UAE launches Pacific islands partnership programme

Friday, February 19, 2010

ABU DHABI - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Friday launched a $50-million fund to finance projects in the Pacific region, WAM news agency reported Friday.

The “Partnership in the Pacific Programme” seeks to facilitate cooperation between the UAE and Pacific island nations to develop sustainable projects in the areas of education, health, infrastructure and energy.

The programme is part of the UAE’s efforts to deepen relations with the island states.

During a recent five-day tour of the Pacific region that included Tuvalu, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Palau and the Kingdom of Tonga, among others, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan had identified areas of bilateral cooperation.

The UAE’s focus on the region is in response to the critical needs of these countries, which are on the frontline of the battle against the impacts of climate change, the report said.

Sheikh Abdullah said: “This programme is consistent with the UAE’s long-standing record of international cooperation and its diverse foreign aid efforts.”

The partnership programme will be overseen by the UAE foreign affairs ministry and will be managed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, which has set up nearly 200 projects in over 50 countries since 1971.

Besides financial partnership, other key aims of the programme include facilitating dialogue between key stakeholders, developing research and academic partnerships, as well as capacity-building programmes.

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