Develop a global partnership for development

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 Develop a global partnership for developmentDevelop a global partnership for development (POSTER BY: MARAM TAIBAH)

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a major donor and a key partner in international development. The Kingdom is a leading donor, with the total aid provided by it to developing countries estimated to be more than $103.5 billion between 1973 and 2010. The aid provided by the Kingdom to the developing countries, as a share of GDP, exceeded the 0.7% share of donor countries GDP targeted by the UN for support of development. This aid included untied, non-refundable aid and developmental soft loans provided by the Saudi Fund for Development. More than 95 developing countries in Asia, Africa and other regions of the world have benefited from this aid. The current percentage of aid to GDP of donor countries does not exceed 0.31%, i.e. at a level below that of 1990 which was 0.34%.

The Kingdom provides aid through different channels, mainly the Saudi Fund for Development, which acts as the official channel for economic and social development aid. In addition, the Kingdom contributes to multilateral, regional and international development funds such as the World Bank, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Islamic Development Bank, and the OPEC Fund for International Development.. etc.

Foreign aid offered by the Kingdom are disbursed through different mechanisms, including soft loans, grants, relief aid, and debt relief where more than $6 billion of poor-countries' debts have been forgiven. The Kingdom provides aid to developing countries through the following channels:

Saudi Fund for Development (SFD): The Fund was established in 1974 to participate in financing development projects by granting loans to developing countries, and to promote national exports through finance and export guarantees. SFD is a legal entity with an autonomous financial status. It commenced its activity with a capital of SR10 billion ($2.7 billion), which has since been increased thrice to reach SR31 billion ($8.3 billion). SFD provides soft loans, without discrimination between countries in need of assistance, and concentrates on financing priority development projects, particularly in poor countries.

Regional and International Development Institutions: The Kingdom contributes to a large number of Arab, regional and international development institutions. It is a founding member of the World Bank and the IMF, and enjoys voting power in both institutions, and is represented by an executive director in each. It is also a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) which is a member of the World Bank Group. MIGA is entrusted with channelling foreign direct investment to developing countries through offering risk guarantee to investors and lenders and providing technical assistance to enable such countries to attract and retain foreign investment.

Saudi Arabia is the largest contributor to the capital of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Cumulative finance operations, approved during the period 1976-2010, amounted to about $70.3 billion. The Kingdom is also a major contributor to the OPEC Fund for International Development, which was established in 1976 by OPEC member countries as a development finance institution.

It is also noteworthy that the Kingdom's private sector took the initiative in founding the Arab Gulf Program for United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND), which provides technical assistance to several developing countries.

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