ADFD spends AED84b to finance 550 projects

ABU DHABI – In a report celebrating its 47th anniversary, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for development aid, announced that it has expended a total of AED84 billion to finance approximately 550 projects in 88 beneficiary countries.

Since its inception on July 15, 1971, ADFD has disbursed AED37 billion in concessionary loans, AED44 billion in UAE government grants and AED3 billion in investments.

Focusing on key socio-economic sectors including health, education, housing, water, irrigation, agriculture and renewable energy, ADFD’s development funding seeks to support the national priorities of beneficiary countries, improve standards of living and drive the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Along with its core operations, ADFD’s innovative partnerships with the private sector and international funding institutions have helped consolidate the UAE’s prominent status among global foreign aid providers. The country has retained its position as the world’s largest donor of official development assistance relative to national income for the fifth year in a row.

Speaking on the occasion, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “The continued success ADFD achieved since its establishment by the founding father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, is attributed to the wise leadership of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of ADFD Board of Directors.”

He added: “The outstanding results over the past 47 years reflect ADFD’s strategic approach to implementing the UAE’s foreign development goals and assisting developing countries in addressing their socio-economic challenges.”

In 2017, ADFD also commissioned the Korea Development Institute (KDI), a leading Korean think tank, to run a feasibility study investigating the need for a UAE-based export program in line with the highest international standards. The program aims to support the goals of the UAE Vision 2021 – diversifying the economy, reducing dependence on oil revenues, and preparing the country for the post-oil era. Furthermore, it will align with the objectives of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 that seeks to advance sustainable socio-economic development.

ADFD was established in 1971 with a starting operating capital worth AED500 million. Over the years, the Fund has registered steady financial growth and expanded its footprint across the globe. ADFD’s operating capital today is AED16 billion.

To date, ADFD allocated AED2.5 billion to support vital healthcare projects across the developing world. Seeking to provide quality medical services to the populations of the beneficiary countries, the Fund has financed the construction of hospitals and treatment centers, the purchase of medical equipment and medicines, and the implementation of preventive health programmes. In a bid to ensure the effectiveness of development assistance in this field, ADFD has stepped up collaboration with international relief organizations to meet the urgent healthcare needs of people in developing countries.

ADFD contributed to the financing of 48 housing projects with a total value of AED8 billion.

ADFD’s efforts in the transport sector have helped drive sustainable development. In this context, the Fund financed 94 projects with a total value of about AED14 billion in countries across the globe, including Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, Tajikistan and Senegal.

As part of its overarching commitment to supporting crucial renewable energy projects that ensure a reliable and sustainable power supply, ADFD continues to fund efforts in this vital sector. In collaboration with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) within the framework of the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility, the Fund allocated $25 million for two new renewable energy projects in 2017. Over the past five funding cycles of the facility, ADFD financed 21 projects in 20 developing countries valued at $214 million.

The fifth funding cycle projects aim to produce 18 megawatts of solar photovoltaic energy in Mauritius and Rwanda, bringing about a significant change in the lives of more than 2.5 million people through providing affordable energy to low-income communities. These projects are expected to stimulate sustainable development through driving economic growth, reducing environmental pollution by mitigating harmful CO2emissions, and improving the quality of life, education and healthcare for the local population.

In addition, following on the success of the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund (UAE-PPF), the UAE announced the launch of a new initiative to implement innovative clean energy solutions in the Caribbean island countries. Through the newly established US$50 million UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund (UAE-CREF), ADFD approved the financing of five renewable energy projects worth $15 million. — SG