Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation, announced the UAE's pledge of AED18.4 million (US$5 million) in support of refugees in Uganda, according to the directives of the country's judicious leadership.
This came during the first "Refugee Solidarity Summit," attended by President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, a number of African heads of state, and ministers from donor countries. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was also there.
In her statement at the summit, the UAE minister said, "The convening of this summit comes under extremely difficult humanitarian conditions in Africa, where the number of refugees and displaced persons has increased, and their hopes for a speedy return to their countries and regions have dissipated.
This calls for concerted international efforts to accelerate the end of various crises and redouble humanitarian efforts and relief to support the displaced persons and refugees wherever they are."
She added that the refugee crisis in the world in general and Uganda in particular called for our participation in this summit. "We aspire to come out with recommendations and pledges that help contribute to alleviating the suffering of refugees and their host countries," the UAE official said, stressing that hosting of refugees "is a moral obligation to the countries, which the refugees resort to.
It is also an obligation on the international community to stand by and support these States as much as possible, and to address the roots of crises and conflicts that have led to the displacement or asylum.
Al-Hashemi reiterated the UAE's condemnation of all terrorist operations and proxies who target people, forcing them to flee and resorting to other countries or attracting refugees to join terrorist groups.
She praised Saudi Arabia's role in combating the terrorism and extremism, its role in hosting the Islamic and American Summit in Riyadh and the launch of the Global Centre for Combating Extreme Ideology.
Al Hashemi expressed the UAE's deep concern over the plight of refugees around the world, adding that "it is inconceivable to place any person away from their land and homeland by means of involuntary choices."
The UAE has sought to contribute to alleviating the suffering of refugees around the world and supporting the host countries, as well as working with the international community to support stability and prosperity, she said.
On the sidelines of the summit, Al Hashemi held several meetings with the heads of the participating countries. She held a meeting with the Presidents of Uganda, Somalia, Zambia and Gabon. They discussed enhancing of joint cooperation and the humanitarian efforts of the UAE in Somalia.
She also held a meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament of Equatorial Guinea and the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs. Bilateral relations and cooperation regarding the humanitarian response were discussed.
The UAE delegation included Sultan Mohammed Al Shamsi, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development Affairs, Abdullah Mohammed Al Takkawi, UAE Ambassador to Uganda, and Mohammed Al Muhairi, Director of African Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.