Princess Haya Bint al Hussein has committed US$500,000 to Operation Save the Children Foundation, as her contribution to its first ever fundraising gala dinner, organised to raise funds for the expansion of the pediatric and maternity wards of the Serekunda General Hospital.
The event was hosted under the distinguished patronage of Her Royal Highness, spouse of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Dubai, who shared the same passion for humanitarian work with Her Excellency the First Lady of the Islamic Republic of the Gambia, Madam Zineb Jammeh.
The OSCF is a non-profit organisation that seeks to forge partnership with all organisations and institutions that have the promotion of the welfare of women and children as their main concern. It was initiated by His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh, the President of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia and Chief Patron of the organisation.
The programmes of the Foundation since establishment have been formulated to enhance the realisation of the objectives of the government policies in the health, education, gender and social welfare sectors that are directed towards the welfare of children, women and other vulnerable groups; such as orphans, persons with disabilities and people living with HIV/AIDS.
Brief profile of Princess Haya
Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al-Hussein is the first Arab and first woman ever to become Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations World Food Programme. She was appointed the UN Messenger of Peace in 2007 by Ban Ki-moon.
Princess Haya founded Tikyet Um Ali (TUA), the first Arab NGO dedicated to overcoming local hunger, in her native Jordan, which provides food assistance and employment opportunities to thousands of poor families. In November 2012, Tkiyet Um Ali announced a campaign to quadruple the number of its beneficiaries to reach 20,000 families living under the food poverty line, aiming to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals on hunger by 2015.
She is also the chair of Dubai’s International Humanitarian City which is the world’s largest operational centre for the delivery of aid, both in emergencies and for long-term development. Ten UN agencies and nearly 40 non-government organisations are members of the IHC which has supported relief efforts all over the globe, including for Syrian refugees affected by civil war, for East Africans during the last drought, in Pakistan during the 2009 floods, and to Afghanistan and Yemen. The IHC has also hosted UN and NGO staff evacuated during emergencies and civil unrest.
She was a founding member of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Global Humanitarian Forum based in Geneva, and writes editorials and articles on hunger, nutrition and the UN Millennium Development Goals. In August 2012, she supported the 2012 United Nations’ World Humanitarian Day in Dubai. Under Her patronage, Dubai hosted the Global Meeting of the World Food Programme for 2012 and is increasingly a center for United Nations and regional meetings on development and humanitarian aid.
Relief and charitable programmes in Jordan have also benefitted from the support of the princess’s consort, Sheikh Mohammed, specifically the King Hussein Cancer Foundation, the Haya Cultural Centre and the ‘Reading Nation’ campaign. She is a member of the Honorary Board of the International Paralympic Committee.
by Musa Ndow