UAE's assistance to Afghanistan is stable - Assistant Foreign Minister
WAM Tokyo, Jul 10th, 2012 (WAM) - UAE's participation in the recent international conference of donor countries for Afghanistan was an evidence of the continuity and stability of UAE's assistance to rebuild that country, said a senior official.
Assistant Foreign Minister for Security and Military Affairs and UAE's Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Faris Mohammed Ahmed Al Mazroui said that UAE's assistance is given directly to the Afghan people to fund infrastructure projects, particularly construction of houses.
In an interview with Emirates News Agency (WAM) after attending the donor conference held in Tokyo, Al Mazroui said that the Emirati approach in providing assistance directly to the beneficiaries attracted the attention of some donor countries as Afghans benefitted from the global aid at the grassroots level. The UAE has allocated USD 250 million for aid projects and 80 percent of it was used for building housing units in that country.
"Since the beginning of the crisis in Afghanistan nearly before ten years, the role of the assistance extended by the UAE has been clear and stable. More over, UAE was one of the first donor countries to support the present Afghan government.
The first grant to the government of President Hamid Karzai came from the UAE government during his visit to Abu Dhabi a month or two after the formation of his government. He met the late Sheikh Zayed Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and received a 'grant of managing the affairs'; recalled Al Mazroui.
"We continue to donate, but we have our own conditions and ways for giving these grants as our grants directly go to the Afghan people, not through the Afghan government. Many countries have wondered and asked us: how could you manage to implement your projects successfully without government interference", Al Mazroui noted.
He said that an amount of USD 250 million has been allocated from this year, and almost 80 percent of this amount will be ustilised to construct housing units for the people. Contracts have been signed with the builders for the construction of the largest housing complexes in Afghanistan.
Al Mazroui said that this reflects the fact that UAE is extending its help on the ground and through its distinctive method it could overcome the reported concern about the corruption in Afghanistan.
He stressed the paramount importance of achieving administrative reform and transparency by the Afghan leadership as the speeches made in the conference by the participants from donor countries emphasised the issue of transparency. They also had noted that Afghan government has to go a long way to gain confidence of the world in terms of transparency and to prove its credibility before the international community.