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GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS - DEVELOPMENT AID

Lubna: DIHAD supports UAE's international humanitarian stature
posted on 28/03/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) and Head of the National Committee for the Coordination of Foreign Aid, on Thursday described the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) as a big boost for the UAE's stature as an active humanitarian actor.
During her visit to the 12th edition of DIHAD (DIHAD2015), the minister said that it also proves that humanitarian action in the UAE has become a strong commitment and an integrated system through which the wise leadership, namely President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, extends support to the international community's humanitarian response to crises and disasters across the world.
She noted that the UAE harnessed its capabilities as a logistic hub for humanitarian supplies and operations between the East and the West through Dubai's International Humanitarian City (IHC).
During her tour to the venue of the conference, Sheikha Lubna met with heads of humanitarian agencies to discuss ways of bolstering humanitarian cooperation.
The Ministry of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) is showcasing its humanitarian efforts at DIHAD. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395278515709.html

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UAE-Norway Foreign Aid and Cooperation meeting
posted on 27/03/2015

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, MICAD, and Head of UAE Committee for the Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid, has asserted the importance of enhancing the Emirati-Norwegian approach on supporting international development efforts and the joint vision of the two countries on fighting poverty, hunger and diseases in developing countries and poor communities, in addition to promoting the bilateral cooperation in humanitarian action, development and supporting the international organisations' efforts.
She made her comments yesterday at the opening of the UAE-Norway Foreign Aid and Cooperation meeting, on the sidelines of the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD). The meeting jointly organised by the MICAD and Norwegian Embassy in Abu Dhabi aims to put the foundation for a mutual partnership, enhancing the cooperation and exchanging the experience in international development, with the participation of representatives of UAE donors and humanitarian organisations and their counterparts in the Norwegian side.
Sheikha Lubna added: "We want to focus on building relationships that help in laying a strong foundation for cooperation, information exchange, sharing the knowledge and mutual learning, which in return contribute in improving the lives of other people in many places in the world, especially in developing countries."
She also praised Norway's efforts and record in supporting international development using the best practices, transparency, enhancing the ability to join a multilateral global system, developing the technical capabilities in areas of international development, aid provision and enhancing the effectiveness of the outputs or the delivered aid.
During her opening speech, the minister reviewed MICAD's efforts since its establishment in 2013 for promoting the UAE foreign aid policy and UAE's achievement of the ODA/GNI percentage of 1.34%, following the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. In addition to UAE's membership in the Development Aid Committee (DAC) in 2014, and the establishment of the UAE Committee for the Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid.
She also affirmed, "Based on the positive developments, under the directives and vision of our Leadership, UAE recognises the importance of enhancing the effectiveness, exploring the opportunities that come through partnering with active international donor countries," Moreover, "UAE is aware that the goal is not to be the largest donor country, rather it's about how to deliver our aid to others in a way that enhances quality and effectiveness."
She called on to seize the opportunity of this first meeting to lay the foundation to promote the UAE-Norway partnership and drive learned lessons from the long track record of achievements in foreign aid provision and practical practice of both UAE and Norway.
The meeting was attended by Sten Anders Berge, Ambassador of Norway in UAE, and Sultan Al Shamsi, Assistant Under-Secretary for International Development, MICAD.
Representatives from Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, Noor Dubai, Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Establishment, Dubai Care, Al Maktoum Foundation, Sharjah Charity, UAE Red Crescent, Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities, Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, Dubai Charity Association, Al Rahma Charity Association, Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Humanitarian and Charitable Foundation, International Humanitarian City, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and Ministry of Foreign Affairs also attended the meeting.
On the Norwegian side the meeting was attended by the representatives of Norwegian Refugees Council (NRC), Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), Norwegian People's Aid and NOREPS (Norwegian Emergency Preparedness System)/Innovation Norway. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395278491916.html

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IHC signs three partnerships at DIHAD 2015
posted on 27/03/2015

The International Humanitarian City, IHC, has signed three partnership agreements at DIHAD Conference and Exhibition 2015, aimed at contributing to the development of humanitarian action through the activation of local participation by individuals, institutions and businesses partnerships.
The agreements are signed with Dubai Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, Group 32 and UPS to serve the humanitarian work.
IHC CEO, Shaima Al Zarooni said, "The IHC is proud of its strong partnership with DIHAD and we are keen to enrich the value of existing efforts by launching new and effective partnerships that serve the humanitarian work."
"Through the launch of these partnerships with government institutions, youth initiatives and commercial companies we shall coordinate efforts and standardisation in line with the objectives of the IHC's strategy 2015- 2021."
At the level of partnerships with local government departments, the IHC signed a partnership agreement with Dubai Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation to support global humanitarian projects, where the IHC reserved 500 square meters to be used for the storage of Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation food used in emergency response and enable cooperation to supply Awqaf meals to relief organisations such as the United Nations and other humanitarian organisations.
Local youth initiatives were part of the main partnerships launched at DIHAD and witnessed the partnership between the IHC and Group 32 Mercedes-Benz, to activate the engagement of local youth in order to support humanitarian projects, and utilise Group 32 vehicles to publicise the activities of IHC and its members through promoting its awareness campaigns at the local level.
In line with the IHC's mandate to become a training centre for local and international humanitarian workers and the existing partnership between the IHC, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) it has been agreed to include the jointly organised workshop on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and its applications to the annual activities. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395278488334.html

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MICAD, UNHCR discuss cooperation
posted on 26/03/2015

Hazza Mohammed Falah Al Qahtani, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development, MICAD, has said that the Syrian refugees issue is representing a challenge and a concern to humanitarian organisations and has called on the international community to enhance responsiveness and address its repercussions, especially its impact on a large segment of the Syrian people.
He added, "This calls for the concerted international efforts and activation of intervention mechanisms, as well as common international efforts, praising the active and supportive role of UNHCR for Syrian refugees.
Al Qahtani gave his remarks while meeting with UNHCR's Middle East and North Africa Director and Regional Refugee Coordinator for Syria and Iraq, Amin Awad and his accompanying delegation on the side-lines of MICAD's participation in the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition, DIHAD 2015.
He also added that the UAE, under its prudent leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has become one of the top countries which supports refugees' issues through the UAE's humanitarian and donor organisations, and proves the country's commitment in this regard.
He also drew attention to the growing challenges facing the Middle East, as the region is experiencing a surge in immigration and mass displacement of a number of populations of those countries, as well as the growing rates of refugees as a result of the accelerating political tensions, stressing the need to launch initiatives in this concern.
Al-Qahtani reviewed the UAE's efforts in the field of supporting refugees' issues globally, particularly the Syrian refugees issue. He also tackled the mechanisms and joint cooperation channels between the UAE and UNHCR in the light of signed agreements as represented by the UAE's US$5 million donations for Syria as part of the country's second pledge during the International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait, in 2014.
Sultan Mohammed Al Shamsi, MICAD Assistant Under-Secretary, attended the meeting. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395278432245.html

