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Abu Dhabi Fund for Development Hosts Seminar to Observe Zayed Humanitarian Day

Abu Dhabi,15 Jun 2017

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) hosted a seminar entitled ‘Zayed: An Icon for Goodness and Giving’ in observation of Zayed Humanitarian Day. Paying rich tribute to the founding father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the annual commemoration on the 19th day of Ramadan is dedicated to humanitarian work and to instilling humanitarian principles in Emirati culture.

His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, headlined the seminar that featured a panel of distinguished experts in the field of charity and humanitarian work. Among the panellists were His Excellency Mohammed Hajji Al Khouri, Director General of Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, and Dr Faleh Handal, renowned Emirati author.

Moderated by Fatima Al Balooshi, Head of Media and Communications at ADFD, the scintillating discussion produced valuable insights. Topics included the global humanitarian efforts of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the culture of giving in the UAE, the role of local organisations in supporting humanitarian work, and ADFD’s development aid programmes. Participants also discussed the intricacies of tailoring humanitarian relief to the needs and traditions of the beneficiary countries, as well as the history and future of development and humanitarian work in the UAE.

His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi said: “Following in the footsteps of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in spearheading humanitarian work, our leaders are always ready to provide assistance wherever needed. Under the wise direction of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the UAE continues to lead development and humanitarian assistance, contributing to elevating global living standards.

He added: “With the support and counsel of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of ADFD’s Board of Directors, the Fund has executed thousands of projects and programmes over the past 45 years.”

Speaking on the celebration, His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi said: “This year’s Zayed Humanitarian Day holds special importance for us, as it coincides with the UAE’s Year of Giving.

Our nation has attained excellence in many aspects. Let us celebrate our achievements and reaffirm our commitment to giving back to the local and international community.”

ADFD's development efforts, together with the efforts of other national institutions, have contributed to the UAE becoming the top world aid donor in the field of official development assistance in 2016 according to a report by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The country was also recognised as the top world aid donor in 2013 and 2014.

According to the United Arab Emirates Foreign Aid 2015 report by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, ADFD was the UAE’s second-highest foreign aid contributor in 2015, expending AED2.70 billion (US$736.73 million). The UAE government, ranked first, disbursed AED27.84 billion (US$7.57 billion), amounting to 86.1 per cent of the total expenditure of AED32.3 billion (US$8.8 billion), while other funds and charitable organisations contributed a cumulative total of AED1.76 billion.

Since its inception in 1971, ADFD has financed development projects valued at AED80 billion in 83 countries around the world. The Fund focuses on projects that enhance key sectors including renewable energy, transport, infrastructure, agriculture, mining, industry, health care, social services, housing, water and electricity.