image2 cropped

UAE’s Regional Military and Humanitarian Efforts Advance Shared Interests With the US

October 13, 2016

The United Arab Emirates and the United States are close friends and strong allies with shared interests and common values. The UAE’s recent efforts to combat extremism and provide humanitarian aid to those in need support the two countries’ mutual resolve to promote Middle East security and address pressing global challenges. 

The UAE is a close and committed security partner of the United States.  

  • UAE forces conducted operations in Afghanistan against the Taliban and are currently participating in operations in Syria against ISIS, in Yemen against AQAP and in Somalia against Al Shabab.
  • The UAE participated with the US in six military coalition operations - the First Gulf War, Somalia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Libya and ISIL.
  • UAE air, naval and intelligence operations are critical to ensuring freedom of navigation, protecting vital energy supplies and challenging aggressive actions from hostile regional players.
  • The UAE has purchased tens of billions of dollars in US-made defense equipment, such as F-16 fighter aircraft, Apache and Black Hawk helicopters, and THAAD and Patriot missile defense systems. These systems and equipment have been deployed and used in joint combat and security operations with the US around the region. 
  • The UAE hosts US forces at its air and naval bases, and at its training centers.
  • The UAE is a leader in organizing, directing and funding anti-extremism initiatives.

The UAE has provided tens of billions of dollars in humanitarian and stabilization support across the region.

  • Syria: Since the start of the Syria crisis in 2011, the UAE has provided $700 million in support of Syrian refugees. In 2014 alone, more than $60 million was allocated for the UN-coordinated Regional Response Plan (RRP) and Syrian Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP), which provide food, health, water and sanitation and education services to refugees in neighboring countries, as well as those displaced internally within Syria. The UAE has accepted tens of thousands of Syrian refugees and family members of UAE residents. 
  • Iraq: The UAE's recent contribution of $60 million to the Iraq Stabilization Fund is only its latest commitment to Iraq reconstruction, which has included financial and in-kind support, medical treatment, hospital reconstruction, humanitarian supplies and police training. Since 2003, the UAE has also forgiven more than $7 billion in Iraqi Government debt.
  • Yemen: To date, the UAE has donated more than $1 billion in aid and reconstruction support to Yemen.  The UAE has rebuilt hundreds of schools, hospitals and critical infrastructure across Southern and Eastern Yemen.
  • Egypt: The UAE has significantly elevated its support to Egypt to promote economic growth and stability.  Egypt was the number one recipient of UAE development aid in 2013 and 2014, receiving $4.63 billion and $3.2 billion, respectively, an initiative managed by the Egypt Task Force (ETF). 
  • Libya: For the past five years, the UAE has provided direct humanitarian aid and support to the Libyan people.  This includes hundreds of tons of food packages, medicines, medical equipment, tents and blankets for Libyan people at home, and at the Tunisian borders.

The UAE is the world’s largest donor of foreign assistance on a per capita basis.

  • Since its founding, the UAE has provided significant aid to developing countries and has been a major contributor of emergency relief to regions affected by conflict and natural disasters. The fundamental purpose of UAE aid is to reduce poverty and help those in need, and the UAE has been a crucial global donor throughout the years.
  • Development aid in 2014 amounted to $4.9 billion.
  • Since the UAE's establishment in 1971, estimated UAE aid from both the government and nongovernmental organizations has been valued around $47.4 billion – used to fund development, humanitarian and charity assistance projects.
  • According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UAE became the world’s largest donor of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2013 and held that distinction for a second consecutive year in 2014.