(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The UAE has been named the world's largest donor of development assistance in proportion to its gross national income (GNI) for the fifth year running, according to the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The UAE exceeded the UN target of 0.7 per cent official development assistance in proportion to its GNI ratio by donating Dh19.32 billion, a growth of 18.1 per cent over 2016, representing 1.31 per cent of its GNI for official development assistance in 2017.
Up to 54 per cent of the value of the aid is non-repayable grants that are aimed at supporting the developmental plans of the beneficiaries, which totalled 147 countries, 40 of which are among the least developing in different world countries.
Asia got Dh8.28 billion, or 43 per cent of the development aid, followed by Africa which got Dh5.44 billion or 28 per cent of the support. Yemen got the lion's share of aid in Asia, receiving Dh2.97 billion, which accounts for around one third of the aid channelled to the Asian nations.
More than 94 per cent of the support is development aid worth Dh18.3 billion, 68 per cent of which has 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.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, spoke of the UAE's legacy of supporting international development efforts and responding to global crises. He credited the country's leadership for its generous contributions to all international development arenas.
He noted that the UAE has been, since its establishment, contributing to supporting international sustainable development efforts and humanitarian response to global crises and disasters. "This is based on the humanitarian philosophy of the UAE's wise leadership, and generous contributions in the past decades to all international development arenas."
The UAE support secured, he said, the lives of millions of people around the world, establishing international peace and security, creating better opportunities and a brighter future for people in developing countries.
"The vision and aspirations of our wise leadership to support and assist needy people and countries have established the UAE's stature as the leading international donor of official development aid and its first place internationally in 2017, after achieving this position for last five years."
For her part, Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, said: "The vision and aspirations of our wise leadership to support and assist needy people and countries have established the UAE's stature as the world's leading international donor of official development aid for five years in a row.
"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. 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."
She added that these accomplishments are a substantial proof that the UAE has clear visions and plans to improve the intended impact of its assistance, whether to ease the tough humanitarian conditions or to support fragile and weak communities, through projects that comply with the country's sustainable developmental goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which focuses on clear and specific issues, such as combatting hunger and poverty and empowering women and girls.
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