Tue 28-05-2019 13:56 PM
By Binsal AbdulKader
ABU DHABI, 28th May, 2019 (WAM) -- As the UAE’s campaign to support Rohingya refugees raised around AED50 million during the first three days, the authorities are trying to spread its message to more people with the support of social media influencers.
The latest move is inspired by the UAE’s past experience of receiving unexpected support of people from distant lands since the advent of technological tools, a senior official told WAM.
"Since we started using the latest technological tools such as online payment system and social media a few years ago, people from distant foreign lands have been donating money (through electronic money transfer) and some social media influencers abroad have been voluntarily promoting our humanitarian campaigns," said Fahad Abdulrahman bin Sultan, Deputy Secretary-General for International Aid at the Emirates Red Crescent.
"This underscored the UAE’s global reputation and credibility as an honest and efficient organiser of relief programmes and we are trying to utilise that experience (by engaging social media influencers to widen the campaign's ambit)."
He spoke to WAM on the sidelines of an event organised by the National Media Council at Sky News Arabia in Abu Dhabi on Sunday night to brief social media influencers about the campaign titled ‘UAE for Rohingya Women and Children,' which was launched on Friday by the ERC, along with 20 UAE charities.
"Overwhelming response from residents across the country has inspired us to reach out to more people," he said.
"Social media is a suitable platform to connect with people of all age groups and we started engaging social media influencers since 2015. However, it was to a limited extent only because we did not want to engage unauthorised people," he added.
Since the National Media Council started registering social media influencers, the ERC has been actively engaging those registered people. "The credibility of the messenger is very important," Bin Sultan said.
The donations will fund sustainable relief projects offering water, food, health services, shelter and education for the most needy among more than one million Rohingya refugees, especially 720,000 children, 240,000 women, and 48,000 elderly people.