United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates' Development Co-operation


In 2015, the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) total net ODA reached USD 4.4 billion, representing a decrease in real terms of 4% over 2014. The ratio of ODA as a share of GNI also fell in 2015 to 1.18%, down from 1.26% in 2014. Preliminary data show that ODA reached USD 4.1 billion in 2016 (1.12% of GNI). The decrease is mostly explained by a USD 56 million drop in ODA to North Africa, mostly to Egypt but also to Morocco. The UAE nevertheless remained well above the United Nations’ ODA/GNItarget for economically advanced countries of 0.7%.

Up until its merger with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in February 2016, the former Ministry of International Co-operation and Development, created in 2013, maintained overall responsibility for setting policy, geographical and sectoral priorities; identifying modalities and mechanisms for foreign aid distribution and implementation; and documenting aid flows. In December 2016 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation launched the UAE’s new development co-operation strategy for 2017-21 (Government of the United Arab Emirates, 2016).

In 2015, the UAE provided its bilateral co-operation mostly to Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Iraq, Morocco, Sudan and Pakistan. The main sectors of the UAE’s bilateral disbursements were programme assistance, economic infrastructure (energy and transport) and humanitarian aid. The UAE provides its bilateral programme mostly in the form of grants.

Multilateral ODA accounted for 1% of the country’s total ODA in 2015, provided primarily through the United Nations (75%). The UAE is a Participant in the Development Assistance Committee.

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