- ADFD has financed major health projects in partner countries, says Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi
- Abu Dhabi Fund is addressing climate change through innovative initiatives
ABU DHABI: – Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) joins the international community in celebrating World Health Day, which falls on April 7 each year. The event this year will be marked under the slogan, “Our Planet, Our Health", highlighting the necessity to preserve our planet to ensure good health and wellbeing for all that is enshrined in the United Nations’ third Sustainable Development Goal.
The occasion is particularly important for the UAE, where the government is working to achieve environmental sustainability through a legislative and regulatory framework to tackle climate change. ADFD contributes to strengthening those efforts that are aligned with SDG 13, which relates to Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
According to a World Health Organization estimate, more than 13 million die annually due to environmental causes, making them the single biggest health threat to humanity.
Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “Abu Dhabi Fund for Development actively supports the 2030 global agenda, so the sustainable development goals can be achieved, and humans live healthier lives.”
Over the course of 50 years, ADFD has relentlessly promoted the health and clean-energy sectors in developing countries with this objective.
“In the past, we launched several quality initiatives in cooperation with local and international partners to promote renewable energy. These initiatives deployed cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions that are environment-friendly and compliant with international specifications. In addition, ADFD also financed many state-of-the-art health projects in beneficiary countries, helping them to improve the health of their populations,” he added.
Al Suwaidi pointed out that World Health Day serves as a reminder to unify efforts to achieve sustainable development goals, commit to taking concrete steps to improve health conditions in countries that have inadequate medical facilities, and pay attention to climate and environmental issues for the benefit of humanity.
Renewable energy projects
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development supports the UAE’s efforts to promote renewable energy around the world, having financed 73 projects valued at AED 4 billion (US$1.09bn) in 52 countries. ADFD launched a US$350 million renewable-energy initiative in 2013 in cooperation with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). A total of 26 projects were financed in 21 countries under the scheme, which produce 265 megawatts of energy.
The same year, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation launched the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund to step up the UAE’s development cooperation with the Pacific Island countries across a variety of sectors. The scheme supported renewable energy projects through the allocation of grants with a total value of US$50 million, financed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, and implemented by Masdar.
The initiative included 10 solar photovoltaic (PV) projects and one wind farm project, which collectively produces a total 5.7MW energy, thus meeting most of the energy needs of 16 Island nations. The projects produced multiple benefits, including savings of US$3.7 million on fossil and reduction of 8,447 tonnes of carbon emission per year. In 2017, ADFD funded the US$50 million UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund (UAE-CREF), which helped generate 9.43MW of clean energy benefiting 16 island nations.
Advancing the health sector
Advancing the health sector in developing countries is one of ADFD’s priorities, which is why it has financed 37 health projects worth AED3.4billion. The projects included construction of clinics and health centres and hospitals, including specialized ones for treatment of cancer and heart diseases.
Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Mauritania
In 1995, ADFD managed an Abu Dhabi government grant to establish the Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Nouakchott Valley in the Wadi Naeem district – one of the most important strategic projects supporting the health sector in Mauritania. Providing quality medical care in line with international standards, the 80-bed hospital with 15 departments spans an area of 3,000 square metres. The project carried out at a cost of AED 33 million has contributed to improving health services in the country
Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa specialised Heart Center in Bahrain
The establishment of Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa Specialized Heart Center in Bahrain with an ADFD funding of AED917.5 million (US$250m) marks qualitative leap in the diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases in the region. The centre boasts of the latest medical equipment and includes outpatient clinics and pharmacy, as well as radiology, imaging, physiotherapy, sterilisation and emergency departments. The 148-bed centre has a 53,000 square-metre built-up area.
About Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD)
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) is a leading national financial entity owned by the Abu Dhabi government. It was established in 1971 with an aim to help developing countries strengthen their economies by providing concessionary loans for development projects as well as through long-term investments and direct contributions. In addition to managing development grants given by the Abu Dhabi government, ADFD has adopted a policy of supporting the national economy by driving private-sector investments, financing national exports and enabling exporters to expand into global markets, thus enhancing the competitiveness of the UAE economy.