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United Arab Emirates Development Cooperation

Brief on the Humanitarian Aid Sector of the United Arab Emirates

From its foundation, the United Arab Emirates has shared its riches with less fortunate people and communities – following the direction set by our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The UAE foreign assistance is rooted in the Islamic faith and the Arabian tradition of generosity. It also expresses our openness to the world, and our belief that – as part of the developing world and a hub for many parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East – our contributions to the peace, security, and prosperity of other countries will strengthen us in return. Since, 2013, the UAE has topped the OECD’s table of the largest donors in terms of official development assistance as a share of gross national income. Our 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 be one of the best countries in the world by the time our golden jubilee in 2021. The UAE’s foreign assistance policy intends to make the UAE one of the best partners and donors to developing countries by 2021, both in the generosity and the effectiveness of our assistance. By the 50th anniversary of our country, Emiratis will have helped other peoples in meaningful ways to emulate our own sustainable development – and we will celebrate our contributions to the world together with our achievements at home.

Purposes and Principles:

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

Our foreign assistance will contribute to other objectives of UAE foreign and economic policies, at the same time as helping others:

  • Promotion of peace, prosperity and stability, especially in our region.
  • Building relationships with other countries, both those to whom we give assistance and other donors countries with whom we collaborate.
  • Enhancing the UAE’s standing in the international community.
  • Stimulating economic growth in the developing world, which will have consequent benefits for our economy and society.

Five principles will guide the UAE foreign assistance program:


  • Work in close collaboration with partner governments and communities.
  • Work with other donors, in pursuit of the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Address neglected issues and under-supported communities.
  • Build on the UAE’s unique characteristics and capabilities.
  • Be innovative, accountable and focused on results.

Quick links related to UAE Development Cooperation:

*UAE Foreign Aid Policy         *UAE Annual Foreign Aid Reports        *Project Evaluation Reports   

*Development Cooperation Procedures and Guideline Documents        *Summary Statistics on UAE’s Foreign Assistance  

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