Appreciation of the UAE’s Role in Supporting International Development

  • 10 July 2014

The UAE becoming first Participant in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) recently has established the pivotal place the country occupies, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him), on the international development map. It also shows how the UAE has become a prominent feature in the global system to promote development across the world. DAC includes major donor countries such as the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The UAE’s inclusion in the DAC is not an isolated development but is the result of its pioneering and effective contributions to needy countries and communities. In April, the DAC revealed that with a sum of over $5 billion, the UAE was the world’s largest donor country in terms of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in proportion to the GDP for 2013. This was a record leap in the history of foreign aid provisions, from 19th in the year 2012 to the top.

Various factors give the UAE a developmental role in the international arena and earn it respect and appreciation of the institutions concerned. First, this has been part of its foreign policy since the era of Founder of the UAE, the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may God bless his soul), and shows the strong will of the leadership that has carried it forward. Second, the UAE plays this role impartially and views its development initiatives as part of a broader humanitarian action beyond all barriers of faith, race, creed or geographical location. The country tends to promote development in areas that need it the most and tries to strengthen the pillars of global security and stability. It is aware that problems of poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment provide a fertile breeding ground for extremism and terrorism.

The UAE’s development efforts are truly institutionalized. Strong institutions, with a lot of experience in this domain over several years, supervise these initiatives and make them effective so that they reach different regions at a time. The management of development assistance is also efficient and achieves their desired objectives. Moreover, the provision of assistance to the needy is a feature inherent in the UAE community, which responds positively to any initiative. This is evident in the substantial response being given to the Suqia campaign, which has been launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.