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Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan School in Kenya named best in Mombasa and Coast Province
posted on 23/03/2015

MOMBASA: The Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Secondary and Technical School has been chosen as the best school in Mombasa and the Coast Province among 4,000 other schools of the current academic year, according to a rating issued by Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
The accomplishment was achieved thanks to the massive efforts exerted by the school administration, faculty members and students. Over the past few years, the school has recorded a noticeable increase in excellence of its educational operations.
In a statement on the occasion, Mohammed Haji Al Khouri, Director-General of the Khalifa bin Zayed Foundation, expressed his deepest greetings and congratulations to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Khalifa Foundation.
Suleiman Bwika, Principal of Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan School, expressed his pleasure at this accomplishment and attributed the success to the tireless efforts, hard work and dedication of all members of the school community. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395278278634.html

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UAE's foreign aid sends a message of peace and fraternity to the world, says Lubna Al Qasimi
posted on 20/03/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) and Head of the UAE Committee for Coordination of Foreign Humanitarian Aid, has said the UAE's humanitarian efforts send a message of peace and fraternity to the world, thanks to the wise vision of the leadership.
She added that President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, back the pillars of the global stability and peace among different nationalities and religions.
Observing the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which falls on Saturday, Sheikha Lubna said that the UAE's foreign humanitarian aid would contribute towards development and curbing all forms of segregation, noting that those noble values had been instilled by the founder of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
She further said that as the world marks this occasion, the UAE foreign aid would boost development in developing countries and poor communities through financing the education and health programme as well as creating more job opportunities to bridge social class and gender gaps.
Sheikha Fatima noted that the UAE had spent Dh200 million in 2013 to empower women in the conflict zones in line with its efforts to achieve the millennium goals for 2015.
She underlined that the UAE record in providing relief aid to refugees and displaced people highlights the country's prestigious status to alleviate the suffering of persecuted people irrespective of their categories, areas and regions. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395278198271.html

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Abu Dhabi's Masdar, Morocco's ONEE partner to deliver electricity to 940 Moroccan remote villages
posted on 19/03/2015

CASABLANCA: Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, Masdar, and Morocco's Office National de l'Electricite et de l'Eau Potable (the national drinking water utility company), ONEE, have signed a partnership to design, supply and install 17,670 Solar Home Systems across 940 villages in the Kingdom of Morocco. When complete, the solar homes, along with broader electrification initiatives, will result in 99 percent of rural Morocco having access to energy by the end of 2017 – a critical resource that underpins economic development.
Dr. Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and chairman of Masdar, and Ali Fassi-Fihri, Director-General of ONEE, signed the agreement in Casablanca, Morocco.
"The UAE has longstanding bilateral ties with Morocco, and this project reflects our commitment to work together to enhance economic and social opportunity," said Al Jaber. "We look forward to working with our strategic partners to complete this project and demonstrate the positive impact of improving access to energy through solar power."
The project is funded through a grant by the Abu Dhabi government – reflecting the United Arab Emirates' strong bond and historic relationship with the Kingdom of Morocco.
Regarding the rural electrification project with Masdar, Ali Fassi-Fihri, director general of ONEE, said, "This project fits perfectly with the strategy of the Moroccan Government for the development of rural areas through the achievement of basic infrastructure.
"Rural electrification through Solar Home Systems is part of an ambitious programme launched by the Moroccan Government in 1996, which allowed access by connecting to the national grid more than 12 million people and equipped 51,559 homes with solar systems," said Ali Fassi-Fihri. "This effort has greatly contributed to improving the living conditions of rural populations, especially those concerned by the National Initiative for Human Development.
"The development of renewable energy is one of the most important economic policies of the government of Morocco," said Ali Fassi-Fihri. "In fact, the government is committed to securing 42 percent of nation's energy from renewable sources by 2020.Working closely with Masdar, we will electrify our rural communities, spur economic growth, create jobs and take an important step toward energy security."
The Solar Home Systems are being delivered by Masdar Special Projects – a division of Masdar Clean Energy – that has expertise in deploying renewable energy solutions to remote, rural communities, often under challenging conditions.
Masdar and ONEE will work closely to design, supply, install and commission the Solar Home Systems. For an initial two-year period, Masdar will provide maintenance and operational training, a responsibility which ONEE will take over and maintain.
Each Solar Home System consists of 290-watt solar panels, which charge two batteries with sufficient storage capacity for three days. To maximise the economic and social impact of the project, Masdar and ONEE will seek locally sourced materials and employ local contractors for the installation and maintenance of the solar systems.
Morocco is an early adopter of renewable energy. With ambitious clean-energy targets, and large solar and wind power potential, Morocco is one of the Middle East and North Africa's most promising markets. In fact, the government aims to install 2 gigawatts of solar energy by 2020, which will represent 14 percent of the country's total installed capacity.
"Today, Masdar is able to tailor and deliver renewable-energy solutions that satisfy the complex challenges of remote, rural locations," said Dr. Al Jaber. "From the Pacific to Africa, Masdar has a strong track record of integrating wind and solar projects that often have transformative, positive effects for the community."
Masdar's large-scale projects include London Array – the largest offshore wind farm in the world – and the Dudgeon wind farm, a 402-megawatt project underway in the United Kingdom. In the Middle East, Masdar is working to deliver the 117-megawatt Tafila onshore wind farm in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and a 50-megawatt wind farm in the Sultanate of Oman. Some of Masdar's small-scale projects include a 6-megawatt wind farm in the Republic of Seychelles, the delivery of 600 solar-home systems in Afghanistan and a 500-kilowatt solar photovoltaic power plant in the Kingdom of Tonga. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395278147837.html

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ADFD plays leading role in supporting sustainable development in Egypt
posted on 18/03/2015

