Marking the 30th anniversary of the partnership between the UAE and The Carter Center

27 January 2021
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, has announced renewed financial support of $10M to the Carter Center, following the 30th anniversary of the organization’s partnership with the UAE. The collaboration will continue to work towards global health initiatives and the eradication of the NTD Guinea worm disease. The announcement was made in the lead-up to the second annual World NTD Day on January 30th, 2021, which aims to raise global awareness for the urgent need to end NTDs.

The partnership was originally initiated by a historic meeting when the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan invited the former US President Jimmy Carter to the UAE for the first time. During the meeting, President Carter brought up his initiative to eradicate a parasitic disease that was causing devastation across large parts of Africa. The late Sheikh Zayed responded with a substantial donation to the Carter Center, which began a decades-long commitment by Abu Dhabi’s ruling family to disease eradication.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi said, “We are privileged to continue the legacy of the founder of our nation His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in our work with The Carter Center to eradicate Guinea worm disease. I thank former President Carter for our decades-long partnership and his unwavering commitment to ending a disease that affects the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.”

His Highness the Crown Prince continued, “In the United Arab Emirates we have seen first-hand the vital link between health and prosperity, and we remain steadfast in our vision of a world where every person deserves to live a healthy, dignified life.”

Guinea worm disease eradication is closer than ever. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Carter Center reported that the number of human Guinea worm cases was cut in half to just 27* in 2020 compared to the previous year (*provisional). The Carter Center and its partners have reduced the incidence of Guinea worm disease by 99.99% (from approximately 3.5 million cases annually in 1986). Now this NTD is on track to be the first human disease eradicated since smallpox, and the first disease to be eradicated without the use of vaccines or drugs.

“Starting with my good friend Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and today continued through the generosity of his son, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates has been a staunch ally in the battle against Guinea worm and other neglected tropical diseases,” said President Jimmy Carter, who, with former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, founded The Carter Center in 1982. “Together, the UAE and The Carter Center have formed a strong partnership that has transcended generations.”

For more than three decades, the Center has been a leader in the eradication and elimination of NTDs, and today focuses on five NTDs (Guinea worm, trachoma, river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, and schistosomiasis), malaria, and mental health in more than a dozen countries.

A virtual event marking the 30th anniversary of the partnership between The Carter Center and the UAE will be held on January 27. It will feature UAE Ambassador to the United States His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba; Chair of The Carter Center Board of Trustees Jason Carter; CEO of The Carter Center; and the CEO of the Global Institute for Disease Elimination Simon Bland.

The ongoing partnership with The Carter Center represents a part of the UAE’s larger, decades-long commitment towards global health and overcoming some of the world’s most deadly and debilitating diseases including malaria, polio and NTDs. The country’s commitment to disease elimination is focused on keeping preventable diseases at the top of the political agenda, maintaining progress, raising funding levels, and working closely with global partners and multilateral initiatives to increase impact.

Additionally, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, has donated more than $250 million USD since 2010 to efforts to eliminate preventable infectious diseases.

Reaching the Last Mile

Reaching the Last Mile (RLM) is a portfolio of global health programs working towards disease elimination that is driven by the personal commitment of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. The Initiative provides treatment and preventative care in communities that lack access to quality health services, with a specific focus on reaching the last mile of disease elimination. RLM’s mission represents His Highness’s dedication to ending preventable diseases that affect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities and helping millions of children and adults live healthy, dignified lives., @RLMGlobalHealth

The Carter Center

Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.


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