UAE launches 5-year foreign aid strategy
The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation today launched a five-year plan for the country’s foreign aid strategy.
Under the strategy, covering 2017-2021, the UAE will focus on three key pillars - women’s empowerment and protection, transport and urban infrastructure, and technical co-operation.
The plan was launched under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, at a ceremony held at the Ministry in the presence of Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Co-operation, senior officials from the Ministry and other government departments, representatives of the Ministry’s partners from the private sector, civil society organisations and the UAE donors.
Al Hashemi also gave a presentation in which she highlighted the UAE’s foreign aid policy, its vision and elements, as well as the main goals of combating poverty and contributing towards sustainable development in recipient countries.
She underlined the role of foreign aid in fulfilling the UAE Vision 2021, launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and highlighted their contribution towards enhancing the UAE’s global stature.
"The main goal of foreign aid offered by the UAE is to reduce poverty and improve quality of life in underprivileged communities, promote relations between the UAE and other states, including the recipient countries and other donor states, and encourage creation of economic relations with developing countries based on mutual interests," Minister Al Hashemi said.
Humanitarian aid accounts for a significant part of the UAE’s total foreign aid where the country responds to major crises through its charities and humanitarian agencies, as well as international organisations, she noted.
"The launch of the UAE foreign aid plan is an important occasion and comes as the culmination of years of serious work in which several government departments, the private sector and the civil society were involved," she added.
"The UAE provides foreign aid in response to the directives from President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, extending help to the needy people around the world. This is based on the UAE’s commitment to support the goals of sustainable development that the international community has agreed to achieve in the coming 15 years to eliminate poverty," Al Hashemi said.
"The UAE seeks to establish a new approach based on providing assistance through developmental projects that benefit the beneficiary countries. The wise UAE leadership has decided on a clear approach that does not link humanitarian aid with the policies of the beneficiary countries. This has earned the UAE high respect and appreciation globally," the Minister said.
She also noted that the UAE’s foreign aid aims to improve the lives of people, reduce poverty, eliminate hunger, support initiatives for protecting children and promote child welfare as well as build and support relations with partner countries.
"The overall goal is to bolster security, social peace and stability in all other countries that are in need of assistance, in the Middle East and North Africa in particular," she said.
According to Al Hashemi, the UAE will work on the principle of "regional partnerships for development" where aid programmes cover a wide range of activities in a number of sectors such as healthcare, education, water resources and renewable energy while creating and strengthening trade and investment.
Minister Al Hashemi also called for innovative approach to address global challenges and pursue constructive partnerships with the donors and international organisations to enhance the impact of this policy.