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, has supported the process of comprehensive and sustainable development in the Arab Republic of Egypt through the provision of loans and management of government grants aimed at building, development and support of key sectors in the country.
The historical ties between the UAE and Arab Republic of Egypt provides a strong springboard for further collaboration and interaction between the people of both countries at multiple levels and in various fields. Building on this outstanding relationship, ADFD seeks to support the inclusive development of Egypt through providing loans and managing government grants with a view to developing key sectors of the Egyptian economy.
ADFD's engagement in the development of Egypt dates back to 1974, when the Fund financed the Talkha Fertiliser Factory. Since then, Egypt has remained among the top countries that benefited from ADFD's loans.
To date, ADFD has funded and managed 17 projects in Egypt across sectors such as agriculture, housing, energy, transport, trade and industry, tourism, and social development at a total project outlay of Dh3.5 billion. This includes Dh2.056 billion in government grants allocated for seven projects managed by ADFD, as well as Dh1.442 billion loan allocated to finance 10 projects.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of Coordination Office of UAE-funded Development Projects in Egypt, said: "As a leading national institution, we are proud to partner with ADFD in implementing a number of development projects in Egypt under the directives of UAE leadership. These projects are testament to the historical relationship shared by the two countries at all levels."
Dr. Sultan added that the UAE-funded development projects in Egypt aim to promote economic and social development in the country through supporting its efforts to develop vital economic sectors and improving the living standards of ordinary Egyptian citizens.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development said: "The strong bonds between the UAE and the Egypt are the result of continuous engagement between the two countries for many years in various fields. It provides a unique model for brotherly relations based on mutual respect and common objectives. The projects funded by ADFD in Egypt also articulate the depth of our historical relations, as well as the importance placed by ADFD on supporting Egypt in its steady march towards achieving sustainable development."
Al Suwaidi added: "At ADFD, we are proud to collaborate with friendly countries and contribute to achieving better living standards for the people of Egypt people through investing in development projects and creating job opportunities."
In line with its objectives of improving the living standards of people in Egypt, ADFD has financed and managed three vital housing projects and related infrastructure at a total investment outlay of Dh1.4 billion. Notable among these is the Dh735-million Sheikh Zayed Housing City Project, one of Egypt's largest residential developments.
The Fund has also developed the supporting infrastructure including public utilities, and water supply network for this project. Located 38 kilometres to the west of Cairo on the Cairo – Alexandria road and the Sixth of October City, the project includes the construction of the 200-bed Sheikh Zayed City hospital, which offers all medical specialties and equipment including a nuclear medicine therapy department.
Additionally, the project comprises two mosques, secondary schools for girls and boys, an industrial and trade secondary school, five primary schools and two centres affiliated to Al Azhar University.
The Fund has also managed a grant allocated to build 300 housing units for farmers in Al Khattara area along with the required infrastructure, including internal roads, water and electricity lines, a school, and an Dh12 million mosque. The project aims to develop the rural areas and reduce migration from countryside to cities through developing agriculture and livestock sectors, and providing a decent living standard for farmers based in Khattara area.
In the agricultural sector, ADFD has funded and managed five agricultural projects at a total project outlay of Dh1.3 billion including the West Nubaria land reclamation project. The Dh263 million reclamation project is aimed at developing the agricultural sector through the reclamation of 55,000 acres of land in the West of Nobaira and Northeastern Cost. The project provided a much-needed thrust to the agricultural sector reclaiming vast tracts of land to grow crops of high value, such as vegetables, fruits, cereals and cotton. The project also enabled the implementation of a high-scale reclamation program for farmers, while providing agricultural labourers with thousands of jobs.
The project included the purchase of land reclamation devices, state-of-the-art irrigation tools, components of electrical networks such as transformers needed to operate the project, construction of small pumping plants in some agricultural regions, extension of canals and piping for irrigation and providing the regions with advanced agricultural equipment, cables and insulators.
In its efforts towards tackling the global traffic congestion challenge and accelerating economic growth in Egypt, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development financed the Suez Canal Project. The financial breakdown across two years, 1974 and 1977, reached a total value of Dh205 million.
The project aimed to develop and expand the Suez Canal to increase international maritime movement. This goal was achieved by increasing the water level in the canal and through modernising and developing the communication infrastructure. In addition, the project contributed to increasing supervision equipment space, which allows a passage way for ships with a draft of 16.1 meters.
The Suez Canal enhancement enabled the channels to accommodate the new generation of large cargo ships as well as the huge oil and gas tankers, facilitating and transit cargo between oil producing and consuming countries and boosting the channel's income significantly.
The project included the associated civil works such as drilling and bridging for the expansion of the channel, the construction of breakwaters in Port Fuoad Area in the far northern part of the channel, along with the latest navigation unit control equipment systems and VMS radar devices.
Since its inception, ADFD has prioritised power projects in developing countries due to the vital role of electricity in stimulating economic and social growth as well as supporting commercial and industrial activities.
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development financed two projects worth Dh312 million in Egypt. A loan of Dh128 million was provided to finance Abi Quair Power Plant. This project is meant to secure power supply for factories and new facilities in the industrial zone of Abi Qair in Alexandria.
This project has contributed to increasing productivity in the industrial sector. It also included the establishment of a plant for generating electricity using vapour. The plant has two vapour turbines, with a capacity of 30 MW, in addition to two units for vapour generation using natural gas produced in the Abi Madi gas field in the Northern Delta. The project also included providing the plant with all necessary services.
The energy sector projects also included the establishment of the Banha Power Station valued at Dh184 million. The project aims to meet the growing demand for electricity and the increasing load in the centre of the Delta region. A generator plant was put in place with a capacity of about 750MW linked to the electricity grid in the country with 220kV and combined with a cycle system. The project consists of two gas turbines and two steam turbines with a capacity of 250MW each, two boilers to restore heat, three generators, and transformers. The project also includes all civil, mechanical and electrical work, as well as consultancy services and insurance.
The Fund is keen to provide all forms of support in developing the industrial sector in Egypt. ADFD financed the project in Talkha, worth a total of Dh58 million. The project primarily includes ammonia plants, urea plants and plants that provide support services, with the aim of achieving self-sufficiency in nitrogenous fertilisers.
The Talkha fertiliser plant has a perfect location near the Abu Madi field in the north of the Delta region, as it depends on the supply of natural gas - a basic substance in the production of urea.
The tourism sector is one of the most important drivers of economic development in countries. It generates foreign exchange, creates job opportunities for thousands of citizens and attracts local and foreign investment.
ADFD supported the Egyptian economy by offering a loan of Dh17 million to develop the tourism sector. Upgrading of hotels was a top priority for strengthening the status of Egypt as one of the leading and most popular touristic destinations in the world. The primary project carried out with the support of ADFD included the restoration and rehabilitation of the hotel named Omar Khayyam (now known as Marriott Zamalek), which overlooks the River Nile. This project provided a remarkable momentum to the growth and development of Egyptian tourism.
The project renovation included all 700 hotel bedrooms, internal and external halls and conference halls, recreational activities, as well as restoration and remodelling of roads and the hotel's garden.
ADFD's contributions to the social development sector in Egypt included the establishment of the Social Fund for Development Foundation. This project aimed to provide secondary loans to owners of small and medium-sized enterprises, towards creating new jobs in productive fields, for several thousand youth, university graduates and for those who had lost their jobs as a result of the implementation of the comprehensive economic reform program.
The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development financed the Social Fund for Development in two phases, the first in 1991 when it offered and facilitated a loan of Dh184 million and the second in 1997 when it offered a loan of Dh37 million. The two loans bolstered the active role played by the Social Fund for Development in backing the projects of graduate entrepreneurs as well as craftsmen.
Established in 1971, ADFD is a national organisation responsible for assisting developing countries through administering loans and direct grant aids on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government. The Fund aims to promote sustainable socio-economic development and private sector growth in target countries. Since its inception, ADFD has overseen the provision of Dh64 billion towards financing 428 development projects in 72 countries around the world. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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El-Sisi receives Abdullah bin Zayed on side-lines of Egypt Economic Development Conference
posted on 16/03/2015

