$27.22 million will be spent over the next three years to support the education of refugee students in the UAE, Lebanon and Jordan
Approximately 6,500 students have been enrolled into schools in the UAE, Jordan and Lebanon with the help of the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education.
In June – on the occasion of World Refugee Day – Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Al Ghurair announced the launch of the fund, a three-year, AED 100 million ($27.22 million) initiative designed to finance and support the education of refugee youth displaced by wars and disasters locates and currently located in Jordan, Lebanon and UAE.
Speaking to Arabian Business, Al Ghurair said that during the first phase - in which AED 45 million ($12.25 million) was distributed – 6,500 students were put into school in all three target countries.
“I didn’t believe we could deliver that many in the first year. The second year is always easier,” he said. “We’re exceeding our internal expectations.”
Over the next three years, the fund has a target of financing and helping 20,000 students and is working with organisations including UNICEF and the UNHCR.
In the UAE, Al Ghurair added, the fund has been working with the Emirates Red Crescent to identify young residents who have been affected by war.
“We have Yemenis, we have Somalis, we have Syrians, Palestinians who will take advantage of this programme and we’ll put them through to complete their schooling,” he said.
Al Ghurair added that he believes that more UAE businessmen should promote their philanthropy to help encourage others.
“In the past, people in our culture always kept philanthropy a private matter. We always say that whatever your right hand gives, your left hand should not know about,” he said. “But I don’t agree with that. We need to make an impact. We need to scale up.”