In the past two decades, the UAE has been one of the top contributors of humanitarian aid work in Afghanistan.
The decision to receive and house Afghan women and children, displaced by the recent developments in their country, builds on this noble legacy.
Since the Taliban took over the country, thousands of Afghans, fearing for their lives and the lives of their families have fled and taken refuge in many countries that agreed to receive them.
Therefore, and in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, the UAE under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has taken in hundreds of families, especially women and children fleeing the turmoil in Afghanistan.
The decision comes as a continuation of its two decades of humanitarian work in the war-ravaged country. And also in line with its universal message of goodness.
The move complements the efforts of the UAE since the beginning of the latest crisis in Afghanistan to support and facilitate evacuation flights for other countries and international organisations through the use of UAE airports and national carriers.
Nearly, 40,000 Afghans and foreign nationals have been evacuated to other countries with the help of the UAE.
This takes place against the backdrop of the UAE's provision of support and facilitation of flights. It helped a number of nations and non-governmental organisations to safely evacuate their officials and support staff, including Afghan nationals, through the UAE airports.
Let us no forget, the UAE is ranked by all global indices as a top foreign aid donor. Since its establishment in 1971, the UAE has donated more than Dh320 billion to humanitarian and development aid to the less fortunate states.
Since 2003, shortly after the US invasion of Afghanistan, the UAE through the Red Crescent and its armed forces made significant humanitarian contribution in that country.
The UAE began with the construction of a refugee camp that housed more than 10,000 refugees in the Chaman region of Pakistan and supplied it with all essential commodities and a modern hospital. This followed the Sheikh Zayed housing project for 200 families with the necessary facilities such as a mosque, two schools and a medical centre.
The UAE has since built dozens of schools, at least 6 medical centres, a university that serves 6,500 students annually, at least 40 mosques, hundreds of wells among many other vital projects aimed at improving the lives of the Afghan people.
More recently, the construction of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan city, a massive residential housing project that consists of 3333 apartments in Kabul was completed.
The UAE armed forces, guided by the principle of helping brotherly people and providing safety and stability, have been extending its helping hand in Afghanistan for years.
Today, this noble legacy continues. Since the start of the current developments, the UAE made it clear that it will extend all necessary help to the Afghan people in these uncertain times. And that role will continue until Kabul regains calm and stability.
The UAE’s founding father, late Sheikh Zayed used to say that helping those in need is a duty. This principle has guided our foreign policy for decades.
For Afghanistan and others in need, the UAE is a friend indeed.