UAE’s foreign aid soars to Dh7.74 billion in 2011
ABU DHABI The UAE disbursed a total of Dh7.74 billion of foreign aid benefiting 128 countries across the world and committed another 674.9 million in 2011, according to a report released on Saturday by the Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid (OCFA). The figures show a significant increase in the total amount of disbursements over the previous two years.
During an event held to announce the aid report, Shaikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and President of the OCFA, praised the visionary leadership of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; and their continuous support to foreign aid programmes.
UAE Foreign Aid 2011, the third annual report on the UAE’s humanitarian, development and charitable assistance to other countries, draws data from 34 UAE donor organisations, including the UAE government, foundations, the private sector and NGOs.
Speaking about the report, Shaikh Hamdan bin Zayed said: “Our development initiatives in countries across the world have played a meaningful role in the creation of valuable infrastructure, including roads, hospitals, schools and water supply systems, to promote inclusive progress for all the citizens of the countries where we have supported projects. Supporting development is not only about helping fund new infrastructure, it is also about contributing to individual wellbeing and advancement.”
Shaikh Hamdan praised the efforts made by the UAE donor organisations for the continuous assistance they offer to help the most neglected members of society by providing shelter, food, and education to orphaned and deprived children to help them strive for a better life, and the efforts made by the people of the UAE whose generosity and concern for the welfare of those less fortunate have helped confirm the nation’s commitment to its aid initiatives around the world.
UAE donor organisations have collectively disbursed Dh7.74 billion in 2011 towards building schools and hospitals, roads and bridges, supporting extensive immunisation programmes, providing much-needed humanitarian relief to regions that suffered devastating natural disasters and conflict. The individual countries receiving the most aid were the Sultanate of Oman with Dh3.68 billion, Jordan with Dh757.5 million, and Kazakhstan with Dh315.9 million.
The UAE Government was again the largest donor, giving Dh5.97 billion, more than 77 per cent of total aid, followed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), which disbursed Dh782.3 million. Dh6.86 billion was disbursed for development projects, an increase of 210.2 per cent over the figure for 2010.
The UAE also responded generously to humanitarian crises, dispatching coordinated UAE Relief Teams to contribute to international efforts in assisting those displaced by the fighting in Libya, the victims of the famine in the Horn of Africa, and thousands of people affected by floods in Pakistan. Overall, Dh625.3 million was spent on humanitarian aid in 2011, an increase of 54.2 per cent over the figure for 2010. A total of Dh253.1 million was devoted to charitable projects, an increase of 36.9 per cent over 2010.
The report also highlights the particular national character of the UAE’s aid, with features about the programmes of assistance to orphan children, and the charitable programmes of several donors which support the religious and cultural ties between the peoples of the UAE and other countries.
By transmitting information to international bodies such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the UN Financial Tracking Service, UAE Foreign Aid 2011 will help to further strengthen the UAE’s ties with the international aid community and enhance the country’s profile as a major global donor in the international aid arena.
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