ABU DHABI, 15th May, 2022 (WAM) — Since its founding in 1971, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has received special attention from the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who carried the legacy of the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed, in promoting the UAE globally as a unique model of tolerance and giving.
His unlimited support had a considerable impact on the Fund’s success in achieving its objectives towards driving sustainable development in developing countries.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, ADFD Director-General, told the Emirates News Agency (WAM) that the UAE and the world have lost a wise leader who dedicated his life to serving his country and continue the renaissance started by the late Sheikh Zayed, until the UAE became a pioneering model in achieving sustainable development locally and globally.
Thanks to the late Sheikh Khalifa’s developmental efforts and humanitarian work, the UAE has made its way into the hearts of people who benefited from those developmental projects, he added. He also underscored the UAE’s role and its leadership in helping countries overcome their challenges, as it was among the first countries to support humanitarian initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the UAE accounting for 80 percent of the global response to the pandemic. The country’s contributions totalled 2,154 tonnes of medical aid and supplies, distributed across 135 countries around the world.
Since becoming chair of the ADFD’s Board of Directors, the late Sheikh Khalifa worked to push comprehensive development forward with great vigor, devoting his life to continuing the UAE’s renaissance and driving local and global economic growth, driven by his belief in the importance of standing by fellow nations of the world.
The fund, through its developmental and investment projects, had a direct role in advancing the economies of developing countries, as it financed several strategic projects which contributed to the development of 103 countries. Moreover, the fund doubled its financing and investment volume to over AED 150 billion, which helped enhance access to health and educational services, as well as develop infrastructure across road, transportation, water networks, airport construction, housing, and other vital projects that improve overall quality of life.
The late Sheikh Khalifa was keen to implement an active foreign policy that cements the UAE’s status as an active member of the regional and international communities. He strived to strengthen relations with various countries, through efforts to implement the UAE’s foreign development aid policy, which supports the economic growth of the developing countries to achieve sustainable development and improve their people’s living conditions. The Fund contributed to positioning the UAE as the world’s first and largest donor for development aid.
The spirit of giving of the late Sheikh Khalifa also left a mark locally, when he amended, in 2013, the provisions of the law establishing the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, to include the UAE in the list of beneficiary countries, which helped further accelerate the UAE’s development drive.
Over the past years, the Fund has launched initiatives and developed new tools that contributed to the growth of the national economy. This was done by enhancing the role of the private sector as an active strategic partner in the development process. Other major strides include expanding the scope of work of national companies by enabling them to implement and develop ADFD-funded projects in beneficiary countries.
ADFD launched the Abu Dhabi Exports Office (ADEX), to support national companies and build a diversified and sustainable economy by providing financing solutions and guarantees to importers of Emirati products and services, further enhancing the UAE’s presence on the global trade map. This has contributed to increasing national export rates and opening new markets for them.
The admirable humanitarian stances of the late Sheikh Khalifa have contributed to charting a brighter future for numerous communities around the world, positioning the UAE as a pioneer in driving sustainable economic development, both locally and globally.