What a way to wrap up the Year of Giving.

The UAE has been ranked as the world’s largest donor of official development aid, relative to its national income.

According to data published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), development aid provided by the UAE during 2016 reached Dhs15.57 billion – making up 1.21 per cent of the country’s gross national income.

In second place behind the UAE was Norway, which contributed 1.12 per cent of its gross national income, followed by Luxembourg, which contributed 1 per cent.

The United Nations recommends economically-advanced countries spend at least 0.7 per cent of their gross national income on aid which shows the UAE really has gone over and above.

Sheikh Mohammed sent 100 tonnes of aid to cyclone-hit Madagascar
Sheikh Mohammed sends aid to those in need on his private plane

And the UAE’s rulers have been leading by example.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, made headlines all over the world last October when he used his private cargo jet to send Dhs1.3 million of emergency supplies to cyclone-hit Haiti – and sent his wife, HRH Princess Haya, to personally ensure everything was distributed to plan.

The previous month, he sent more than 100,000 tonnes of supplies to Uganda to help 60,000 South Sudanese refugees that had fled bloody conflict in their native country.

While the most recent statistics are based on the UAE’s generosity in 2016, there has been even more of a focus on giving in 2017.

According to a government report, more than 275,000 volunteers dedicated 2.8 million hours to charitable work for the Year of Giving, and more than Dhs1.5 billion was donated to good causes by the private sector alone.

We can’t wait to see what the UAE achieves in 2018…

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