Following is a letter to the New York Times written by Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the US, addressing the UAE commitment to aiding refugees from the Middle East, including Syria.
To the Editor: Re: Wealthy Gulf Nations Are Criticized for Tepid Response to Migration Crisis
The Syrian refugee challenge is a global tragedy, and it requires a global response.
Along with countries in Europe and the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has undertaken significant measures to help alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.
Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, the UAE has welcomed more than 100,000 Syrians, joining 140,000 already residing in the Emirates.
In 2011, the UAE was one of the first countries to respond to the growing humanitarian crisis and has provided more than $530 million in direct aid, mainly through the Syria Recovery Trust Fund. Since January, the Emirates distributed an additional $44 million as part of a new aid commitment of $100 million.
The UAE is funding the Mrajeeb Al Fhood refugee camp in Jordan, home to more than 4,000 Syrian refugees, and has contributed $72 million more to support refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.
The UAE is taking action toward peace and stability in Syria, including through its support for the Global Coalition Against Daesh and its role as a co-leader for the Coalition Working Groups on Stabilisation and Strategic Communications. The Emirates’ per capita commitment to the Syrian crisis exceeds virtually every other country’s participation.
Yousef Al Otaiba
Ambassador, United Arab Emirates