ISTANBUL – The United Arab Emirates has announced that it will increase its humanitarian contributions to 15 percent of its projected budget for the next four years.

Addressing a session of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul today, Dr. Maytha bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, highlighted 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, to support the people affected by humanitarian crises and to contribute to building capabilities of the global humanitarian community.

“We are allocating 15 percent of our projected budget to humanitarian action over the four coming years. By 2020, we will double our contributions to humanitarian actions. We are committed to making this summit a turning point in humanitarian action. We urge other states and parties to do the same because our success is measured by how we provide assistance to the most vulnerable. We should not let this opportunity slip from our hands,” she noted.

Dr. Al Shamsi thanked the government of Turkey and the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for the preparation of this summit.

“We support this summit and we are committed to shouldering our responsibility and contributing by implementing the five core responsibilities identified by the Secretary-General and the humanitarian agenda. We hope this summit will be crowned with success and that we reach consensus on ways of implementation and to improve ways to fund humanitarian action,” she said.

This summit, she added, aims at improving the global response and at the same time is a call for reforms, especially in this region which has plenty of resources but is beleaguered by conflicts that have led to more than 30 million internally displaced people and refugees in the Middle East and North Africa.

“We hope this summit is a moment of adoption of real humanitarian action,” she added.

Dr. Al Shamsi announced that the UAE is determined to implement seven of the core responsibilities.

“We are committed to continuing our efforts to take precautionary actions by co-operating with the international community to end the conflicts in addition to our action to address climate change and to deal with the root causes of conflicts. We are going to co-operate with local governments and local communities in order to build capacities so as to be able to confront crises. This has been demonstrated by our support to societies affected by war such as those in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria.”

“We are committed to providing support to all development and humanitarian actions and to bolster long term development action,” Dr. Al Shamsi said.

She also said the UAE is committed to providing aid to countries that are playing host to a large number of refugees.

“We are calling for implementation of all actions on initiatives aimed at the welfare of women and children as well as supporting youth in order to make them responsible citizens. We also seek to provide education and vocational training opportunities to them,” she said.

Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations, said that the World Humanitarian Summit is being held at a critical juncture for the region, referring to the commitments announced by the UAE, which demonstrate how serious the country is in shouldering humanitarian responsibilities.

She also underlined the UAE’s pioneering role on the global humanitarian scene, thanks to the unlimited support of its wise leadership.

The UAE delegation to the summit includes Khalifa Shaheen Al Marrar, UAE Ambassador to Turkey, Sultan Mohammed Al Shamsi, Assistant under-secretary of the Ministry of foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Khalifa Al Marzooqi, UAE Consul General in Istanbul, and other ministry officials and representatives from Emirati humanitarian agencies.