Official Emblem for FIFA Club World Cup 2017 unveiled

ABU DHABI, — The Official Emblem of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 was unveiled on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates capital and Host City for the tournament. The event marks an important milestone in the journey towards the start of the 14th edition of the FIFA Club World Cup, which runs from 6th to 16th December.

The unique and very recognisable FIFA Club World Cup trophy shape was used as a starting point for the Official Emblem. The design draws inspiration from the UAE’s rich history, heritage and culture. The iconic ball, created from Arabic calligraphy meaning Emirates, features at the top of the emblem, and depicts a unifying force synonymous with the nation’s passion for the beautiful game.

Speaking at the emblem launch, Major General Mohamed Khalfan Al Romaithi, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017, said: “The Official Emblem is a true representation of the UAE’s cultural heritage. The beautiful multi-coloured sands of the desert form the basis of the emblem. From our precious historical traditions of fishing, sailing and pearl diving, reflected in the representation of the dhow, to the rich beauty of date palm leaves and trees that signify sustainability, this is a symbol for a phenomenal tournament taking place in the UAE.”

Also revealed at the event was the Official Tournament Match Schedule. A total of eight matches will be played across two stadiums, namely Zayed Sports City (Abu Dhabi) and Hazza Bin Zayed (Al Ain). The opening match will take place in Al Ain on 6 December and will see the domestic club champions of the host nation take on the champions of Oceania.

“Football is the leading sport in the UAE and you could clearly see the people’s passion for the sport at the 2009 and 2010 editions hosted here,” said FIFA Chief Competitions & Events Officer Colin Smith during the unveiling ceremony. “The warm hospitality, love of the game and the success of the tournament are some of the strongest drivers behind bringing the FIFA Club World Cup back to the UAE for the two next editions.”

”We are embarking on one of the most significant journeys in the world of football with some of the best international tournaments gracing the shores of Abu Dhabi in the next three years,” said Aref Al Awani, Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee for the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017.

“Such world-renowned tournaments not only draw in thousands of fans from around the world but also help us in sustaining the UAE’s football legacy and developing the next generation of sporting stars,” he added.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Read more

Development aid rises again in 2016 but flows to poorest countries dip:OECD

PARIS, — Development aid reached a new peak of USD 142.6 billion in 2016, an increase of 8.9 percent from 2015 after adjusting for exchange rates and inflation. A rise in aid spent on refugees in donor countries boosted the total � but even stripping out refugee costs aid rose 7.1 percent, according to official data collected by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

Despite this progress, the 2016 data show that bilateral (country to country) aid to the least-developed countries fell by 3.9 percent in real terms from 2015 and aid to Africa fell 0.5 percent, as some DAC members backtracked on a commitment to reverse past declines in flows to the poorest countries.

Official development assistance (ODA) from the 29 DAC member countries averaged 0.32 percent of gross national income (GNI), up from 0.30 percent in 2015, as aid volumes rose in most donor countries. Measured in real terms � correcting for inflation and currency fluctuations � ODA has doubled (up 102 percent) since 2000.

ODA spent on hosting refugees inside donor countries jumped by 27.5 percent in real terms from 2015 to reach USD 15.4 billion. That equates to 10.8 percent of total net ODA, up from 9.2 percent in 2015 and 4.8 percent in 2014. Many donor countries have seen unprecedented inflows of refugees in the last two years, and the DAC is working to clarify its ODA reporting rules to ensure that refugee costs do not eat into funding for development. Humanitarian aid rose by 8 percent in real terms in 2016 to USD 14.4 billion.

“While governments should be commended for sustaining investment in development during these difficult times, it is unacceptable that � once again � aid to the poorest countries is in decline. Recent signals from some donor countries on future aid levels add further cause for concern”, said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurr?a. “Major donor nations have committed to refocus their efforts on the least developed countries. It is now time to turn these commitments into action. Together, we must pay close attention to where the money is going and what is being included in foreign aid.”

A 1988 DAC rule allows donor countries to count certain refugee expenses as ODA for the first year after their arrival. Australia, Japan, Korea and Luxembourg did not count any refugee costs as ODA in 2016 but 11 countries spent over 10 percent of their ODA on refugees. Among them, Austria, Germany, Greece and Italy used over 20 percent of ODA for refugee costs.

Overall, total net ODA rose in 22 countries in 2016, with the biggest increases in the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Spain. For some the increases were due to higher refugee costs. ODA fell in seven countries, with the largest declines seen in Australia, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden. Of the several non-DAC members who report their aid flows to the OECD body, the United Arab Emirates posted the highest ODA/GNI ratio in 2016 at 1.12 percent .

2016 saw Germany join five other countries � Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom � in meeting a United Nations target to keep ODA at or above 0.7 percent of GNI. The Netherlands slipped back below 0.7 percent to join 22 other donors under the threshold.

ODA makes up more than two thirds of external finance for least-developed countries and the DAC is pushing for it to be better used as a lever to generate private investment and domestic tax revenues in poor countries, and in turn to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

“I am pleased to see DAC donors delivering another annual increase in development aid and I hope this rising trend will continue”, said DAC Chair Charlotte Petri Gornitzka. “At the same time, much of this latest increase is in humanitarian aid and spending on refugees in donor countries. While both of these are highly important, we must ensure that we also maintain financing of long-term development programmes, especially in the least developed nations.”

Within 2016 ODA, contributions by DAC donors to multilateral organisations rose by nearly 10 percent in real terms. The share of multilateral aid (aid provided via multilateral bodies) to bilateral aid (aid is provided directly by one country to another) is now roughly half to half.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Read more