” Shaikh Hamdan said. The three-day countrywide live telethons organised by the ADMC and the DMI began on Wednesday with live shows telecast by Abu Dhabi Al Emarat, Dubai TV, Noor Dubai and Sama, as well as the two media company radio stations.

On Wednesday, the ADMC raised Dh17 million while the DMI during its one-day telethon raised Dh27 million. The ADMC continued its telethon called Suqyahom (quenching your thirst in Arabic) for three days that concluded on Friday night.

On the second day, the ADMC telethon raised another Dh16 million. The last episode on Friday that began at 9.30pm and continued for two and half hours raised another Dh27 million.

The donors on Friday included Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, former Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC) and Mashreq Bank CEO, who donated a Dh5 million.

The other donors included Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Etisalat and Mubadala, donating Dh1 million each, while National Bank of Abu Dhabi gave Dh1.5 million for the humanitarian cause. A number of government and private establishment employees, including those from the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City, also pooled money for the donation. On relief assistance in affected areas, Shaikh Hamdan said: “There are priorities that should draw attention of the good-doers so as to avoid recurrence of the appalling human tragedy in the Horn of Africa. Priority should be focused on drilling water wells to enable people survive drought, grow food, and raise livestock as well as provision of vaccines to protect vulnerable children from epidemics.”

Taking part in the Friday night’s telethon, Ahmed Shabeeb Al Dhaheri, former Deputy Speaker of the FNC, urged all the UAE residents, including business communities to extend generous financial and moral support to the suffering people of Somalia.

“Thousands of men, women and children are dying in the drought-hit Somalia and neighbouring areas. Ramadan is the month of giving and charity. My appeal to all the countrymen is to come forward and save these precious lives. Every penny counts at this grave situation. I also appeal to the world community to play their role as well with immediate emergency relief assistance,” he appealed.

Nissar Hoath

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