The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has identified UAE as the 14th most generous donor country in the world in 2009, with regard to the foreign aid provided as a proportion of gross national income (GNI).
The UAE also ranked first among countries that are not members of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC). By this measure, the UAE is ranked above some of the world's most prominent donor countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada and Japan, says UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid in a statement released on Thursday.
The DAC currently has 24 members, including the USA and Canada, most of the countries of Western Europe, as well as Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and the European Commission.
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and President of UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid (OCFA), said: "I am delighted to learn that, according to statistics issued by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in 2009 the UAE was first in the rankings of Official Development Assistance (ODA) as a proportion of gross national income (GNI) among donor countries that are not members of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC). This achievement is testimony of the generous policies of the country's 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 Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, as well as the compassionate spirit of the people of the UAE.
"This accomplishment comes as a result of the hard work and cooperation between OCFA and UAE donor organizations on one side, as well as between OCFA and OECD", he added.
"This achievement proves that the UAE foreign aid sector, under the guidance of our country's leadership, is being recognized as an important international donor, one committed to helping countries and communities in need," Sheikh Hamdan concluded.
In an Issue Brief, the DAC Secretariat commended OCFA's efforts in comprehensively documenting the UAE's foreign aid flows. It expressed the hope that all major providers of development cooperation will begin to report their aid flows as the UAE has done.
Dr. Saeed Al Shamsi, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs for International Organizations, Foreign and Humanitarian Aid, Studies and Research said: "The fact that, in 2009, the UAE had the highest ratio of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Gross National Income (GNI) of any country outside the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) is a tribute to the generosity of the country's leadership. It also demonstrates the importance of recording our foreign aid flows with the OECD in a comprehensive and transparent way."
OCFA was set up by UAE Cabinet decree no. 36 for the year 2008 and has been operational since early 2009 to help UAE foreign aid donors improve delivery of humanitarian and development programmes worldwide. With Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, presiding as the office's President.
OCFA is assessing foreign aid donor needs; providing appropriate training programmes and knowledge transfers; and, building and strengthening ties between the UAE foreign aid sector and the international aid community by providing multiple platforms that bring international and local aid organizations together.