Abu Dhabi: The UAE foreign aid report which was recently launched by the UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid (Ocfa) has received international and local praise.
The report, which was the first in a series of annual reports, recently launched under the patronage and in the presence of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The report was prepared as per the directives of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and President of Ocfa.
The "UAE Foreign Aid - 2009" report came as a result of extensive collaboration among UAE donors, and marks the first major milestone for Ocfa in its efforts to document UAE foreign aid and gain recognition for the UAE as an important global donor.
Several officials praised the report and commended Ocfa for its efforts to document UAE foreign aid flows. They also acknowledged the commitment of the UAE's leadership to global humanitarian and development issues.
"I was extremely delighted to learn that over 90 countries across the globe have benefited last year from the billions in funds that were contributed by the UAE towards humanitarian, development and charity projects. It is a great thing that, finally, an annual report that details the activities of UAE-based donors has been published. This will help gain international recognition for the UAE's immense global humanitarian effort," Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade said. Sir John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief UN Coordinator, said: "The report represents a major step in the UAE's approach to international development assistance and humanitarian action. I hope that all members of the humanitarian community will read the report, which says much about the great potential of new and emerging donors, not just to participate in, but also to shape the humanitarian system for the future." The report shows that the UAE contributed Dh8.93 billion to humanitarian, development and charity projects in more than 90 countries across the globe.
The single biggest recipient of aid was Yemen, where UAE donors contributed a total of Dh2.84 billion in assistance. Other recipients included: Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Palestinian Territories.
The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development was the largest UAE donor, contributing Dh4.95 billion in grants and loans, or more than half of total aid, followed by the government, which includes government ministries, departments and agencies active in the field of foreign assistance, which gave Dh3.06 billion.