SHARM El-SHEIKH: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi received yesterday H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, on the side-lines of 'Egypt Economic Development Conference', being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
President el-Sisi praised the benevolent positions taken by the UAE leadership and people in support of Egypt and the will of its people, citing the UAE's unwavering support to the Egyptian economy.
President el-Sisi thanked the UAE for the vital role it played in organising the conference and making it successful, referring to the wide participation of the UAE institutions and companies, and its eagerness to take part in the economic development of Egypt.
During the meeting, President el-Sisi and the UAE Foreign Minister discussed the bilateral relations between the two countries in various political, economic and developmental fields. They also exchanged views on ways to strengthen them to reach new horizons of greater cooperation and strategic coordination between the two countries in the best interest of both countries and peoples, especially in the light of the unfolding events in the region, which require concerted efforts to build effective and capable Arab strategy to address various challenges, particularly those related to the counter-terrorism and extremism.
Sheikh Abdullah reiterated during the meeting the position of the UAE in support of Egypt, politically and economically, noting that Egypt is a pillar of stability and safety valve in the Middle East, given its strategic and security weight in the region, a move he said, "doubles the importance of backing it in this defining moment."
The meeting was attended by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and Sameh Shoukry, Egyptian Foreign Minister. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395277969789.html

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Abdullah bin Zayed visits pavilion of Coordination Office of the UAE-funded Development Projects in Egypt
posted on 16/03/2015

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, 16th March, 2015 (WAM) -- H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, has visited the pavilion of the Coordination Office of the UAE-funded Development Projects in Egypt, at the exhibition of the Egypt Economic Development Conference, entitled, "Egypt The Future", which is being held in Sharm El-Sheikh.
H.H. Sheikh Abdullah was accompanied by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and the head of the Coordinating Office who briefed H.H. about the office's work and the role that he has played in preparing for the conference. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395277967577.html

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Masdar, ACWA Power, EEHC sign MoU to increase Egypt’s power generation
posted on 16/03/2015

SHARM EL-SHEIKH: Dr. Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar, Paddy Padmanathan, ACWA Power President and CEO, and Gaber Dessouky, Chairman of the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company, EEHC, have signed an MoU on the side-lines of the Egyptian Economic Cooperation Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh. The non-binding framework is aimed at increasing Egypt's power generation to meet its growing electricity demands and support economic growth.
Dr. Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, Egypt's Minister of Electricity And Energy, said, "Egypt is committed to meeting our rising energy needs and encouraging economic growth by developing new power generation in our country. We appreciate the partnership of companies, such as Masdar, ACWA Power and EEHC, which will explore the development of new renewable energy and natural gas facilities to provide electricity for Egyptian homes and businesses."
Masdar, Abu Dhabi's multifaceted renewable energy company, would lead development of renewable energy projects. According to the MoU, the partners will evaluate 2 GW of renewable energy projects, including 1.5 GW of solar and 500 Megawatts of wind. The first project that would be considered is a 200 MW solar photovoltaic plant.
Dr. Belhoul said, "Egypt has one of the fastest growing populations in the Middle East and requires additional electricity to power its economic expansion. As a regional and global leader in delivering large-scale renewable energy projects, Masdar is eager to move forward with our partners to explore sustainable, economic options to improve Egypt's energy security. The significant contribution from renewable energy envisioned in this agreement further confirms the increasing cost-competitiveness of these solutions."
The framework agreement also calls for development of 2.2 GW of combined-cycle natural gas generation led by ACWA Power.
Mr. Padmanathan said, "Egypt is a very important market for us. The Egyptian government efforts in keeping pace with the increasing demand of power and energy to meet the expectations of its developing economy, is a key driver in looking into efficient energy solutions. Through this MoU, the partnership will look into potential opportunities of generating power more efficiently, utilising a broader mix of fuel resources and renewable energy sources, hence providing cutting edge technologies and a more cost competitive approach. Producing 4 Gigawatts of energy will not only sustain economic development but will also position Egypt as one of the globally leading countries in the field of renewable energy."
Egypt has made installing additional power generation capacity a priority, rolling out one of the Middle East and North African region's most ambitious renewable energy programmes as it seeks to meet surging domestic energy demand while curbing reliance on fossil fuel imports.
Mr Dessouky said, "We are pleased to partner with ACWA Power and Masdar to examine the development of new power plants in Egypt, including renewable energy and natural gas. Every day we work to ensure that Egyptians have the electricity they need, and at the same time we are looking at new projects to help provide the power for Egypt's future."
At the end of 2013, Egypt had 31 GW of total installed generating capacity, dominated by natural gas and oil. It had 552MW of wind and 20MW of solar generating capacity. The renewable component, including hydro, is projected to increase to 20% by 2020. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395277940029.html

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Lubna Al Qasimi highlights success of UAE Vaccination Campaign in Pakistan
posted on 16/03/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) and Head of the UAE Committee for the Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid, said the UAE has become a pivotal country in protecting people from risks which threaten their existence, especially infectious diseases and epidemics, thanks to the UAE leadership.
She appreciated the directives of the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in this respect In her speech on the occasion of unveiling the results of the vaccination campaign implemented by the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan (UAE PAP) last January and February, she said that the UAE has responded positively to the risks of spread of diseases and epidemics, especially in poor communities and areas, which suffer from shortages of basic needs such as sophisticated medical equipment.
"The UAE has scored once more a new achievement in the light of its international commitments," the UAE Minister said, adding that this feat sends a message to the world that concerted international partnership is needed to address a number of important humanitarian issues.
Sheikha Lubna added that the campaigns, which follow the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to organise humanitarian and developmental aid, support the health sector, enhance preventive programmes in Pakistan, as well as the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces to eradicate polio disease globally, succeeded in vaccination of more than 28 million Pakistani children against polio.
She also reiterated that the UAE's response to the victims of humanitarian crises, especially those related to the deadly and communicable diseases, has become a role model which keeps pace with its policy towards the world, and enhances its responsibilities towards the international community to alleviate suffering of the victims of such diseases.
Sheikha Lubna praised the role played by the UAE PAP'S teams in the light of the geographical, security and logistical challenges to reach the Pakistani children in all areas. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395277963774.html

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Global tribute to UAE and to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s efforts for polio eradication
posted on 15/03/2015

