Directives given by the wise leadership led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for supporting youth projects in developing countries and developing their capacities, sprang out of a philosophy, deep understanding and far-sighted vision of the vital role that youth can play in advancing the development strategies in their countries, said Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (Micad).
''Young generations constitute the kernel of the development process and progress of communities. They are tools to build the future, and have the buoyant spirit to work and produce if they were provided opportunities and resources,'' said Sheikha Lubna, also head of the UAE Committee for Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid.
In an address to mark the International Youth Day, which falls tomorrow, Wednesday 12th August, Sheikha Lubna said: “The philosophy of the UAE leadership in supporting youth projects is endurable and lies at the heart of the UAE foreign aid programmes. It is well-studied, diversified and includes systematic plans for fostering aspirations of the developing countries.”
The UAE has been observing the day since 1999 with the aim of supporting sustainable development efforts by harnessing youth energies and increasing their contributions to national development. The theme of the International Youth Day, 12 August 2015, is "Youth Civic Engagement." The engagement and participation of youth is essential to achieve sustainable human development.
She indicated that the value of the UAE aid channelled into initiatives to support and qualify youth capacities in developing nations from 2009 to 2014 stood at Dh541 million.
A Micad report showed that social assistance to youth in these countries claimed the lion's share with Dh333 million, followed by education aid at Dh187 million.
The report noted that the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation emerged as the largest national donor, giving Dh181.3 million, followed by government agencies at Dh124.2 million and then the Emirates Red Crescent at Dh74 million.
Continent-wise, the report said the UAE aid for youth empowerment in developing nations in Asia reached Dh315 million and Dh184 million in Africa.