A Rich History of Giving

Abu Dhabi marks the first time AVPN will hold the annual conference in West Asia, as we redouble our effort to gather our expansive social investment community, leverage our commonalities and learn from our unique approaches in an effort to accelerate impact.

The UAE consistently ranks among the world’s largest donors of development assistance in proportion to its gross national income, propelling its legacy of supporting international development efforts and responding to global crises; principles that were established by its late Founding Father, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

As with the rest of Asia, the UAE also has a long-held tradition of philanthropy where giving is done privately. With the emergence of new philanthropic organisations alongside a more focused approach to corporate social responsibility, there is now a growing interest in innovation, entrepreneurial principles and a desire for collaboration and partnership, particularly within Asia.

As the deadline for achieving the SDGs looms, this is an opportune moment to propel with shared urgency the movement towards more strategic, structured and institutionalised practices across the region as a route to unlocking more capital to address Asia’s most critical issues.


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The UAE has a history of promoting philanthropy and engaging in various charitable initiatives. Some of the notable UAE’s global philanthropic efforts include:


UAE’s notable global philanthropic efforts

The UAE has a history of promoting philanthropy and engaging in various charitable initiatives

Source: Annual Foreign Aid Report (

Foreign aid and humanitarian relief

Through organisations such as the Emirates Red Crescent and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, the UAE offers aid in the form of food, medical supplies, shelter and other essential resources.

Education initiatives

The UAE supports education initiatives globally, providing funds for building schools, offering scholarships to students in need, and promoting educational development in underprivileged regions.

Healthcare outreach

The UAE contributes to global healthcare initiatives, sending medical teams, equipment, and resources to regions in need. They have supported vaccination campaigns, medical missions, and the construction of healthcare facilities.

International partnerships

The UAE actively collaborates with international organisations such as the United Nations (UN), World Health Organisation (WHO), and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to address global challenges and contribute to sustainable development goals.

Disaster response and relief

In response to major disasters, the UAE has shown prompt support by dispatching humanitarian aid and relief teams to affected regions. They have also provided assistance during emergencies such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and refugee crises.

Poverty alleviation

The UAE works with various NGOs and organisations to alleviate poverty in different parts of the world. Their initiatives focus on providing financial assistance, vocational training, and livelihood opportunities to vulnerable communities.

Clean energy and environmental initiatives

Given its commitment to sustainability, the UAE invests in clean energy projects and environmental initiatives globally. They support efforts to combat climate change and promote renewable energy adoption.


Let's create impact together

If you are an active social investor in Asia Pacific and West Asia, contact Rabea to learn about how AVPN can support your organisation’s social investment in the region.

Rabea Nawaz

Director, West Asia