Importance of UAE Humanitarian Aid for Pakistan

  • 1 August 2010

The UAE believes in the concept of international solidarity in the face of disasters. It also believes that it has a religious and moral responsibility to alleviate human suffering in areas exposed to natural calamities. This has been reflected in its rapid response to the devastating floods that hit several areas of Pakistan. The steps were taken on the instructions of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan who asked for quick humanitarian assistance and emergency relief to help displaced victims. Our wise leadership’s prompt action and a speedy response from humanitarian organizations – such as Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Humanitarian Foundation – are the examples of UAE’s humanitarian approach to help those in need anywhere in the world irrespective of their race, religion or gender. This has been the country’s approach since its inception and has been one of the cornerstones of its foreign policy, which has helped the country stand alongside the forces of good in the world.

The UAE has actively organized response to humanitarian challenges and has made its presence felt in the areas of long term relief assistance across the world. The UAE’s humanitarian efforts in Pakistan are significant considering the scale of devastation, now acknowledged as the worst in the history of this country. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the floods have displaced more than half a million people and submerged over 100 villages. A rapid and effective action was hence necessary to contain the fallout of this devastation. If the UAE has taken steps in this regard, there is a need for similar efforts from the international community and humanitarian organizations so that the situation in flood-hit areas does not get worse.

The UAE’s efforts in Pakistan are both economic and development-based and the country plays a key role in supporting developments in Pakistan either through aid or by becoming a hub for the coordination of regional and international efforts. In January, the UAE hosted a conference on the public-private partnership in Pakistan in which representatives of 23 countries participated. In July, it participated in the forum named Friends of Pakistan held in Islamabad where representatives of 12 countries took part and which concluded with some important recommendations and pledges for support. Pakistan has become the second country – after Yemen – to benefit most from the UAE humanitarian aid, with the value of distributed relief, education, and medicine reaching 1.6 billion dirhams. This multi-faceted support for Pakistan reflects the comprehensive strategic view that our wise leadership takes based on the consideration that Pakistan is an important country and an essential element in the equation of regional security and stability.