Bill Gates, Founder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hailed in an article published in a number of Arab and International newspapers, the efforts of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to eradicate polio.
Bill Gates pointed to the generous donations made by the UAE to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation in 2012, where it has allocated US$33 million to immunise children in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
He also praised the contribution made by the UAE, under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for the generous donations to eradicate polio in Pakistan and other countries of the world, and what it has done tirelessly to fight misconceptions that limit the success of immunisation campaigns, which have resulted in the success of the efforts of the UAE's leadership in northern Pakistan, thanks to the close and long relations between the peoples of these two countries.
In his article entitled "Gulf Countries at the forefront in improving the lives of poor people", Gates touched on their future vision for the lives of people in poor countries, which is expected to improve at an accelerated and unprecedented pace in the next 15 years in the field of healthcare, the low mortality rate among children and the elimination of more of infectious diseases.
Gates also expressed his thanks and appreciation for the donations provided by governments and individuals in the Gulf Cooperation Council States (GCC) to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, which will save the lives of many children, and will prevent the suffering of a greater number of them in the future, which convinces them even more that this important region of the world can play a greater role in eliminating the diseases and preventing their spread, and upgrading the level of public health for the poorest peoples of the world.
He also praised the opportunity provided to them to work with many distinguished partners in the region, such as "Dubai Cares" and other generous institutions which proved to them that the governments and citizens of the GCC are now ready to contribute more to the upgrading of public health level internationally.
It is worth mentioning that as per the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the UAE has provided humanitarian and development assistance to the people of Pakistan to eradicate polio, through an effort launched by the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has donated Dh440 million (US$120 million), as his contribution to support the global efforts to eradicate polio by 2018, with a particular focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In 2011, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a strategic partnership, during which they would provide a total amount of US$100 million dollars to be divided equally between the two parties for the purchase and delivery of vital vaccines for children in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Emirates vaccination campaign against polio has succeeded in its first phase to immunise 13,283,701 Pakistani children through its campaigns that included 25 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and tribal areas in province Fatih, which are carried out during the months of June, July, August and September of 2014.
The second phase of the Emirates vaccination campaign was also launched in the beginning of this year in Pakistan, which included 53 areas, including 15 districts in the territory of the tribal areas of Fatih and 25 districts in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and 12 districts in the province of Baluchistan, as well as the Karachi area in Sindh province.
The vaccination teams gave three consecutive doses to 17 million children, or a total of 51 million doses, through the implementation of 282 fixed and mobile vaccination campaigns during the months of January, February, March and April of 2015. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395277894987.html

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UAE-PAP immunises Pakistani children with 28.8 million polio vaccines in January, February
posted on 15/03/2015

ISLAMABAD: The UAE has immunised millions of Pakistani children with than 28.8 million polio vaccines in January and February 2015 as part of the second phase of the Emirates Polio Campaign launched under directives from President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on an initiative by His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces. The effort is part of the UAE government s 2013 pledge of Dh440 million to support global efforts to eradicate polio by 2018, said the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE-PAP) in its announcement of the results of polio immunisation drive for the first two months of the current year.
A total of 13,826,386 polio vaccine doses were given to Pakistani children aged under five years in January in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan, Sindh and the tribal provinces. In February, children in these regions were given 14,977,824 additional doses of the vaccine in February, said the UAE-PAP administration of the UAE-PAP.
A third does of the polio vaccine will be given in March to the children in the targeted Pakistani regions as part of massive immunisation drive being carried in cooperation with the Pakistan army, ministry of health and regional governments and World Health Organisation (WHO).
The UAE-PAP polio campaign used more than 10,000 teams using healthcare centres and mobile units for remote villages, refugee camps and border areas.
On 24th April 2013, one day ahead of the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, pledged a donation of Dh440 million to support global efforts to eradicate polio by 2018.
It noted that Pakistan reported 306 polio cases last year, far and away the largest share of the 359 cases worldwide recorded by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a public-private partnership led by national governments and spearheaded by the World Health Organisation, WHO, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, and the United Nations Children s Fund, Unicef, and other agencies.
On 24 January, the administration of the UAE-PAP announced the launch of the second phase of the "Emirates Polio Campaign" in Pakistan, targeting 17 million children in 53 areas with around 51 million vaccination doses under the slogan, "A Healthy and Bright Future for All".
The UAE-PAP administration said that the polio vaccination campaign is being carried out on schedule and was accompanied by an educational campaign to promote awareness of the highly infectious and dangerous disease that attacks the nervous system, and can cause paralysis or death.
Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, Director of the UAE-PAP, said that the success of the vaccination campaign proves that the humanitarian efforts and initiatives of the UAE under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan are remarkably effective and that the UAE is playing a pioneering role in assisting the poor and underprivileged across the in support of the UN's efforts to protect people against diseases and disasters and to provide dignified living for all.
Al Ghafli also noted the importance of the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for eradicating polio in Pakistan which has one of world's highest rates of polio infection. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395277920712.html

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HIPA undertakes corporate social responsibility in remote islands in Malaysia
posted on 15/03/2015

The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) has announced that it sent members of its team to undertake in a corporate social responsibility in various remote islands in Malaysia earlier this year.
The initiative involved interaction with the nomadic Bajau Laut communities in Eastern Malaysia who often live in small communities off the shore of small islands.
The Secretary General of HIPA, Ali bin Thalith said, "This initiative was undertaken to try and have a positive influence on the lives of those who are less fortunate through the art of photography". "The HIPA team travelled to 4 islands in Eastern Malaysia and those were Mataking, Gaya, Silakan and Maiga. The team got to learn more about the local traditions and culture of the local population as well learning first hand of the struggles the sea nomads experience on a daily basis through living in such a remote part of the world".
Bin Thalith continued, "The HIPA team shared the power of photography with the people of the 4 islands by handing out cameras and teaching the children of the islands how to use them, which had a positive impact on everyone involved. For us, the HIPA team, it was a pleasure using our beloved art form (photography) in such a way that brought us closer to the inhabitants of the islands who welcomed us in as family. We are glad that we were able to positively impact the Bajau-laut people in such a way by using photography and we hope to be able to carry out similar initiatives in the future." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Mohammed bin Rashid, el-Sisi witness signing of agreement to build Egypt's new capital
posted on 15/03/2015

