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Abu Dhabi, UAE: The Ministry of International Cooperation and Development (Micad) said the UAE has provided AED174 billion in foreign aid to 178 countries and geographical areas between 1971-2014.
In a special report on the occasion of the UAE’s 44th National Day, the ministry said the country’s foreign aid was provided by governmental and non-governmental organisations and charitable and humanitarian institutions as part of generous initiatives carried out on the instructions of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, and President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, who continue the humanitarian legacy of the late founding father.
Around AED129 billion (74 per cent) of the UAE’s foreign aid came directly from government institutions, AED30.5 billion from the Abu Dhabi Development Fund, AED5.7 billion from Emirates Red Crescent and AED2.9 billion from Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, according to the report.
The report noted that the UAE ranked as the world’s most generous donor in 2013 and 2014 and became an international role model of relief and assistance of millions of people affected by natural and man-made disasters and crises.
The largest recipient of the UAE’s foreign aid, by continent, was Asia, with more than AED80 billion, followed by Africa with AED75.5 billion used in development projects such as the construction of housing complexes, roads, and bridges, as well as power generation and others The Micad report shows that that the largest part of aid is concentrated in the “government and civil society” sector (AED 80.6 billion), followed by the “public programs support” sector with AED 22.5 billion. Humanitarian and relief aid in emergency situations accounted for about AED8.5 billion.
The UAE donors supported children with about AED 2 billion in the past 44 years with a focus on development projects in sectors like infrastructure, health, education, as well as relief programmes.
The UAE is the largest donor to Yemen as it continues to play a pivotal role in responding to humanitarian crises in Yemen and promoting development, the report notes, citing data from the UN Financial Tracking Service (FTS).
The UAE aid to Yemen from 1971 to 2015 has amounted to AED 6.65 billion, the report notes.
The UAE foreign aid to Yemen last year amounted to about AED 1.3 billion (until the end of October) including AED 844.2 million in direct humanitarian aid and AED 494.7 million for planned infrastructure rehabilitation projects.
The UAE’s humanitarian aid to Yemen was conducted in four stages to promote reconstruction and rehabilitation infrastructure in the governorates of Aden, Aden, Lahj, Al Dhali, Abyan, Marib, Shabwa, Hadramout, Al Mahr, and Socotra Island, with a focus on electricity, food, health, water, sanitation, fuel, and transport.
The Micad report also noted that the UAE was at the forefront of countries which came to the aid of Syrians since 2012.
To date, and as part of its response to the crisis in Syria, the UAE provided AED2.14 billion (US$583 million) to help 1.5 million internally-displaced people and refugees in Syria and host countries including Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt.
The UAE’s aid for Syrian was conducted through the UN Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan, Syria Regional Refugee Response in neighboring countries like Jordan.
At the first, second, and third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria held in Kuwait, the UAE pledged US$460 million.
The UAE coordinates its aid for Syria with international organisations including the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
The UAE also established the UAE-funded Mrajib Al Fhood refugee camp and the UAE-Jordanian field hospital in Jordan, and collaborated with a number of countries, including the United Kingdom and Norway, to implement aid projects. It also set up the Emirati Red Crescent camp for Syrian refugees in northern Iraq.
In this context, the UAE granted around 100,000 visas for Syrians since the start of the crisis in Syria in 2011. About 242,000 Syrians currently reside in the UAE, where the majority were accommodated in schools and universities and found jobs.
The UAE continues to provide in-kind and financial assistance to support the Palestinian people and strengthen Palestinian institutions in the occupied territories, out of the commitment of the wise leadership to assert its absolute support for the reconstruction of Gaza and improving living conditions in the strip, and in Palestine in general.
During the meetings of the Cairo International Conference on Palestine held in October 2014, the UAE announced a pledge to donate about AED736 million (US$200 million) for reconstruction in Gaza.
According to the ministry’s report, the UAE has disbursed and allocated about US$76.34 million of the total pledge of US$200 million, while the remaining US$123.56 million has been distributed according to the commitments agreed upon with the UAE donor institutions and sides, the largest part of which is managed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Foundation.
The UAE funds allocated for the reconstruction of Gaza were divided over a period of three years, starting from 2015 until 2017, under a plan submitted by United Nations organizations and the Islamic Development Bank, and in line with the national plan for early recovery presented by the Palestinian government to the donor conference in Cairo.
