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UAE reiterates its commitment to support UN humanitarian efforts

The amount of assistance presented and pledged by the UAE government and other humanitarian and development institutions in the country during 2010-2011, is estimated to be around two billion dollars donated as grants and loans for humanitarian and development projects in different parts of the world, where it contributed to the financing of a wide scope of projects , such as shelters for the displaced, providing food, digging wells, conflict resolution, building dams, highways , schools and hospitals.

Besides the government, the UAE has a number of donors toped by Abu Dhabi Fund for development, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, Khalifa Foundation, Zayed Foundation, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment and Dubai Care, and other entities, all of which contribute in projects in 100 countries around the world.

In the mean time, the UAE is a major member and contributor in a number of international partnerships for long term development assistance to countries affected by natural disasters and armed conflicts to support their economic, security and social institutions, such as the Group of "Friends of Yemen", "Friends of a democratic Pakistan", the international efforts to rebuild Afghanistan and the Contact group on Piracy off the coasts of Somalia.

The Palestinian people continue to suffer from very difficult economic and humanitarian conditions, especially in the Gaza Strip which is still subjected to the siege imposed by the Israeli occupying forces for the past four years. In this regard, we demand that Israel, the occupying power, be compelled by the International Community to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip, open all the passages immediately to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people end its occupation of the Arab lands and resume the peace negotiations according to relevant international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative. We further urge the donor countries to continue their assistance to the Palestinian people and government in anticipation of the end of the Israeli occupation of their land and the establishment of their independent state.

The United Arab Emirates is committed to continue providing humanitarian and development assistance to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority until the liberation of their land from the Israeli occupation. The UAE is one of the major contributors to the immediate humanitarian assistance and development projects as well as to the direct budget of the Palestinian Authority. Our contribution in 2010 alone amounted to 98,6 million dollars earmarked to support the government and development projects.

We reaffirm our support to UNRWA and stress the importance of its role in helping the Palestinian people in the occupied territories. We demand that UNRWA workers and assistance should have easy access to the Palestinian refugees in all areas of its operations. We further stress the necessity of providing UNRWA with sufficient financial support so it can continue its humanitarian and developmental activities in the area.

WAM/ES/AB