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Humanitarian and Development Cooperation

Since its founding as a nation in 1971, the UAE has extended generous support to other countries to advance their own development goals. This commitment to global peace and prosperity comes in many forms, including that of advocacy, partnership building, and the provision of foreign aid. Following the direction set by the nation’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, UAE foreign assistance expresses openness to the world in line with the belief that contributions to the peace, security, and prosperity of other countries can strengthen all in return. Since 2013, the UAE has topped the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s table of the largest donors in terms of official development assistance as a share of gross national income. UAE aid flows from over forty organizations to 140 countries and reaches millions of people. 

In Vision 2021, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, set the goal for the UAE to become one of the most developed countries in the world by the time its fiftieth anniversary as a country occurs in 2021. In this vein, the UAE’s foreign assistance policy aims to make the UAE one of the most prominent partners and donors to developing countries by 2021, both in the generosity and effectiveness of our assistance. By the time the UAE celebrates its Golden Jubilee, Emiratis will have demonstrably aided other peoples in achieving sustainable development, and we will celebrate our contributions to the world together with our achievements at home.

Purpose and principles

The fundamental purpose of UAE foreign assistance is to reduce poverty and help countries and communities in need.

Our foreign assistance will contribute to other objectives of UAE foreign and economic policies while helping others by:

  • Promoting peace, prosperity, and stability, especially in our region
  • Building relationships with other countries, including those to which the UAE provides assistance and fellow donor nations
  • Enhancing the UAE’s standing in the international community
  • Stimulating economic growth in the developing world

Five principles guide the UAE’s foreign assistance program:

  • Working in close collaboration with partner governments and communities
  • Working with other donors in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Addressing neglected issues and under-supported communities
  • Building upon the UAE’s unique characteristics and capabilities
  • Championing innovation, accountability, and a focus on results 

For further information on UAE Foreign Aid kindly contact us on: or by phone +97122222000 or through twitter account @UAEAid

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