UAE adopts development approach in humanitarian work

On eve of World Humanitarian Day, Hamdan Bin Zayed says country is an important actor in aid work

Abu Dhabi: As the world celebrates the World Humanitarian Work, the UAE has maintained its global leadership as the largest donor of humanitarian and development assistance, which covered 147 countries in 2017.

For the fifth straight year, the UAE has been named the world’s largest donor of development assistance in proportion to its gross national income. The Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development bestowed the honour.

In total, the UAE donated Dh19.32 billion to 147 beneficiaries in 2017, exceeding the United Nations’ target of 0.7 per cent official development assistance in proportion to the country’s gross national income.

The UAE development aid in Asia last year accounted for 43 per cent (Dh8.28 billion) of the total foreign assistance, followed by Africa with 28 per cent of the total, or Dh5.44 billion. Of the total development assistance to the Asian continent, more than a third was allocated to Yemen (Dh2.97 billion) to support its citizens and help reestablish the security and stability of the country.

The UAE’s approach to providing relief assistance has seen a shift in direction. On top of carrying out relief operations across various countries, the UAE has incorporated sustainable development projects that assist beneficiary countries across multiple domains, including infrastructure works, the establishment of utility services, and construction of hospitals and schools.

Development projects by the UAE have been carried out across multiple countries including Yemen, Egypt and Pakistan, along with various other nations in the continents of Asia and Africa. These multi-sector projects are tailored to contribute to each country’s development plan and implemented in close collaboration with those countries’ governments.

To that end, the UAE has successfully established a new approach based on replacing the typical relief operations with the implementation of development projects that serve the interest of peoples. The UAE’s assistance included the construction of residences and hospitals, roads, power stations and drilling wells.

This has ensured the sustainability of basic resources and contributed to improving living conditions in the targeted countries where these efforts have been respected and appreciated in all international forums.

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), has affirmed that the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is moving forward in enhancing its approach to supporting international humanitarian principles via numerous development initiatives and ongoing support to victims of conflicts and disasters around the world.

Shaikh Hamdan said that the country plays a vital role in enhancing emergency response to humanitarian crises that plague many countries in the world.

In a statement on the occasion of the UN World Humanitarian Day, designated on the August 19 every year, Shaikh Hamdan reiterated the country’s humanitarian commitment in alleviating the suffering of people, pointing out that the UAE has become an important station in enhancing the international humanitarian work, thanks to the guidance of President Shaikh Khalifa and the support of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

He emphasised the UAE’s interest in strengthening its humanitarian efforts around the world as well as adopting initiatives that would make a difference in various countries by providing comprehensive humanitarian assistance to beneficiaries wherever and whenever they wish.

Shaikh Hamadan went on to say that World Humanitarian Day coincides with the Year of Zayed, which has witnessed many initiatives in the humanitarian and development fields.

— (With inputs from WAM)

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