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UAE's global financial assistance stands at Dh163b till last year.

Dubai The UAE has given a total of Dh163 billion in foreign aid to 92 countries, Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade, said at the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) yesterday.

"Since the UAE's formation up to 2010 we have disbursed more than Dh163 billion in global financial assistance."

Foreign aid is also a top priority in the UAE's international commitments, she added.

"Our foreign aid was at around Dh9 billion in 2009, or approximately one per cent of our total national income and the highest among the world's nations.

"This has supported people in more than 92 countries, with 95 per cent given as grants to prevent any economic pressure on the beneficiaries."

Around 80 per cent of the aid was funnelled through development projects, and the rest was allocated to humanitarian and charitable programmes, she said.

Shaikha Lubna added that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) plays a significant role in helping countries, particularly those are underdeveloped and developing, merge with the international economy and maintain a trade balance with developed countries.

"The UAE is also working on supporting various development programmes and their implementation for underdeveloped and developing countries," she added.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the UAE ranks fifth among developing countries that maintain trade partnerships with underdeveloped countries.

Fighting poverty

Pointing to the ideal way to beat poverty around the world, Shaikha Lubna said: "Faster economic growth and reduction of poverty in developing countries do not rely on improved and well-directed international support mechanisms only.

"These also require a new international order for these countries which can be established through new incentives and programmes that help sustainable development."

Seeking other means to maintain growth and social development, she emphasised that collective efforts are also key elements in developing production capabilities and increased goods and services in underdeveloped countries.

"We need to come together to help expand investments, modernise economic bases, and further develop education and health care.

"We should keep in mind though that we need to strike a balance between sustainable development and environment protection to ensure a better life for present and future generations of developing countries and all the nations of the world," Shaikha Lubna added.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:May 12, 2011
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