UAE a major relief station for the poor: paper

ABU DHABI, 4th February, 2015 (WAM) — A UAE paper has said that generosity has remained a hallmark of the leaders and people of the United Arab Emirates. The country never hesitates when it comes to making a positive and effective contribution to alleviate the suffering of others, especially to help the needy around the globe combat poverty, hunger and disease.

“Every citizen and resident can be proud of the fact that the UAE has been ranked first globally as the largest donour of humanitarian aid in 2013 in proportion to its gross national income. Its assistance touched over AED 21.5 billion in 2013, exceeding the highest percentage registered by any country in 50 years,” said The Gulf Today in its editorial on Wednesday.

The daily quoted His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, as saying, “The reason the UAE is leading the world in terms of giving, emanates from the legacy chalked out by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and which is being sustained by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his brothers, the UAE Rulers.” “The best part is that the UAE does not offer conditional assistance or wait for any interest in return. It only looks for stability and welfare of all peoples,” the Sharjah-based daily added.

In keeping with the country’s philosophy in providing foreign aid, which contributes to strengthening and upgrading the development capacity of the beneficiary countries, about 63.64 percent of aid, worth AED13.77 billion of the total aid given by the UAE, was issued as grants to the recipient countries. The assistance in the form of loan accounted for 36.36 per cent.

Interestingly, with regard to the geographical distribution of the UAE aid in 2013, about AED21.63 billion, the lion’s share of the assistance worth AED18.1 billion, went to the African countries, compared with AED958 million in 2011, while the recipients of the UAE aid in Asia received AED2.7 billion. Europe, the Americas, Oceania and other countries received AED811 million.

What is highly commendable is that the UAE aid has humanitarian objectives only and is never governed by politics or limited by the geography, race, colour or religion of the beneficiary.

As Sheikh Mohammed once stated, “We provide humanitarian capital and are a major relief station for the poor we do not hesitate to help and support the brother, the ill-fated friend or the needy wherever they are. This is our message to the world, and this is the United Arab Emirates.” “Such activities reflect the noble humanitarian values that the UAE founding fathers and the Islamic values have established,” concluded the paper.