Abu Dhabi: The UAE will celebrate the annual Zayed Humanitarian Work Day on 19th Ramadan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced.
The day will be celebrated in memory of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The Zayed Humanitarian Work Day is a milestone in the history of the UAE, as well as an occasion to remember the humanitarian achievements of the UAE's diplomacy and its assistance to the people of other countries.
Shaikh Zayed is a symbol of humanitarian giving, as his initiatives served the whole of humanity and reinforced the UAE's role as a global model to follow of humanitarian and development work.
Shaikh Zayed loved charity work and prioritised humanitarian and charity projects. "We believe that we should support our friends and brothers with the wealth that Allah Almighty gave us," Shaikh Zayed once said.
After the establishment of the UAE, the scope of his charity work widened to include the entire world, and the value his humanitarian and development aid, from 1971 to 2004, amounted to Dh90.5 billion, which benefitted 117 countries, according to a previous report issued by the ministry.
The UAE provides humanitarian aid to many countries, without discrimination based on the political values of beneficiary countries, as well as on location, race, colour or religion.
The UAE is continuing to follow Shaikh Zayed's legacy of giving, under the leadership of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
"We are following in the footsteps of the father, the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to provide humanitarian and development aid, which is a key component of the UAE's foreign policy. The country will continue following its cultural approach in its relations with other countries, and call for justice for the oppressed, and build bridges of love and cooperation between various people, to achieve peace and prosperity," said His Highness Shaikh Khalifa.
By implementing this vision and the values of Shaikh Zayed, the UAE, under the leadership of His Highness Shaikh Khalifa, has accomplished many humanitarian achievements and occupied the first position as the largest donor of foreign aid in the world in 2017, according to recent statistics from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
In 2017, the total value of official development aid expenses provided by the UAE amounted to Dh19.32 billion (US$5.26 billion), an 18.1 per cent growth compared to 2016.
Over half of this aid, or 54 per cent, came in the form of non-refunded grants, which supported the development plans of beneficiary countries.
Over 94 per cent of the UAE's official developmental assistance in 2017 was valued at Dh18.3 billion while 68 per cent of this assistance, or Dh12.38 billion, supported public programmes and assisted the governments of beneficiary countries, which included Yemen, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, the Palestinian Authority and Serbia, to meet their public expenditure and maintain their balance of payments, as well as to strengthen their financial stability and investment environment and serve their other development goals and plans.
The UAE's assistance also helped to fund infrastructure projects in many developing countries, through the launch of urban development, transport infrastructure, health, education and renewable energy programmes.
Despite its increasing regional humanitarian assistance, the UAE is continuing to support international humanitarian causes and keeping pace with events and crises.
These humanitarian accomplishments coincide with the UAE's celebration of the Shaikh Zayed's Centennial and the declaration of 2018 as the Year of Zayed while highlighting its efforts to work according to a clear vision and plan, with the aim of improving the outcomes of its assistance, easing the humanitarian conditions in beneficiary countries, and developing fragile and weak communities, through launching projects that comply with the country's sustainable developmental goals and the International Agenda 2030, which focus on combating hunger and poverty and empowering women and girls.
UAE humanitarian assistance to Yemen
From April 2015 to April 2018, the UAE offered aid to Yemen worth Dh13.82 billion ($3.76 billion) and assisted over 13.8 million Yemenis, including 5.3 million children.
This assistance is part of the UAE's humanitarian and developmental response to the current crisis, and its efforts to assist Yemen in overcoming its ordeal, supporting its stability, and preserving its unity.
Over a quarter of the value of the UAE's aid was offered to all parts of Yemen, with the aim of supporting the country's long-term needs, through funding various sectors, supporting public programmes, providing energy, transport and storage services, achieving government, civil society, judicial and legal development, and promoting health and education.
The UAE assistance also supported 12 Yemeni governorates by restoring their key infrastructure, such as the airports in Aden, Riyan and Socotra, as well as the seaports in Aden, Mukalla, Socotra and Mocha.
The UAE's assistance has also helped to rebuild and rehabilitate 218 schools, provide over 232,000 tonnes of food aid to around 10,000 daily beneficiaries, maintain 46 hospitals and health centres, manage 12 electricity plants that provide 635 megawatts of energy, restore nine water plants and networks containing 80 pumps, rehabilitate four sewage treatment plants, construct 250 water dams, provide polio and measles vaccinations to over 488,000 children, deliver 74 ambulances and over 500 police vehicles to support local security organisations, as well as 70 buses to support the education sector, and rehabilitate 19 police stations.
The UAE's assistance aims to support the "UN Yemen: Humanitarian Response Plan 2018," and the UAE pledged $500 million to respond to the "UN Plan YHRP 2018" in Yemen, of which $465 million, or 93 percent, has been spent.
The UAE also pledged a sum of $543 million to multilateral organisations working in Yemen, which include $500 to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, $23.7 million to the World Health Organisation, WHO, $10 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, $6 million to the United Nations World Food Programme, and $ 2 million to the United Nations Children's Fund.
The UAE's foreign aid has assisted 188 countries, through effective global initiatives, international partnerships and humanitarian services.