The UAE has provided AED32.34 billion (US$8.8 billion) in foreign aid during 2015, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
In its report titled 'UAE's Foreign Aid in 2015', issued on Saturday, the ministry said that the provision of foreign aid in terms of humanitarian and development support to various friendly countries is in line with the country's approach since its establishment.
The UAE has increased its foreign aid in various humanitarian, charitable and developmental forms to ensure an improvement in the living standards of individuals and the needy segments regardless of their race, identity, language or religion, given the country's firm belief in the role aid plays to enhance international peace and stability through the eradication of poverty.
''The UAE considers provision of aid as a human duty and within the framework of a number of key values and principles on which the UAE’s vision was based, as they were related to our Arab and Islamic values and approaches instilled by the founder of the country, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan," H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said in his message at the beginning of the report.
Foreign aid was divided into three main segments of development, humanitarian and charitable aid. Development aid ranked first, was worth AED29.75 billion, representing about 92 percent of total aid, as against AED19.55 billion in 2014.
Humanitarian aid came next and totaled AED2.16 billion, representing 6.68 percent of the total aid. Charitable aid was third and stood at AED429.1 million, representing 1.33 percent of the total.
The official development assistance in 2015 stood at AED16.64 billion, representing 51.45 percent of the total aid, the report said.
"The UAE, through provision of foreign aid and its efforts to achieve international development co-operation, has managed areas of priority including humanitarian assistance, elimination of poverty, and support for children, and global sectoral programmes such as transportation, infrastructure, as well as supporting governments and empowerment of women," commented Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation.
The reports also translated the UAE's unwavering commitment to funding millions of people around the world and access to the most vulnerable and the suffering segments. Among the most prominent instances of humanitarian aid during the year was the one allocated to refugees and internally displaced people affected by crises and conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.
Aid was also provided for the construction of roads, bridges, and infrastructure in the field of renewable energy, in addition to multi-year commitments targeting gender equality and women's empowerment.
The reports also stated that the country has allocated about 31.52 percent of the total aid as grants to recipient countries at a value of AED10.19 billion, while loans reached 68.48 percent and valued at AED22.14 billion. This would contribute to strengthening and upgrade the development capabilities of the recipient countries.
The report quoted the Development Aid Committee, DAC, as saying that in official development aid, 51.75 percent was in the form of grants with a value of AED8.61 billion, while 48.5 percent was in the form of loans with a value of AED8.03 million.
According to geographical distribution, countries in Africa got the lion's share of AED 25.11 billion, compared with AED14.67 billion in the year 2014. Asian countries received AED6.63 billion, whereas countries in Europe, North and South America, Oceania and others received AED586.94 million in aid.
The report pointed to the diversity of the UAE’s donors in 2015, where government aid was ranked first at 86.1 percent of the total aid at a value of AED27.84 billion, (around US$7.57 billion). The aid provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development was ranked second with AED 2.70 billion, (around $736.73 million).
Khalifa bin Zayed and Nahyan Foundation provided aid of AED568.32, (around $154.73) million, representing 1.76 percent of the total aid, while the Emirates Red Crescent provided AED380.42 million (about $103.57 million) of aid, representing about 1.18 percent of the total.
In its report, the ministry also stressed that the UAE's foreign aid was in line with the country's policy of supporting the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The country's contributions towards achieving these goals in 2015 were AED31.87 billion ($8.67 billion).
The UAE had provided some AED21.15 billion towards achieving the first goal of the MDGs of eradicating hunger and extreme poverty, the report also noted. The country also allocated AED8.86 billion towards establishing a global partnership for development. AED1.45 billion was allocated to achieve the goal of environmental sustainability.
The report said that the UAE has achieved most of its commitments towards development goals for last year and is currently involved in the efforts aimed at achieving other goals in the future.
Click here to view The UAE Foreign Aid 2015 Report.