Saudi foreign assistance

Saudi foreign assistance

Since the 1970s Saudi Arabia has provided foreign assistance to many countries and organizations.

Between 1975 to 1987, Saudi developmental aid amounted to US$48 billion, second only to the United States of America. The ODA/GNP ratio averaged 4.2% over this period, well above the highest amount provided by Development Assistance Committee countries (the DAC average is 0.35%). [ [ Saudi Aid to the Developing World] ] The figure has also made it one of the most generous donor nations on a per-capita basis.Barton, Jack. [ Saudis donate aid to non-Muslims] ]

audi fund for development

The Saudi Fund was set up by royal decree in October 1974, to stimulate economic growth in developing nations. In the next four years it gave soft loans totaling $3.1 billion to 51 countries, many of them with the lowest per-capita income bracket in the world. Almost 60 percent of approved loans earmarked for transport, power and water projects. By 1979, the fund accounted for about 30 percent of the kingdom's foreign economic aid. [Lawton, John (1979). " [Arab Aid - Who Gives It] ". "Aramco magazine" 30 (6): 26-27.]


Middle East

Saudi Arabia pledged $1 billion in export guarantees and soft loans to Iraq. For Lebanon, it pledged a total of $1.59 billion in assistance and deposits to the Central Bank of Lebanon in 2006 and pledged an additional $1.1 billion in early 2007. [ Field Listing - Economic aid - donor] . CIA World Factbook.] Of that aid, $500 million dollars were intended for reconstruction. [ [ Saudi Arabia Announces Massive Aid for Lebanon] . VOA News, 25 July 2006.]

Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal pledged to rebuild a village in northern Syria which was inundated when a dam burst in 2002, killing more than 20. Waleed's investment firm, Kingdom Holding Company, said it was to "reconstruct the entire village of Zeyzoun and all its infrastructure of water, electricity, telephone and sewage systems". [ [ Saudi rescue for Syria flood village] . BBC News]

After the Iranian earthquake, Saudi Arabia pledged more than $200,000 to the victims. [ [ AGFUND announces $200,000 relief aid to earthquake victims in Iran] ]

Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of aid to the Palestinian people.Labott, Elise. [ Saudis join Egypt in support for Hamas] . CNN.] Since 2002, Saudi Arabia has given more than $480 million in monetary support to the Palestinian Authority, and has supported Palestinian refugees by contributing to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Through the Arab League it has provided more than $250 million for the Palestinians, and pledged $500 million in assistance over the next three years at the Donors Conference in Dec 2007. Unlike aid from other nations, Saudi Arabian aid to Palestinians was not disrupted by the election of Hamas.

outh Asia

After the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and the resulting massive tsunamis, the Saudi government gave $30 million in aid to aid the victims, including a $5 million private donation by King Fahd (Saudis in total, including citizens, donated more than $80 million). [ Saudis boost aid to wave victims] . BBC News.]

In the aftermath of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, Saudi Arabia donated over US$3.3 million, more than any other country, [ [ Earthquake aid window slamming shut, WFP warns] . World Food Programme, 27 October 2005.] and promised an additional $573 million, also the maximum amount of money pledged. [Sengupta, Somini; Rohde, David. " [ Pledges Exceed Goal for Pakistan Quake Aid] ". New York Times. November 20, 2005] Saudi Arabia also provided 4000 pre-fabricated houses to Pakistan through the Saudi Public Assistance for Pakistan Earthquake Victims (SPAPEV). The houses, which were to be equipped with all required facilities, cost over $16.7 million. [ [ Pakistan: Saudi Arabia to provide 4000 pre-fabricated houses, contract signed] . Relief Web. October 12th, 2006] The SPAPEV also distributed 230,000 blankets, 150,000 quilts, 10,000 ordinary tents, 2,500 special winterized water proof tents, 100,000 stoves, 100,000 food. [ [ About SPAPEV] ]

The Saudi government pledged $230 million to development in Afghanistan. It has also pledged $133 million in direct grant aid, $187 million in concessional loans, and $153 million in export credits for Pakistan earthquake relief.


According to Washington Post, Saudi Arabia provided $300 million in weapons to government forces in Bosnia with the knowledge and tacit cooperation of the United States, a claim denied by officials. [Molotsky, Irvin. " [ U.S. Linked To Saudi Aid For Bosnians ] ". New York Times, February 2, 1996]

The Saudi Joint Committee for the Relief of Kosovo used $5 million to finance projects in rehabilitation, foodstuffs, relief materials, educational and religious programs, sponsorship of orphans, health care programs and development. Freights from Jeddah took 400,000 liters of milk as well as 900 cartons of clothing, 1,000 blankets, 25 water cisterns, medical supplies and surgical appliances such as wheelchairs to Pristina. [ [ Saudi aid to Kosovo continues] . Saudi Embassy, 10/31/1999.] Saudi citizens donated $20 million to Kosovo in cash as well as food and medical supplies, and the Saudi Red Crescent sent medical volunteers. [Gardner, Frank. [ World: Middle East Gulf Arabs aid Kosovo refugees] . BBC News, April 24, 1999.]

In 2006, the Saudi government gave $10 million in aid to the horn of Africa, through the World Food Programme, of which Kenya received $2 million. [ [ Saudi relief aid for Kenya, Afghanistan] ] Saudi prince Al-Walid bin Talal donated $1 million to help feed 3.5 million Kenyans during the drought. [ [ Saudi prince gives US$1 million to feed Kenyans] . World Food Programme]


In 2005, IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato appreciated Saudi Arabia's role in providing economic and financial support to regional nations and developing countries in general. [ [ De Rato concludes multi-country visit] . IMF.]

There are many who view that Saudi aid is earmarked for Muslims and Muslim states. This view led a Saudi philanthropist to lobby the Saudi government to give £250,000 in aid used to purchase rice for Cambodian children.

Saudi Arabia was also criticized for giving too little in response to the 2004 tsunami, considering its large oil reserves. Al-Jazeera described its contribution (along with that of other gulf states) as "shameful."

ee also

*Administration of federal assistance in the United States


External links

* [ Foreign aid news stories] - Royal embassy of Saudi Arabia, Washington D.C.
* [ The Saudi fund for Development] - official website.

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