SHARM EL SHEIKH, 15th March, 2015 (WAM): Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Egyptian President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi have attended the signing of an agreement to build a new administrative and business capital for Egypt at a cost of 150 billion Egyptian pounds.
It is planned to be built at Ain al-Sokhna road, to the east of Cairo, over 700 sq. km (270 sq. miles) and houses about seven million residents.
The signing ceremony took place on the sidelines of Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
The deal was signed by Mohammed Ali Al Abbar, Chairman of Emaar, which is investing in the project, and, from the Egyptian side, by Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, Minister Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development.
Among others present were H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, and members of delegation accompanying Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Eng. Ibrahim Mahlab, Egypt's Prime Minister, a number of ministers and senior officials.
Sheikh Mohammed and President el-Sisi were briefed about the huge aspects of the design. More than 35 specialised Egyptian construction companies will take part in the implementation of the project. The new capital will host ministries, official institutions and embassies, headquarters for companies and private sector firms. It will also include resorts and modern shopping centres and residential neighbourhoods.
The UAE Vice President, President el-Sisi, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State, and Madbouly toured the exhibition held on the side-line of the conference to feature the new administrative capital. Dr. Madbouly briefed them about the details of a colossal project, which will be constructed between Cairo and Suez Canal, adding that the new capital will be named after His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The promising city will be the new administrative capital of Egypt and will absorb about seven million people. After completion of the construction, the new capital will be linked to Cairo and the Suez Canal.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and the Egyptian president appreciated the project, describing it as "a true reflection of the depth of fraternal ties between the UAE and Egypt's leadership, its government and people." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395277907815.html

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Egypt, UAE and France sign trilateral MoU at Egypt Economic Development Conference
posted on 15/03/2015

SHARM EL SHEIKH: The United Arab Emirates, Arab Republic of Egypt and the Republic of France have signed a trilateral economic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) in Sharm El Sheikh.
The MoU is focused on stimulating private sector investment in a number of priority sectors that have been identified by Egypt; including energy, infrastructure, transportation, information technology and communications, with a particular focus on encouraging environmental best practices.
The MoU was signed by Dr. Najla Al Ahwany, Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Mrs Anne-Marie Idrac, Special Representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development for Trade.
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber said: "We are delighted to sign this trilateral memorandum between the UAE, Egypt, France. This move reflects our collective understanding of the strategic importance of Egypt's stability."
On her part, Dr. Najla Al Ahwani said: "The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is yet another indication of the UAE's commitment to supporting Egypt's economy and ensuring its long term sustainability."
She pointed out that Egypt will seek to benefit from the fruits of this cooperation especially in areas that contribute to the support of the Egyptian economy and achieve sustainable development, adding, "I want to thank both the UAE and France for this partnership that will heed great results for all parties involved."
According to the memorandum, which includes an assessment of joint UAE/France collaboration in Egypt, all parties will aim to include private sector involvement in the designated sectors. The UAE and Egypt are keen to explore ways to collaborate on improving the transportation infrastructure, particularly, for governorates and urban areas.
France has supported the Cairo Metro project for more than thirty years and as such has also expressed interest in the soon to be tendered third metro project.
The MoU also includes a study on a UAE/France renewable energy program in Egypt that aims to produce 20% of Egypt's electricity needs from renewables by 2020.
Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, will play an important role in the trilateral cooperation by utilising its expertise in solar and wind energy; while the UAE and France will collaborate on ways to support Egypt's promising goal of energy efficiency and the adoption of clean technology and reducing its carbon emissions for a sustainable environment. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395277929501.html

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UAE wise leadership backs Egypt, says Al Jaber
posted on 15/03/2015

SHARM AL SHEIKH: Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Coordination Office of UAE-funded Development Projects in Egypt, has affirmed that the directives of the UAE wise leadership to support Egypt.
Al Jaber was addressing the main session at Egypt Economic Development Conference, which will conclude on Sunday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
"We, in the United Arab Emirates, are proud of the strength, depth and breadth of our relationship with the Arab Republic of Egypt, a relationship whose foundations were laid by our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan."
He added that it is a relationship that continues to develop and grow day by day under the wise and visionary leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Supreme Council Members, Their Highnesses the Rulers of the Emirates.
He also said, "As you are all aware, from the end of 2010 to June 2013, Egypt passed through a critical period that had adverse effects on its stability and economy. And it is to that end that the UAE leadership stood firmly by the people of Egypt, and directed me to handle this portfolio. It is why a joint UAE/Egypt task force was formed to achieve social and economic stability and development."
The UAE Minister of State added that following discussions between the two countries, it was immediately evident that priority areas would emerge in infrastructure and development projects and will address the needs that cut across energy, housing, food security, education, vocational training, healthcare and transportation fields. "Every one of these projects are specifically aimed at impacting the daily lives of the Egyptian people."
He brought to attention the fact that in order to achieve quick and tangible results, the leadership of the UAE gave directions to adopt a new and unique approach of working hand in hand with Egyptian partners in a tangible manner by being present and on the ground. He added, "Today, we are proud to claim that this new approach has resulted in 900,000 jobs, benefitting nearly 10million Egyptians."
Al Jaber said, "Allow me here to say that this would not have been possible, had it not been for the collaborative spirit and efforts of our Egyptian partners and the UAE- Egypt Task Force. This spirit of camaraderie has vastly contributed to the realisation of the majority of these important projects in such a short period of time. It has also been the reason we have been able to make a substantial contribution to the development of a sustainable Economic Recovery Plan. This is what a constructive and engaging relationship can accomplish.'
Al Jaber added that this conference is not an objective by itself; but it is a milestone in the realisation of a comprehensive future of Egypt. "It is a first step of many that are aimed at achieving a sustainable economic future for the nation and its people."
He also indicated that "I can safely say that the Egypt Economic Development Conference has achieved its two primary objectives. On the political front yesterday, there was a clear signal that the international community is engaged with the importance of Egypt and has a keen understanding of its pivotal role in the region. Economically, this conference is a clear indication that Egypt is on the right track to build a sustainable economy."
The Minister further said, 'In the reality of things...we must all stand by Egypt today, because Egypt's security and stability is the region's security and stability."
Al Jaber added that over the past few months, the government of Egypt has implemented bold decisions on the economic reforms front, including the gradual lifting of energy subsidies, tax reforms, amendments to investment laws and regulations, including the new investment law. "And today, we are already seeing the positive results of these measures," he added.
He also pointed out that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded an Article IV consultation on Egypt with positive projections for its economic plan.
He underscored that a healthy and sustainable economy requires a steady in-flow of foreign direct investment, adding, "And so, I would like to congratulate Egypt on the important investments that have been and will be announced in Sharm el-Sheikh." He said that with that mind, "I also want to congratulate the entrepreneurs, the businessmen and the investor community that are here today, who recognised the opportunity of this first mover advantage."
Al Jaber noted that under the leadership of President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi, and "with the participation of the Egyptian people, today we can all see a better future for Egypt ahead, a future that reflects a new spirit of collaboration, initiative, achievement and development and I believe that by multiplying efforts, pooling our resources and strengths together and by being both practical and realistic - we will be able to achieve collective success in and for Egypt."
He concluded, "I would like to emphasise three things: one, this conference has already been a huge success. The proof is right here in this hall, representing the Egyptian leadership, leaders and businesses. Two: This is just the beginning of our journey to a new Egypt. The business community needs to commit to long term, sustainable investment. The path of reform that Egypt has begun must continue. And three, Egypt's success is the cornerstone of a greater vision, one of tolerance, stability and prosperity for the entire region." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development activates US$200m development loan agreement for Egypt
posted on 15/03/2015

