In 2015, the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development (Micad) made a qualitative leap in its efforts to establish and strengthen the global presence of the UAE as the world's most generous country, by taking advantage of official efforts and coordinating with UAE donors and international missions to shape the humanitarian and honorable image of the UAE among nations.
According to statistical data announced yesterday relating to Micad, UAE has provided developmental, humanitarian and charitable aid amounting to Dh173 billion distributed across 21 sectors to 178 countries. This is for a 44-year period, 'Al Bayan' reports.
Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development and Chairman of the UAE Committee for the Coordination of Foreign Humanitarian Aid, said the successes, achieved in 2015 were a prelude to building an integrated sector, based on strategies and policies developed to maintain the country's leading humanitarian role.
She said the achievements are part of a humanitarian approach focussed on supporting the aspirations of peoples and extending a helping hand to the needy.
"This approach is a pillar of the UAE's foreign policy under the guidance of its wise leadership namely President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
It arises from the philosophy of the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan."
Sheikha Lubna added that the ministry has worked to consolidate its mission, which seeks to achieve development at the global level by directing the country’s public policies in this field; managing development and international assistance programmes and maximising their impact in various fields of development; and strengthening cooperation with local, regional, and international organisations and donors.
These efforts are based on the UAE’s vision to be a leader in development and international cooperation at the regional and international level.
Micad’s achievements in 2015 fall under the umbrella of its regulatory framework and are in line with the directives of the country’s leadership and the UAE Vision 2021.
In the area of UAE foreign aid, the ministry is involved in boosting international relations, and the establishing regional and global partnerships in various developmental fields.
Foreign aid policy and strategy
In the context of the UAE's leading role in humanitarian and development aid, and in consultation with its strategic partners, the ministry has developed a policy and a strategy for the country’s foreign aid programme.
In the next phase, UAE donors will focus on a number of priorities in terms of foreign aid, including regions that require priority aid and target sectors, and building effective partnerships in this area.
The UAE foreign aid policy, will help develop a comprehensive vision about the nature of the country's foreign aid during the next 10 years, along with the first draft of the foreign aid strategy and the communication strategy for the next five years.
UAE foreign aid reports
The annual UAE foreign report, released in June 2010, includes details on development, humanitarian, and charitable activities by the state, and is considered as the main reference for decision-makers, Emirati and international donor institutions, and researchers in the field of foreign aid. It also contributes towards enhancing transparency and credibility, in addition to enhancing the stature of the state as a major international donor.
In 2015, the ministry prepared more than 100 specialised reports for strategic partners and stakeholders, as well as 45 statistical reports about the state's response to humanitarian crises, including the Syrian and Yemeni crises.
Documenting foreign aid
In support of the strategic priorities set by the UAE, the UAE Office For Coordination of Foreign Aid, whose functions have been incorporated into the MICAD system, has begun the documentation of foreign aid provided by the UAE since 2009 with the committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Financial Tracking Service (FTS) provided by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), based on internationally-recognised standards adopted by the two sides.
The documentation contributed towards facilitating access to the UAE's foreign aid data allowing comparison with other international donors.
The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) calculates the percentage of official development assistance compared with the gross national income each year and determines the UAE's rank as one of the world's most generous.
According to the DAC, the UAE is the first non-member donor in the committee to conduct comprehensive documentation of foreign assistance.
Excellence and innovation
2015 also saw the launch of the first Micad Excellence Awards, which honoured outstanding employees from the ministry's various departments and sectors.
The event was part of the ministry's efforts that encourage the adoption of the concept of excellence as an effective tool and means to keep pace with the rapid advancements in the UAE, and to meet the country’s aspirations in implementing the highest standards of quality and excellence.
The Micad also launched in 2015 the UAE Innovation in Foreign Aid Award, which is aimed at expanding the scope of the implementation of innovative development and humanitarian response solutions, and encouraging all donors, as well as Emirati development, humanitarian and charitable institutions to present effective contributions to increase the impact of aid on the lives of beneficiaries, by providing innovative solutions that lead to the consolidation and unification of efforts in the relevant fields, while maintaining quality and efficiency at work.