The report notes that UAE assistance to Egypt is not new, and says the total value of the UAE’s aid to the Arab country between 1971-2014 in all humanitarian and development areas stands at AED 47.3 billion.
Micad’s report also shows that the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan implemented development and humanitarian projects worth US$320 million to address the effects of the devastating floods that struck the country in 2010, reconstruct infrastructure, and provide humanitarian aid to bolster solidarity with the people of Pakistan.
The total cost of projects carried out by the Project to Assist Pakistan over the first and second phases stood at US$320 million. The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation financed the bulk of the cost of these projects.
A second important initiative was launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to vaccinate millions of Pakistani children under the Health for All- Better Future programme.
The management of the Project to Assist Pakistan said that 86 million polio vaccinations were administered to the children of Pakistan in 53 areas in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the tribal Fateh Jang region as well as Balochistan and Sindh regions.
In addition, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, launched an initiative to provide US$120 million as a contribution from His Highness in support of the global effort to eradicate polio by 2018, with a special focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In 2011, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a strategic partnership that provided a total of US$100 million, divided equally between the two parties, for the purchase and delivery of vaccines for children in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The partnership resulted in the disbursement of US$34 million for the provision of 85 million oral polio vaccine shots to the children of Afghanistan and Pakistan, while US$66 million was allocated for the delivery of pneumococcal and pentavalent vaccines to Afghanistan. H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan also launched a campaign to vaccinate 20,000 Pakistani children against measles and polio in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where measles is the most widespread disease among Pakistani children, the report says, citing report by Unicef.
Micad’s report notes that 2.1 million cases of measles occur in Pakistan each year resulting in the death of about 21,000 children, since one third of children in Pakistan are not vaccinated against measles.
Consistent with the UAE?s leading role in the provision of humanitarian and development assistance, MICAD consulted with strategic partners to develop a policy and strategy for foreign aid.
The upcoming stage will include a set of priorities that UAE donors will focus on in terms of foreign aid, mainly areas and regions that require priority assistance and target sectors, as well as building effective partnerships in the field.
UAE foreign aid reports The UAE annual foreign aid report, which includes details about development, humanitarian, and charitable activities by the state since its release in June 2010, is the main reference for UAE and global decision-makers, donor institutions, and workers in the field of foreign aid. The report contributes to enhancing transparency and credibility, in addition to reinforcing the position of the state as a major international donor.
To this date, five foreign aid reports covering the years 2009 until 2013 have been released. The reports show the main recipients of foreign aid and the UAE entities operating in countries and similar sectors in order to coordinate with them. They also provide detailed information about programs and funds by donor agencies and institutions; a comprehensive analysis of UAE foreign aid in terms of geographical distribution and donor sectors and parties; about official development assistance approved by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); and other analyses, statistics, tables, and detailed maps.
On documenting data on foreign aid to support the of the strategic priorities set by the UAE to pursue an advanced international position in the field of foreign aid, the UAE Foreign Aid Coordination Office began to document foreign aid provided by the UAE in 2009 in coordination with the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and the UN Financial Tracking Service (FTS) based on international standards followed by both sides. Documentation helped in facilitating access to, and knowledge about UAE foreign aid data, and allowed comparison with other international donors.
DAC calculates the proportion of official development assistance against the gross national income each year to determine the UAE?s rank among the most giving states on the international scene. The Development Assistance Committee said that the UAE is the first non-member donor state that is carrying out comprehensive documentation of its foreign aid.
More than 45 UAE donor bodies carry out periodic documentation of their aid with Micad , based on the “standards and reference guide of the UAE foreign aid tracking system,” which is used as a basis for the collection and documentation of data on UAE foreign assistance. It was designed to be compatible with the work environment in the UAE foreign aid sector, as well as international documentation and registration standards, to be later documented at the OECD and FTS.
Micad developed a Foreign Aid Tracking Service (FATS), an electronic database for the collection and documentation of foreign assistance, including the UAE’s foreign aid data from 2009 to 2013, which is available on the ministry?s website: micad.gov.ae.
This service facilitates the process of data documentation, quality assurance, analysis, and dissemination of information. The service allows users to search the data published in foreign aid reports. This service was used for the first time in the collection of foreign aid data for the 2011 report. Work is underway to upload the 2014 data after its official publication, in addition to uploading historical data related to foreign aid since 1971.
© Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2015Dec 2015
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