x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

UAE continues to increase foreign aid commitment

Rises 10 places on global list of donors, giving $942m in 2012

ABU DHABI // The UAE was the 16th biggest donor of foreign aid worldwide last year, a report has revealed.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has the Emirates tied with Portugal for donating 0.27 per cent of its gross national income (GNI) for foreign assistance.

Although the United States donated $30.46 billion (Dh112bn) compared with the UAE's $942 million, the Emirates was still two places above the US, which had only given 0.19 per cent of its GNI.

The UAE was ranked in 20th place in 2011, up from 26th the previous year.

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, said the ranking demonstrated the clear vision of the country's leadership.

She added that the culture of assisting the poor was "deeply rooted in the UAE and its leadership" and greatly reinforced by the late President Sheikh Zayed since the establishment of the Federation.

Sheikha Lubna said the UAE was the only Arab country to register foreign aid data with the Development Assistance Commission as a sign of the country's commitment to international transparency standards for foreign aid.

The UAE Red Crescent, one of the country's vehicles for overseas aid, last year donated more than Dh357m abroad. Most of it was sent to countries struck by natural disasters.

A large portion of the organisation's donations - more than Dh42m - went towards helping Syrian refugees, which included building the largest field hospital for refugees at the Jordan-Syria border.

The UAE Red Crescent has helped more than 50 countries, including Australia, Jordan, Albania, Bahrain, Algeria, China, Iraq, the Philippines, the Maldives and Morocco, according to a report by Al Ittihad, The National's Arabic-language sister newspaper.

Larger-scale assistance went to Yemen, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, Chad, Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, Bosnia, Japan and Kazakhstan.

Sheikha Lubna said the UAE was particularly focusing on the world's poorest countries.