A statement from HE Hazza Mohammed Falah Al Qahtani, Director-General of the UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid
The United Arab Emirates has a history rich in philanthropy, stemming from our deep-seated cultural and religious values. Since the federation was established in 1971, our country has been blessed with prosperity and our people have been quick to reach out to the less fortunate in neighboring countries and beyond. Humanitarian institutions have evolved from this generous impulse: as the UAE has developed, so too have organizations providing aid.
The UAE humanitarian community continues to come to the assistance of countries and communities in need. But over the years, the complexity and frequency of man-made and natural disasters have increased dramatically. Demands for swift and efficient humanitarian aid have escalated, as has the need for continued support during the transitional phase that follows an emergency and precedes the start of major reconstruction. It is therefore imperative that we adopt collaborative strategies that will accelerate emergency response times, increase efficiency and maximize the impact of both humanitarian and development programs. Lives are at stake, and we need to do everything in our power to respond rapidly and effectively.
The UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid (OCFA) has been set up to address these needs and become the linchpin for humanitarian outreach, supporting the UAE’s foreign aid institutions and helping to shape the humanitarian landscape in the UAE for the future.
Our aim is to reinforce the UAE’s position as a major global provider of humanitarian aid and development assistance by improving the planning and implementation of international programs. Through its programs OCFA will be able to ensure complementarities between the aid agencies within the UAE. The first stage in this process is a monumental national program to collect, assess and chronicle data on humanitarian and foreign aid initiatives that have taken place in the UAE since 1971. A thorough understanding of the humanitarian landscape within our country, past and present, will help us plan for the future by identifying gaps, duplications or other inefficiencies that could be redressed.
The assessment process will help identify each organization’s training requirements, permitting us to respond with programs to build the knowledge and skills of the UAE’s aid personnel. It will also allow us to share best practices with UAE foreign aid organizations in a number of areas, including information management to ensure accurate data collection.
We are proud to have been granted this unique mandate to support humanitarian and international development initiatives. We believe that OCFA will provide the foreign aid community with the support and information gathering tools that will place the UAE at the forefront of donor nations.
This website has been launched as the official online platform for the UAE foreign aid sector to serve our partners, both UAE-based and international, and become the authorized information gateway, sharing the latest information, policies, guidelines and related humanitarian and development news. Our aim is to create a collaborative framework that will streamline coordination of all global humanitarian initiatives from the UAE.
Also, the website will soon provide a mechanism for tracking donations made from the UAE in support of international humanitarian and development efforts through the Foreign Aid Tracking Service (FATS). This system has many features that allow UAE-based donor partners to record their donations online and produce various analyses and reports which preserve and enhance transparency throughout the UAE aid sector.
Finally, we hope that the website will introduce the wider community to the world of humanitarian aid and attract more of our people to this noble calling.
View the latest data on the Foreign Aid Tracking Service
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EIF reports provide information on current emergencies, in order to alert UAE actors to the most pressing needs resulting from a humanitarian emergency, as well as an overview of the international and UAE response to date. An EIF is issued when support from the UAE may be required due to the magnitude of the crisis or the vulnerability of the affected population.
Humanitarian Flash reports are available to UAE actors only, and provide updates on current humanitarian issues worldwide by theme, such as climate change and the global food crisis, as well as a summary of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and floods, to which there has generally not been an international response.
Humanitarian Country Profiles provide information about development and humanitarian issues within a selected country, as well as listing the major local and international organizations that are already present in the field. The countries are selected according to the level of assistance that they have received from the UAE over the past two decades, and whether they are facing recurrent or ‘chronic’ emergencies.
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Last update on November 1, 2012