UAE news in review 2015: Foreign aid exceeds Dh23bn
ABU DHABI // While 2015 was a year of escalating turbulence around the region, the UAE stood out for its efforts in providing aid to those affected by the conflicts.
Countries such as Yemen, Syria, Palestine and Egypt were all at the receiving end of developmental, humanitarian and disaster relief from the UAE.
From food and medical aid to thousands of Yemeni families to humanitarian missions in Cairo, the UAE’s relief and assistance efforts reached as far as Osh Province in southern Kyrgyzstan.
For decades, the UAE has been helping countries such as Pakistan eradicate polio and vaccination teams continued to work there in 2015.
In December, Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, visited the UAE to praise the country’s efforts in the efforts to eradicate the disease.
Another significant event this year was when in October, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, passed a law to establish a development organisation to fight poverty, spread knowledge, build communities and encourage innovation.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives consolidated the work of 28 existing aid organisations, including UAE Water Aid and Dubai Cares, and was granted an annual operating budget of Dh1 billion.
In December, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister for International Cooperation and Development, confirmed the UAE’s commitment to humanitarian causes by announced that its foreign aid to 140 countries had reached Dh60 billion between 2010 and 2014.
She said that the total aid given by the UAE’s humanitarian institutions to support children all over the world amounted to about Dh2 billion in these years.
The Minister said that the UAE had been a major donor to the people of Yemen with total $320 million in aid. It will also commit $130 million through Emirates Red Crescent and other relief agencies in Yemen.
An independent report has revealed that over the past year, the UAE aid provided to Egypt amounted to Dh11.8 billion, equal to 52 per cent of the UAE’s total foreign aid. Since January 2015, the UAE distributed an additional Dh161 million to Syrian aid projects.
Read more on the UAE’s developments in 2015 in:
› Diplomacy: Ties with China and South Korea strengthened
Published: December 30, 2015 04:00 AM