In 2013, total net Official Development Assistance (ODA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reached USD 5.4 billion, representing an increase in real terms of 435% over 2012. This increase mainly consisted of exceptional support to Egypt of over USD 4.5 billion. However, part of it is also a continuation of an upward trend since 2010. This seems consistent with the increased importance the UAE is giving to its role as a provider of development co-operation, also reflected by the creation of the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) in 2013. The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development is the main extending agency among the many UAE actors involved. The ratio of ODA as a share of GNI also rose, to 1.34%, up from 0.27% in 2012.
In 2013, the UAE provided its bilateral co-operation mostly to Egypt, followed by Pakistan, Jordan, Morocco, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Afghanistan and Yemen. The main sectors of the UAE’s bilateral development co-operation are general programme assistance, economic infrastructure and education, health and population sectors. The UAE provides its bilateral programme mostly in the form of grants.
Multilateral ODA accounted for 0.4% of the country’s total ODA in 2013, provided primarily through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI, 49%) and the United Nations (46%).
The UAE acknowledges that while increasing total net ODA is important, achieving predictable, consistent ODA is the ultimate goal. As such, in 2014 the UAE began formulating a foreign aid policy and strategy with the aim of tailoring UAE foreign aid so that it most effectively positions its resources to promote sustainable development.
[i] As a Participant, the UAE can take part in all non-confidential meetings of the DAC, including its High-Level and Senior-Level Meetings, and the meetings of the DAC subsidiary bodies. However, the UAE does not take part in formal decision-making processes and cannot serve as Chair or Vice-Chair of the DAC or its sub-committees.