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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 October 2018

UAE invests billions to help bring food and water to world's neediest

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development allocated Dh3.2bn to developing countries since 1971

Many of the projects are used to boost irrigation systems, such as this one in Jordan. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Fund for Development
Many of the projects are used to boost irrigation systems, such as this one in Jordan. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Fund for Development

The UAE has allocated billions of dirhams to help bring food and water to the world's most deserving communities.

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development on Wednesday said it had invested Dh3.2 billion in scores of agricultural projects since 1971. Egypt, Morocco and Jordan are only some of the countries to benefit.

The figure is seven per cent of the fund’s total financial assistance since it was set up more than four decades ago. The announcement was made to coincide with Arab Agriculture Day.

“ADFD has placed great importance on the agricultural sector since its inception more than 45 years ago,” said Mohammed Al Suwaidi, the fund’s director general.

The fund said the UN had identified the agricultural sector as being vital to achieving international sustainable development goals.

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These are 17 global goals set by the UN 18 years ago to be achieved by 2030. They focus on different areas such as poverty, hunger, water and energy. Aid from the UAE helped developing countries to meet their sustainable development objectives.

“The importance given to agricultural projects allows us to create safe and prosperous societies capable of achieving development in other sectors,” Mr Al Suwaidi said.

“As part of this, we need to step up concerted global efforts to develop more agricultural projects, reclaiming vast expanses of agricultural land and improving our irrigation systems.

“Doing so will allow us to support farmers and achieve food security for developing countries.”

Over the years, the fund has financed more than 20 agricultural and irrigation projects that have improved the lives of millions of people.

These include a valley development project in Egypt, irrigation systems in western Morocco and rural development programmes in Tunisia.

The fund also provides loans at favourable rates to countries, which then use them to finance projects on everything from energy to irrigation.

“Our funding efforts in this regard are focused on projects that significantly improve people’s livelihood and fulfil their daily needs in terms of food and water, allowing us to eradicate poverty and create jobs for the population in the developing world,” Mr Al Suwaidi.

The fund says it wants to increase the number of beneficiary countries to 90 in the next five years.

It finances projects in Eastern and Central Africa, as well as South, Central and northern Asia.

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