UAE’s New Ministry of Development and International Cooperation
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – In March, the United Arab Emirates announced the creation of their Ministry of Development and International Cooperation. This new sector of government was established to coordinate all of the development and humanitarian efforts undertaken by the UAE. Since the country was established in 1971, the UAE has made efforts to assist in the development of poorer nations based on the belief that part of their wealth from oil and gas should be devoted to assisting those that are less fortunate. The Arab nation was the sixteenth largest humanitarian donor in 2012, based on the ratio of aid to the size of the economy of each country.
In the past three decades, the UAE has contributed more than $69 billion in loans, grants and developmental assistance in nearly 100 countries around the world. Most recently, the UAE contributed funds to help build hospitals and townships in Iraq, Palestinian territories and Lebanon.
One of the major projects undertaken by the ministry at this time is building refugee camps in Syria to house those displaced by the ongoing conflict. They have already spent over $81 million on Mrajeeb Al Fhood, a refugee camp in Jordan that houses over 25,000 people. The UAE has pledged more than $300 million to continue aiding refugees.
The new Ministry of Development and International Cooperation expanded the already existing Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid. The purpose of the new ministry is to promote the UAE as a major donor and player in global human development. The majority of the aid that will be provided by the Ministry will be handed out by the government directly, although they are seeking to expand their work with international organizations.
Sources: WAM, Gulf Times, UAE Business Council