Saudi Arabia and UNDP launch the report “Partnership in Development and South-South Cooperation"

May 15, 2016

 

RIYADH 15/May/2016: Since the early 1950s, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been active in providing Official Development Assistance (ODA) based on identified needs — from assistance to supporting people in fragile states and humanitarian crises to providing soft loans and grants to low-income developing countries for building crucial infrastructure.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia’s assistance has increased significantly. The Report revealed that in 2014, gross ODA amounted to US $14.5 billion (SAR 54 billion), which represented 1.9% of the Kingdom’s Gross National Income (GNI). Saudi Arabia is ranked fourth as a gross provider of ODA in 2014 and seventh as provider of humanitarian assistance and tenth largest provider of ODA between 2005-2014.

The Report notes the extensive nature of the development and humanitarian assistance that has been provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the years and the country’s record of providing urgent response to some of the dire humanitarian crises in recent years such as in Haiti, Myanmar, Nepal, Iraq, Syria, and most recently in Yemen. The assistance provided by the Kingdom stretches to all countries in need regardless of faith, race and geographic location.   

The Report explores the mechanism of Saudi assistance and how it is provided bilaterally, through institutions such as the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) and the newly created King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, and multilaterally through regional bodies such as the Islamic Development Bank, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the African Development Bank, and the Arab Bank for Economic Development for Africa (BADEA), and global organizations such as the United Nations the International Monetary Fund, OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), and the World Bank.

The Report - Partnership in Development and South-South Cooperation/Official development Assistance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – is launched by UNDP Saudi Arabia, Saudi Fund for Development, Ministry of Finance, Ministry Of Foreign Affairs and King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center today.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabiah, General Supervisor of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre said: “The Kingdom mobilizes its official and pubic aid effort quickly and efficiently to reduce human suffering and bring urgent relief to those in need.”

In his remarks Dr. Ashok Nigam, UNDP Resident Representative & UN Resident Coordinator in Saudi Arabia, said;

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the people of the Kingdom for their generosity, including in particular the assistance, both humanitarian and development, provided through the United Nations.”

Noting the importance of partnerships for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dr, Nigam went on to say:

“Saudi Arabia is well-positioned at the heart of the Arab and Islamic worlds, to not only lead by example in the achievement of the SDGs in the Kingdom but also support their achievement globally.  Continued commitment by the Kingdom to Official Development Assistance will be important for achieving regional and global results.”

The Report highlights Saudi Arabia’s deep commitment to helping people in need both at home and around the world. This principle is embedded in Islamic teachings-the principles of Zakat and Sadaqa drive Saudi development aid and humanitarian assistance. Saudi assistance is provided without any consideration for race or religion. Saudi Arabia is also proud of its record as one of the leading aid donors in the world, both in absolute amounts and as a percentage of gross national income. In line with its principles, much of the assistance is provided in the form of grants. This is a true demonstration that KSA is the Kingdom of Humanity.

For example:

·        Driven by the needs of recipient countries, there has been a sharp increase in the volume and country coverage of Saudi assistance. Total assistance went up dramatically in 2014 from the previous year from US $4.3 billion to US $14.5 billion (SAR 16 billion to SAR 54 billion).

·        Most of the assistance provided during the period 2005-2014 was in grants and humanitarian assistance amounting to 78% amounting to US $13.3 billion in 2014.

·        Concessional loans represented 12%, while contributions to organizations and charity bodies amounted to 5% and to multilateral cooperation 5%.