The UAE has been named the world's largest donor of development assistance in proportion to its gross national income for the fifth year running, according to the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development.
The UAE exceeded the United Nations’ target of 0.7 percent official development assistance in proportion to its GNI ratio by donating AED19.32 billion, a growth of 18.1 percent over 2016, representing 1.31 percent of its GNI for official development assistance in 2017, .
Up to 54 percent of the value of the aid is non refundable grants that are aimed at supporting the developmental plans of the beneficiaries, which totalled 147 countries, 40 of which are among the least developed in different world continents.
Asia got AED8.28 billion, or 43 percent of the development aid, followed by Africa which got AED5.44 billion or 28 percent of the support. Yemen got the lion's share of aid in Asia, receiving AED2.97 billion, which accounts for around one third of the aid channeled to the Asian nations.
More than 94 percent of the support is development aid worth AED18.3 billion, 68 percent of which has been channeled to public aid programmes to help the beneficiaries maintain their balances of payments, ensure financial stability and strengthen infrastructure enterprises, in areas of transportation, health, education and renewable energy.
H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, spoke of the UAE’s legacy of supporting international development efforts and responding to global crises. He credited the country's leadership for its generous contributions to all international development arenas.
He noted that the UAE has been since its establishment contributing to supporting international sustainable development efforts and humanitarian response to global crises and disasters.
He added that this was based on the humanitarian philosophy of the UAE’s wise leadership, and generous contributions in the past decades to all international development arenas.
The UAE support secured, he said, the lives of millions of people around the world, establishing international peace and security, creating better opportunities and a brighter future for people in developing countries.
The vision and aspirations of our wise leadership to support and assist needy people and countries have established the UAE’s stature as the leading international donor of official development aid and its first place internationally in 2017, after achieving this position for last five years.
For her part, Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, said, the vision and aspirations of "our wise leadership to support and assist needy people and countries have established the UAE’s stature as the world's leading international donor of official development aid for five years in a row.
"This accomplishment confirms that the UAE is increasing its humanitarian support and response and is playing an effective role in achieving the sustainable development goals of its partner countries, as well as improving the lives of people, in light of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to promote the values of helping the needy and the concept of giving, which were established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. It is no surprise that this accomplishment coincides with our celebration of the centennial of Sheikh Zayed and announcement that 2018 is the Year of Zayed."
She added that these accomplishments are a substantial proof that the UAE has clear visions and plans to improve the intended impact of its assistance, whether to ease the tough humanitarian conditions or to support fragile and weak communities, through projects that comply with the country’s sustainable developmental goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which focuses on clear and specific issues, such as combatting hunger and poverty and empowering women and girls.
A key feature of the UAE’s foreign assistance policy is its goal to achieve the sustainable development of countries that receive UAE aid, which will help ensure global peace and prosperity, the minister noted.