As founder and former President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan said, “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.”

Since its founding, the UAE has provided significant aid to developing countries and has been a major contributor of emergency relief to regions affected by conflict and natural disasters. The fundamental purpose of UAE aid is to reduce poverty and help those in need, and the UAE has been a crucial global donor throughout the years.

Development aid in 2016 amounted to $4.15 billion. Moreover, since the UAE’s establishment in 1971, estimated UAE aid from both the government and nongovernmental organizations has been valued around $60 billion – used to fund development, humanitarian and charity assistance projects.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UAE was the world’s largest donor of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2016, contributing 1.2 percent of its gross national income.