x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Sheikha Lubna to give all in new portfolio

In her new role as Minister of Development and International Co-operation, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi will have the task of boosting 'the UAE as a major donor and a key player in global human development'.

The UAE Red Crescent Authority distributes humanitarian food aid to in Madagascar after tropical cyclone ‘Haruna’. Wam
The UAE Red Crescent Authority distributes humanitarian food aid to in Madagascar after tropical cyclone ‘Haruna’. Wam

In her new role as Minister of Development and International Co-operation, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi will have the task of boosting "the UAE as a major donor and a key player in global human development".

The Foreign Aid Office now falls under her ministry, which will decide policy and priorities for development and international aid, and assess effectiveness of programmes.

In 2011, UAE foreign aid reached Dh7.74 billion.

Most went to programmes designed to meet the eight UN Millennium Development Goals, which include ending poverty and promoting universal education.

Last month the UAE pledged more than Dh1.1bn in aid to Syrian refugees, which it said would be administered directly by the Government rather than any other organisation, a task likely to be followed closely by Sheikha Lubna.

A minister since 2004 and the first woman to hold such a post in the UAE, Sheikha Lubna held the Foreign Trade portfolio since 2008, developing policies with the aim of protecting the UAE's interests.

Under her tenure total foreign trade has reached Dh498.9bn, with non-oil exports reaching Dh79.19bn in the first half of last year.

The World Trade Organisation's report for last year ranked the UAE among the 20 best business destinations worldwide, thanks to its open market strategy.

Sheikha Lubna has been honoured by several countries, including South Korea and Spain, for her role in enhancing their relationships with the UAE.

She was also recognised as the most powerful Arab woman and the world's 70th most powerful woman by Forbes magazine in 2010.

wissa@thenational.ae