Call for innovation in charity products.
It has become inevitable for all those concerned to constantly develop and market more innovative and sustainable endowment products to meet the changing needs of the society, recommended the third 'Dubai International Conference for Awqaf (DICA) which concluded on Monday in Dubai.
Creating a special fund for Awqaf (Endowment) to ensure the availability of funds when needed, and considering the Western Model in endowment partnerships were also called for.
Hussain Ahmad Al Qemzi, Chairman of Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF), told Khaleej Times that it has become indispensable for Awqaf 'springs' and sources to be diversified. "We need to develop public awareness about the significant role of endowment," he said.
Over 1,000 regional and international endowment experts at the two-day event underscored that it is necessary to abide by the wishes of the donor. "All Awqaf establishments must never ignore endowers' instructions in terms of the beneficiaries of the money or property donated. We may however, enlighten them about more effective and needed Awqaf destinations," he explained.
The attendees coming from 20 countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the United States, Canada, Austria and New Zealand, have also agreed that all relevant religious, legal, administrative and financial regulations must be observed.
"Awqaf foundations are not immune to regular risks attached to investing and financial institutions, and hence must abide by transparent and strict rules," said Tayeb Al Rais, Secretary-General, AMAF.
The conference has further called for strategic partnerships among none-profitable charitable and relief organisations in view of the global practices, particularly the Western ones.
"There is also an urgent need to establish a special fund to support all types of endowment and pump more funds from the Awqaf revenues into other sources with low returns in an integrated manner," he said.
"We also need to adopt more convenient, advanced and technological means and techniques to attract more endowments for the good of the society," Al Rais added.
The convention, aimed to enhance community services provided by endowment institutions in the region and streamline endowment funding, has seen 22 workshops and participants from 50 local and international bodies.
The conference was held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the Dubai Executive Council.
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