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Sir John Holmes, Under-Secretary General and Emergency Relief Coordinator: “I hope all members of the humanitarian community will read the report, which says much about the great potential of new and emerging donors not just to participate in but also to shape the humanitarian system for the future.”
Abu Dhabi, 3 August 2010: Officials both in the UAE and abroad are praising “UAE Foreign Aid – 2009”, the first in a series of annual reports, recently launched in Abu Dhabi by the UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid (OCFA) under the patronage and in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The report was prepared as per the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and President of OCFA.
“UAE Foreign Aid – 2009” is the result of extensive collaboration among UAE donors and marks the first major milestone for OCFA in its efforts to document UAE foreign aid and secure recognition for the UAE as an important global donor. It details the activities of UAE-based donors, broken down by donor organization, country of operation and sector of activity and will help promote comprehensive documentation for accountability and future planning of UAE foreign aid efforts. The information in the report will be recorded with international bodies, including the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations, as part of OCFA’s efforts to help secure international recognition for the UAE’s programs and contributions around the world.
Statements from several officials praised the report and commended OCFA for its efforts to document UAE foreign aid flows. The officials also acknowledged the commitment of the UAE’s leadership to global humanitarian and development issues.
HE Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade: “I was extremely heartened to learn that over 90 countries across the globe have benefited last year alone from the billions in funds that were contributed by the UAE towards humanitarian, development and charity projects. It is a great thing that, finally, an annual report that details the activities of UAE-Based donors has been published. This will help secure international recognition for the UAE’s immense global humanitarian effort.”
Sir John Holmes, Under-Secretary General and Emergency Relief Coordinator: "The UAE Foreign Aid 2009 report represents a major step in the United Arab Emirates’ approach to international development assistance and humanitarian action. Its publication helps put in its true light the UAE’s role as an important and generous donor of humanitarian and development assistance and its commitment to help people in need around the world. I hope that all members of the humanitarian community will read the report, which says much about the great potential of new and emerging donors not just to participate in but also to shape the humanitarian system for the future."
Filipo Grandi, Commissioner General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA): “For the first time, the UAE has issued a report that will help to define the strategic orientation of its foreign aid. Only with data and information such as the one provided in the report can the UAE enhance its capacity to deliver assistance to those around the world who are in need. This report is also important in promoting transparency and accountability for the UAE’s foreign assistance programmes, and in signalling that the UAE values its role as a responsible global citizen. For UNRWA, as a grateful receiver of some of this assistance, this well documented and organized report by OCFA will provide us with more insight of UAE Foreign Aid and will allow the Agency to work in a more effective manner with the UAE Government and UAE institutions to support the Palestine refugees in the Middle East.”
Dr. Mukesh Kapila, Under Secretary General, National Society & Knowledge Development International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Geneva: “Congratulations to all at OCFA on your first report: I think this is an excellent exercise in both coordination and transparency and very helpful to donors, receivers, partners alike. I wish other countries could also produce such national reports setting out in one place the assistance of all their national entities. I am sharing this report with my colleagues here. They will also be glad to see that the UAE Red Crescent is such a prominent player on the international assistance scene.”
Gilles Beschoor Plug, Ambassador, Embassy of the Netherlands in Abu Dhabi: “I am very much impressed with the 2009 report of OCFA, its first report on the foreign aid sector. It shows the enormous commitment by the UAE in the field of humanitarian and development assistance, a commitment that is shared by the people and government of the Netherlands. The report also bears witness of the great efforts of OCFA to support and improve this commitment. It is not an easy task mapping foreign aid in a country that is blessed with so many donors that, in 2009 alone, have provided humanitarian and development assistance to more than 90 countries worldwide. In that respect we look forward to an equally important role by OCFA in training, capacity-building and field support, in order to assist the Emirati donor community to further enhance its impressive performance. I salute the staff of OCFA and its president, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed al Nahyan, for taking that responsibility and for their contribution in addressing the needs of those less fortunate than us.”
Wolfgang Amadeus Bruelhart, Ambassador, Embassy of Switzerland Abu Dhabi: "The UAE Foreign Aid 2009 Report, issued by the UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid, is an excellent initiative of the UAE Government. The report confirms the UAE is one of the most important donors in the international community, responding to global challenges by delivering much needed humanitarian aid and support around the world. Switzerland - also an important donor - is interested in working together with the UAE in the field of humanitarian aid and rescue and to have close collaboration and common projects in the near future."
Elissar Sarrouh, UN Resident Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative: “’UAE Foreign Aid – 2009’ deserves international recognition. It sets an example of foreign aid with human face, demonstrates a deep commitment to a better and peaceful world and firm contribution to achieving the MDGs.”
Kayan Jaff, Head of Mission, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations “FAO” in UAE: "This report is a milestone in the UAE's efforts to be an important donor in the international foreign aid arena. The report also reinforces the mandate of OCFA, which was established to, among other things, be the data warehouse of information on UAE foreign aid flows, which is key to strengthening the UAE's delivery of aid to countries in recession. Finally, the launch's attendance by the country's leadership is testimony of the importance given by the UAE to combating poverty worldwide in line with the UN's Millennium Development Goals."
Dr. Hamad Al Shaibani, Director General of Dubai's Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, said: “The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department of Dubai is grateful for the recognition it received from HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which motivates the department to push forward with its mission and also reinforces the spirit of unity among all donor organizations within the UAE foreign aid sector. There is no doubt this country, under its visionary leadership, is known worldwide for its humanitarian, development and charitable initiatives. The report issued by OCFA will help highlight these initiatives and raise the profile of the UAE worldwide. We extend our thanks to HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and President of OCFA, for this great achievement.”
Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation issued the following statement: “The publication of the first annual report on UAE Foreign Aid is a major milestone in efforts to provide a comprehensive and accurate account of humanitarian and development projects implemented by UAE donors. The report also serves as an important reference for humanitarian workers. The efforts of the UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid in documenting such assistance will help highlight the UAE as a leading, global donor. Also, OCFA should be praised for helping its work with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development which, thanks to OCFA’s efforts, now recognizes funds provided by Rulers’ foundations organizations as Official Development Assistance.”
“UAE Foreign Aid – 2009” shows that in 2009 the UAE contributed AED 8.93 billion (US$ 2.43 billion) to humanitarian, development and charity projects in more than 90 countries across the globe. The single biggest recipient of aid was Yemen, where UAE donors to contributed a total of AED2.84 billion in assistance. Other major recipients of the UAE’s aid included Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Palestinian Territories. The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development was the largest UAE donor, contributing or administering AED4.95 billion in grants and loans, or more than half of total aid, followed by the Government, which includes a number of government ministries, departments and agencies active in the field of foreign assistance, which gave AED3.06 billion.