Abu Dhabi: The UAE has had a presence in Afghanistan for eight years, and six UAE-funded medical clinics and a hospital have been built there.

Some of these are staffed by female Emirati doctors who attend to Afghan women and children.

The UAE continues to make a significant humanitarian contribution in Afghanistan, and has done so since 2003. In 2009, the UAE committed more than Dh1.26 billion in aid to Afghanistan, representing 14 per cent of the UAE's total foreign aid during 2009.

Although a number of UAE donors were active in Afghanistan, almost 73 per cent of assistance (Dh918.3 million) was in the form of grants administered by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. Most of the funds (Dh863.2 million) were allocated to construction. Some Dh26.8 million went towards infrastructure and services.

Through organisations such as the Red Crescent Authority, the generous donations made by UAE citizens and volunteers have contributed to the construction of 11 schools educating 300 pupils per day, six medical clinics which have treated 35,000 Afghan patients, a major hospital with an annual capacity of 7,000 patients, 38 mosques each providing a prayer service for over 300 people, a general public library, accommodation in Zayed City for 200 displaced families and 160 wells.

The UAE people have contributed $22 million for food, medicine and basic relief projects providing housing and shelter in Afghanistan.

In addition, the UAE Red Crescent Authority has invested $19 million in local projects, and the UAE government has dedicated $30 million to international reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.