The UAE's Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development has activated the Loan Agreement signed by Khalifa Fund, the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation and the Egyptian Social Fund for Development last November for US$200 million to be invested in the development of the microfinance sector in the Arab Republic of Egypt, after meeting all requirements pertaining to legal procedures in the two countries, Hussain Jassim Al Nowais, Chairman of the Fund, announced.
Making the announcement on the sidelines of the Egypt Economic Development Conference (Egypt The Future), organised by the Egyptian Government in Sharm el-Sheikh on Friday, Al Nowais said, "This agreement clearly indicates the extent of the keenness of the leadership in the United Arab Emirates to enhance and deepen the channels of cooperation and mutual relationships with Egypt, and confirms the importance which the leadership attaches to development projects that can bring economic and social benefit to the Egyptian citizens."
"Khalifa Fund will soon disburse loan payments in favour of the Egyptian Social Fund for Development, with the expectation that this organisation will contribute towards creating more than 200,000 enterprises in the coming six years, and providing more than 200,000 job opportunities for the Egyptian citizens," said Al Nowais.
"The loan aims at supporting the efforts of the Egyptian Government in combating poverty and unemployment, and promoting the role of women in development and empowerment through availing opportunities in case of those who have entrepreneurial attributes and skills to realise their ambition and to establish their own business that will contribute in enhancing their contribution to the national economy in the Arab Republic of Egypt."
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of the Coordination Office of UAE-funded Development Projects in Egypt, said, "I would like to congratulate Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development and the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation for the activation of the agreement. We have full confidence that this collaboration will contribute to enhancing the efforts that aim at creating job opportunities, especially for women and youth. We look forward to realising the tangible results from this agreement in the near future."
Al Jaber emphasised the importance of leveraging the platform offered by the Egypt Economic Development Conference and the opportunities presented.
Al Nowais added, "The financing initiative is aimed at providing support to the Microenterprises Sector in Egypt through targeting remote areas and disadvantaged groups. There is also need to intensify efforts to promote comprehensive developmental efforts to upgrade them economically and socially, and provide a safety net of continuum towards achieving developmental benefits. Accordingly, this agreement concentrates mainly on directing funding towards the rural areas to finance up to 70 percent of the total funding directed to all the regions of the Republic."
"The execution of the project will be based on directing the financing towards women so that 25 percent of the total enterprises expected to be financed through this agreement are those aimed at women, while the remaining financing will be directed for a diverse range of projects for men and women."
"This loan will contribute to enhancing the social and economic stability of a large segment of the Egyptian society, and it will also contribute to support the governmental efforts to reduce poverty, enhance social welfare and support the Egyptian citizen. The loan is distinguished for its soft terms, with the tenure period of the loan reaching 15 years, with a six-year grace period," added Al Nowais.
On the sidelines of the conference, Al Nowais met with Suha Suleiman Secretary-General of the Egyptian Social Fund Development to discuss the most efficient and effective ways to implement the project and achieve the desired results. They also discussed aspects of cooperation through holding exhibitions to display Egyptian products supported by Social Fund for Development, and also to enhance the export activities for entrepreneurs in both countries.
The two parties also discussed the organisation of marketing and promotional campaigns to encourage Egyptians to benefit from the facilities to develop micro-finance enterprise in Egypt.
"The target of this agreement is to improve livelihoods and create job opportunities for those most in need, especially women and youth. The agreement will provide estimated funds of one billion and five hundred million Egyptian pounds during the coming six years, which will result in financing 200 microfinance enterprises in the government and semi-government sectors that will lead to social stability which will improve the Egyptian economy," said Ms. Suleiman.
"Seventy percent of the Social Fund targets are dedicated to the marginalised and rural areas in the poor parts of Egypt."
Since its establishment, the Social Fund for Development has injected 20 billion Egyptian pounds to support two million small and microfinance enterprises, which led to the creation of three million job opportunities. The SFD also pumped in more than 12 billion pounds and gave loans to more than one million and 700 entrepreneurs in various sectors.
"There will be contracts with more than 200 intermediaries for the implementation of the agreement throughout the duration of the project, about 50,000 women and 60,000 men below the age of 35. Sixty percent of the beneficiaries are below the poverty line," explained Suleiman.
The UAE has allocated financial and technical assistance to Egypt to support the efforts of the country's government towards enhancing social, economic and political stability, and contributing to the support of development programmes to reduce poverty and unemployment and to enable them to get out of this critical stage in order to restore its leading and central role in the Arab world. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395277903937.html

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Mohammed bin Rashid announces US$4b Emirati support to Egypt
posted on 14/03/2015

SHARM EL-SHEIKH: Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced yesterday that the UAE will provide US$ 4 billion in aid to support Egypt.
The amount, to be deposited in the Egyptian central Bank, will fund a number of development and service projects in Egypt.
Sheikh Mohammed made the announcement during a speech he gave at the Egypt Economic Development Conference yesterday in the presence of Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi of Egypt and number of heads of states attending the conference.
Further, Sheikh Mohammed conveyed the greetings of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the President and people of Egypt.
He noted that the UAE has provided US$ 14 billion in aid to Egypt during the past two years.
"The UAE will always remain by Egypt's side. Our support to Egypt emanates from the love we have for the Egyptian people," he added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-arab-international/1395277882869.html

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Mohammed bin Rashid holds talks with El Sisi
posted on 14/03/2015

SHAR EL-SHEIKH: Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum held talks yesterday with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi of Egypt regarding bilateral ties between the two fraternal countries, as well as reviewing the agenda of the Egypt Economic Development Conference.
President El Sisi lauded the positions taken by the UAE, under the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and its political and economic support to Egypt.
Sheikh Mohammed reiterated the UAE leadership's, government's and people's stand towards Egypt as it seeks to develop its economy and to provide prosperity to the brotherly people of Egypt.
Also in attendance were members of the delegation accompanying Sheikh Mohammed, as well as Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and Foreign Minister Samih Shukri. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-arab-international/1395277874074.html

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In an article in Wall Street Journal, Sultan Al Jaber says ''Reform is working for Egypt’s economy''
posted on 14/03/2015

