UAE World’s Largest Donor by National Income, for Fifth Year: OECD

Published April 11th, 2018 - 07:54 GMT
The UAE donated the largest amount to war-torn Yemen. (AFP)
The UAE donated the largest amount to war-torn Yemen. (AFP)

The UAE has declared itself the world’s largest donor of development assistance in proportion to its gross national income for the fifth year running, citing figures from the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The country said it had exceeded a United Nations target of donating 0.7 per cent of development assistance in proportion to its gross national income by donating Dhs19.32bn ($5.25bn) in 2017.

This was 18.1 per cent more than 2016 and represented 1.31 per cent of gross national income.

More than half (54 per cent) of the aid the country handed out was in the form of non-refundable grants aimed at supporting development plans across 147 countries.

By regional split, 43 per cent was donated to Asian countries and 28 per cent to African countries. In Asia, Yemen received the largest sum of Dhs2.97bn ($808.5m).

The UAE is part of a Saudi coalition that has been fighting on the side of the internationally recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi since March 2015.

At a recent UN Humanitarian appeal for Yemen the UAE and Saudi Arabia pledged $930m to support the country, which has an estimated 22 million people in urgent need of aid as the conflict marks its fourth year.

The UAE said 94 per cent of its support provided across the world was development and 64 per cent of this had been channelled to public aid programmes “to help the beneficiaries maintain their balances of payments, ensure financial stability and strengthen infrastructure enterprises, in areas of transportation, health, education and renewable energy”.

“This accomplishment confirms that the UAE is increasing its humanitarian support and response and is playing an effective role in achieving the sustainable development goals of its partner countries, as well as improving the lives of people,” said minister of state for international cooperation Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy.

“It is no surprise that this accomplishment coincides with our celebration of the centennial of Sheikh Zayed and announcement that 2018 is the Year of Zayed.”

More broadly, OECD figures showed foreign aid from official donors was down 0.6 per cent last year to $146.6bn as less money was spent on refugees inside donor countries but more was send to country if need of aid.

Of the Development Assistance Committee members that report their aid flows to the organisation, the UAE was followed by Turkey with the second largest ratio of donations in proportion to national income of 0.95 per cent.

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