UN teams switch focus to aid for Haiti survivors

UN-led teams in Haiti are switching their focus from searching for people trapped in collapsed buildings to providing “humanitarian aid to those who need it”.

DSF centres to raise funds for Haiti quake victims

While Dubai gears up for Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) 2010, Festival Centre has teamed up with UAE Red Crescent Society to raise funds for earthquake victims in Haiti.

Five charity boxes have been installed for collecting cash donations at various areas in Festival Centre.

Dubai Cares to Aid 200,000 Haiti Children

Dubai Cares has announced educational assistance to 200,000 children left in dire need after the earthquake on the Caribbean island of Haiti. The philanthropic organisation will do so through its international partners, according to an official statement.

It follows instructions to the effect from His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, news agency Wam reported on Thursday.

“We will provide immediate assistance to 200,000 children in Haiti through our international partners Care International, Save the Children, Plan International and UNICEF, currently on the ground in Haiti,” Dubai Cares CEO Tariq Al Gurg said.

More than a million school-going children are reported to have been affected. “The children are in great need of basic educational requirements and we will be working diligently to ensure that the needs of the primary education sector are addressed,“ he said.

“Children and youth from poor and vulnerable families are thought to be most in need of urgent assistance,”acccording to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance 2010 Haiti Earthquake Flash Appeal.

“Teachers and educational personnel have been killed and injured in the earthquake and suffered severe losses,” the UN relief coordinators said.

“In addition, it is estimated that a high number of young children — about 25 per cent of the affected population — are in immediate need of support,” the coordinators said.

“Education will play a major role, not only for ensuring children go back to school, but also for those out of school,” they said. According to available data, almost 50 per cent of Haiti’s school-aged children were out of school prior to the earthquake.

“Through the generous support of its partners on the ground, Dubai Cares has once again exhibited a coordinated and effective approach in its programme work and emergency response,” Navaraj Guwlani, Regional Director of CARE Middle East and Europe, said.

“Together, we are working on delivering a strategic and effective long-term programme that will address the needs of the children of Haiti to help rebuild their lives.”

Wam said Dubai Cares would continue to identify and explore areas in which it can help bring the Haitian children back to the protective environment of school.

An award-winning retail outlet of Al Futtaim Group Real Estate, Dubai Festival City has been on the forefront of fund-raising drives ever since it began operations in 2007. It recently joined hands with Red Crescent to provide relief to the flood hit victims in Manila last year.

“We are extremely saddened by the human suffering as a result of this natural calamity. This is our way of supporting the people of Haiti in their hour of need,” Tom Miles, Director, Shopping Centres, Al Futtaim Group Real Estate (AFGRE) said.


In Mercato, an Italian theatre group ‘Teatro di Mercato’ will present stage shows in celebrating of 15th edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival. A DSF sponsor for the eighth year in a row since its inauguration, Mercato’s Italian theatre will feature beautifully choreographed items like Italian ballet, opera, comedy and folklore which will take place in the mall throughout the festival.

Rana Naser, PR and Corporate Communications Manager of Mercato and Town Centre Jumeirah, saidt his year, the festival hopes to see bigger sales, bigger prizes and much more fun with shoppers having the opportunity to win in the spend-2-win promotion that entitles customers spending AED200 or more to enter a super prize draw. Mercato and its sister mall, Town Centre Jumeirah, have teamed up to offer a grand prize of a brand new luxury Jaguar XF.

“Shoppers can also participate in the Ultimate Wish List competition with absolutely no purchase necessary to win. By visiting the first floor stores in the Porto Vecchio Village and listing their favourite items, shoppers stand a chance to receive their ultimate wish list. Products worth Dh50,000 have been sponsored by tenants and there are four weekly prize draws. Winners will be notified each week. Draws for the Ultimate Wish List will take place on February 4, 11 and 18 and March 1 with the Grand Prize draw on March 1 too,” Rana said.

BurJuman Centre

International musicians flown in speciall for the winter celebration entertain shoppers in Burjuman Centre. From the food court and the Pavilion Gardens — the mall’s stunning dining retreat on the 3rd Level — stilt walkers, clowns and jugglers welcome kids and families daily with fun antics and tricks.

BurJuman has also taken the festive spirit a bit further by decorating its external facade and key indoor areas with fabulous festive lighting that beautifully depicts the winter theme. It is also giving shoppers the chance to win seven luxurious BMW cars by spending just Dh200. One BMW 5 series is given away every 10 days and the grand raffle draw where a BMW X5 is up for grabs will take place on January 24 this year.

Sharjah City Centre

The Sharjah City Centre gave out a Special Children’s Day treat to 50 children from Sharjah City of Humanitarian Services’ (SCHS) Center for Early Intervention on January 7.

The children from the Centre for Early Intervention, who are disabled, enjoyed an array of games, rides and educational activities at Magic Planet as part of their annual team building activity.

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