The UAE welcomes Egypt's re-emergence as a strong regional economy that takes full advantage of its educated work force, its young and growing consumer base, and its strategic location at the nexus of Europe, Asia and Africa, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State, has said.
'Our decisive action to help stabilise Egypt's economy and continued investment in building the country's human capital demonstrates a deeply held belief that a strong Egypt is central to the prosperity of the entire Middle East. Now is the time for Egypt's international partners to similarly demonstrate their genuine commitment to support Egypt with both words and deeds,' Al Jaber stressed in an opinion article published in the 'Wall Street Journal' on the occasion of Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm El Sheikh.
Beginning Friday, the UAE will be participating in the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm El Sheikh. The conference is an opportunity for the government of Egypt to speak directly to major global investors about the steps being taken to implement structural reforms, amend out-dated laws and regulations, and create an environment for deeper engagement.
'The United Arab Emirates, like all Arab countries, shares the inheritance of Egypt's centuries of contributions to the region and the world. We have been friends and partners with Egypt since before the inception of our young country, and we were eager to mobilise significant human and financial resources to assist our neighbour during its time of need. Egypt's stability is our stability,' he added.
The full text follows: 'The United Arab Emirates, like all Arab countries, shares the inheritance of Egypt's centuries of contributions to the region and the world. We have been friends and partners with Egypt since before the inception of our young country, and we were eager to mobilise significant human and financial resources to assist our neighbour during its time of need. Egypt's stability is our stability.
Beginning Friday, the UAE will be participating in the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm El Sheikh. The conference is an opportunity for the government of Egypt to speak directly to major global investors about the steps being taken to implement structural reforms, amend out-dated laws and regulations, and create an environment for deeper engagement. Significant investors and multinationals from the Gulf Cooperation Council, the U.S. and Europe have already stepped forward with long-term commitments in a number of important sectors across Egypt's economy. This conference is intended to bolster that trend.
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and those leading his country's governmental institutions understand that there are no quick fixes for Egypt. Sacrifices are required, and the government is making tough but necessary structural reforms to realise the country's potential.
By phasing out energy subsidies, overhauling the tax system and reining in the budget deficit, Egypt's leadership has started the country on a challenging and long-overdue course correction. Such decisions come with considerable political risk, but the risk of inaction is even greater.
A new Egypt is emerging, one built upon a comprehensive 21st-century economic vision.
Over the past two years, working as close partners, the UAE and Egypt have deployed significant capital. A joint Egyptian-Emirati task force completed many projects identified as priorities. The UAE is also investing heavily in educating the next generation of Egyptian job creators. More than 100,000 young people have received vocational training through a program that intends to address 50% of the country's job-market needs in targeted sectors such as construction and the chemical industry.
Most importantly, these joint efforts have created nearly one million jobs.
International recognition of an improving investment environment is paving the way for the private sector to re-engage with the Egyptian economy. In its recently completed review, the International Monetary Fund concluded that Egypt is on a path to achieve inclusive growth, create jobs, contain fiscal and external deficits and stem the loss of foreign-exchange reserves. This is the message of confidence Egypt and its partners have been waiting for.
Egypt's reforms are yielding results. More than $4.1 billion in foreign direct investment flowed into Egypt in 2014, a 7% increase in just one year. Credit rating agencies Fitch and Moody's recently upgraded their outlooks on Egypt. Morgan Stanley Capital International ranked the Egyptian stock market as 2014's best-performing, registering returns of 31%. And the IMF forecasts economic growth at 4.3% in fiscal year 2015-16. Unsurprisingly, BP, Coca-Cola, Chrysler, Ford and other multinational powerhouses are all bullish on Egypt.
The UAE welcomes Egypt's re-emergence as a strong regional economy that takes full advantage of its educated work force, its young and growing consumer base, and its strategic location at the nexus of Europe, Asia and Africa. Our decisive action to help stabilise Egypt's economy and continued investment in building the country's human capital demonstrates a deeply held belief that a strong Egypt is central to the prosperity of the entire Middle East. Now is the time for Egypt's international partners to similarly demonstrate their genuine commitment to support Egypt with both words and deeds.' – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395277872297.html

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Sultan Al Jaber, General Electric CEO and Chairman discuss co-operation
posted on 14/03/2015

SHARM EL-SHEIKH: Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, yesterday met with General Electric CEO and chairman, Jeff Immelt, on the sidelines of the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh.
During the meeting, the parties discussed horizons of joint co-operation in the energy sector and on enhancing investment. Al Jaber also briefed Immelt on the new plans and projects of Masdar.
General Electric, which has a notable presence in the Emirati and Egyptian markets, announced new investment worth of US$200 million in Egypt with the launch of a new centre for industry, engineering, services and training which covers energy, renewable resources, water treatment, oil, gas, aviation, rail sectors and others. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395277886360.html

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Egyptian Ambassador hails UAE's role in backing Egypt Economic Development Conference
posted on 14/03/2015

Ehab Hammoda, Egyptian Ambassador to the UAE has praised the UAE leadership, people and the business community for their significant support to the 'Egypt Economic Development Conference', which is being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
He added that the UAE was one of the first countries to fully back the idea of holding the conference from day one, citing that His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, stressed that the UAE's position reflects the interest of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in backing Egypt so as to achieve the aspirations of the people of Egypt and restore stability and prosperity.
The Egyptian envoy said the huge participation of the UAE at the conference reflects the historic relations between the two countries.
"This position is not strange from the loving people of Egypt to take part at the conference aimed at supporting the development of the Egyptian economy," he said, adding that the huge participation of the UAE government, private sector and the business community at the conference confirms the support for Egypt and investment in its enormous investment opportunities.
He reiterated that the UAE's distinguished and historic ties date back to the era of the country's founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a legacy followed by the current leadership and the people.
The UAE envoy commended the efforts of the Coordination Office of the UAE-Funded Development Projects in Egypt chaired by the UAE Minister of State, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber to make the conference a platform for highlighting the investment opportunities in Egypt.
He underscored the UAE's continuous support to Egypt to tackle the current challenges and achieve stability and development. He noted that the UAE finances and supervises over a number of vital development projects in Egypt, among others, housing, energy, education, healthcare, food security, transport and telecommunications, adding that the projects would benefit over 10 million Egyptians in the rural and remote areas, and provide over 900, 000 job opportunities. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395277888001.html

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Yemeni President lauds UAE's supportive stances towards his country
posted on 14/03/2015

ADEN: Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has praised UAE's constant stances towards his country as 'honourable' in different situations and circumstances.
'The UAE has significant hallmarks and contributions in support of Yemen in economic and social spheres, the latest of which was the kind hosting of the meeting of the constitution drafting committee, which completed its mission in the state,' the Yemeni President said as he received Khalid Al Hosani, Charge d'Affaires of UAE Embassy in Yemen, at his place of residence in Aden.
On his part Al Hosani emphasised the UAE's support for the constitutional legitimacy, represented by President Hadi, and its keenness on the security, stability and unity of Yemen out of the conviction that Yemen's security is an integral part of the security and stability of the wider region. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395277872720.html

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