In spite of the impact of the financial and economic crisis on the economies and development projects in the region, the UAE continued its humanitarian, relief and development assistance programmes in many countries. This was conducted either directly by the Government and its affiliated organisations or through the donor groups and the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Assistance.
In addition, the UAE continued its contributions to the programmes of regional agencies and international organisations aimed at alleviating the suffering of several countries from high food prices, poverty, illiteracy and the spread of diseases.
The fact that the UAE is among the key donors and contributors to UN programmes and activities was acknowledged by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon during a visit to the UAE in February 2009. The UN Chief praised the UAE’s humanitarian stance and its efforts in alleviating the sufferings of people in various parts of the world during natural disasters and human conflicts.
As part of its humanitarian aid policy, the UAE has contributed to building hospitals and townships as well as assisting in relief operations in strife-torn Iraq, Palestinian territories and Lebanon. Further, organizations like the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), Red Crescent Authority (RCA), Zayed Foundation for Charitable and Humanitarian Aid, Khalifa bin Zayed Charity Foundation, Sheikha Fatima bin Mubarak Fund for Refugee Women, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and the Sharjah Charity Association and Humanitarian Foundation provide billions of dollars to support disaster- and drought-stricken areas. In addition, a number of private humanitarian efforts have also been undertaken.