Initiatives for Pakistan Show the UAE’s Humanitarian and Development Support

  • 16 June 2014

The UAE’s humanitarian initiatives for Pakistan have come in for praise not only from Pakistani government officials but also from United Nations and international humanitarian organizations. These initiatives have dealt with disasters, crises and humanitarian challenges and have offered effective solutions. Ayesha Raza Farooq, member of the National Council and representative of the Pakistan Prime Minister for polio eradication, recently praised the initiatives taken by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him) to provide humanitarian and development assistance to the Pakistani people.

She also praised His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for launching the UAE’s polio vaccination campaign, which targets 3.6 million children in Pakistan. The campaign will run for three months beginning June 2014. The campaign is extremely critical considering that only three countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria – remain polio endemic in the world. This campaign also supports global campaigns against the disease, especially the Strategic Plan (2013-2018) adopted by Global Vaccine Summit, held in Abu Dhabi in 2013, which is aimed at eradicating polio across the world.

The UAE’s polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan is not separate from its other initiatives in support of Pakistani people. The UAE was one of the founding members of the ‘Friends of Democratic Pakistan’ in 2008, which is a forum for discussing economic and development policies and formulating them alongside international donors. The ‘UAE project in Pakistan’, which was launched in 2011 with the aim of helping Pakistanis counter the aftereffects of devastating floods of 2010, is a quantum leap toward supporting development and stability. It focuses on four key areas for infrastructure rehabilitation, community development and basic services, namely: roads, bridges, education, health, water supply. It provides humanitarian assistance to the poor, needy and displaced and provides food and healthcare.

This UAE’s extensive support for Pakistan is consistent with a deep-rooted doctrine of the UAE’s foreign policy, which calls for standing by friendly nations in the face of problems, and helping them overcome their challenges. As a result, the world looks at the UAE with expectation as one of the most important source, at both regional and international levels, that supports development initiatives, either through humanitarian means or through contributions to help developing countries achieve their development goals.