“Foreign aid and assistance is one of the basic pillars of our foreign policy. For we believe that there is no true benefit for us from the wealth that we have unless it does not also reach those in need, wherever they may be, and regardless of their nationality or beliefs,” said Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the UAE- may he rest in peace.
It is upon this ideal that the UAE continued to thrive and work towards a better world. In order to continue His Highness’ legacy, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan- the President of the UAE, announced that 2017 is to be named as the “Year of Giving”. To guarantee its success, the following three pillars will be focused on: creating and strengthening social responsibility in the private sector, promoting the spirit of volunteering and supporting specialized volunteering programmes, as well as planting a sense of loyalty and commitment in the younger generation to serve their nation. Being a leading country in terms of humanitarian aid, the UAE is ranked as the world’s largest donor of official development aid (relative to its income) topping Sweden, Luxembourg, and Norway respectively in 2015. On May 24th 2016, the UAE decreed that 15 per cent of its projected budget will be allocated on humanitarian aid over the next four years, and that by 2020, it will double its contributions to humanitarian actions. In addition, an estimated amount of US $ 47.4 billion has been spent on fund development, humanitarian, and charity assistance projects since the UAE's establishment 44 years ago. Being one of more than 45 organizations offering humanitarian aid from the UAE, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), established in July 15 1971, has provided almost US $ 16.6 billion for 415 projects across 69 countries since its inception. Since 2011 and up to this date, the UAE has provided over US $ 700 billion in support of the refugees in Syria alone, and as part of refugee support, the UAE is funding the Mrajeeb Al Fhood refugee camp in Jordan- home to over 4000 Syrian refugees.