UAE distributed Dh206bn in global aid from 2010 to 2021, new figures reveal

Nearly half of the relief sent in the past decade went to Africa

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The UAE distributed more than Dh206 billion in international aid from 2010 to 2021, the latest government figures show.

The data was published in a report by the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation.

It showed the country was ranked the world’s leading development aid donor for four consecutive years, and second and fourth during the same period in other years.

The UAE’s foreign aid falls under three main categories: development, humanitarian and charitable relief.

Development aid made up 87.7 per cent of the total, while humanitarian and charitable aid accounted for 9.9 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively.

Officials said 59.1 per cent of the development aid was in the form of grants, which recipient countries are not required to repay, while concessional loans accounted for 40.9 per cent.

The aid covered 25 sectors and 131 sub-sectors.

About half of the aid was sent to Africa, 40 per cent to Asian nations and 5 per cent to Europe, the Americas and Oceania. Five per cent of the total went to multilateral programmes and organisations.

UAE foreign aid supported the sustainable development goals set by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

The Emirates offered Dh110.46bn ($30.07bn) of foreign aid between 2016 and 2020.

Data showed Dh1.97bn of aid was used to support the renewable energy sector from 2010 to 2020. The UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund and the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund received $50m each.

More than Dh6.17bn ($1.68bn), 6.2 per cent of the total foreign aid budget, was allocated to women’s empowerment and protection programmes.

The UAE has sent more than 2,250 tonnes of medical aid to about 136 countries since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has supported the World Health Organisation and the World Food Programme by providing half a million PCR test kits, valued at Dh36.7m ($10m).

International organisations based at International Humanitarian City in Dubai sent more than 955 aid shipments to 177 countries.

The country also helped to transport two field hospitals from Norway and Belgium to Ghana and Ethiopia at a cost of $4m. Field hospitals were also set up in Jordan, Guinea, Sudan, Mauritania, Lebanon and Sierra Leone.

In addition, the UAE backed the Global Partnership for Education, paying Dh367m ($100m) from 2018 to 2020 in three stages to support schooling in 90 countries.

In July 2021, the Emirates pledged to provide the same amount to support a strategic global partnership plan for education over the next five years.

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Updated: August 24, 2021, 3:49 PM