1997 News Story

The Kingdom's humanitarian contributions

A booklet published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Water and entitled 'Overview of agricultural development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a briefing on its humanitarian contributions toward global food security', reports that from 1963 to 1995 the Kingdom donated a total of U.S. $ 326 million for those in need in 38 countries worldwide as its contribution to the World Food Program.  In recent years, the Kingdom has adopted a new policy of offering assistance by presenting donations in kind, such as locally-produced dates and wheat.

In addition, up to the end of 1995 the Kingdom had donated a total of U.S. $ 140 million in emergency assistance to countries suffering from famine, poverty or drought, with another U.S. $ 17 million allocated for the purchase of food and U.S. $ 32.8 million for the construction and excavation of wells equipped with the necessary pumps and reservoirs to supply the inhabitants of villages and rural areas with clean drinking water.  Moreover, in the two decades from 1975 to 1995, Saudi Arabia paid U.S. $1.67 billion in support of countries afflicted with natural disasters, such as earthquakes and displaced migrations.
Furthermore, the Kingdom has declared cancellation of official debts totaling U.S. $ 6 billion in response to a request raised in the sixth Islamic summit conference in Dakar in 1992.  A total of 72 countries have benefited from soft long-term loans amounting to U.S. $ 70.06 billion.  Moreover, Saudi Arabia has contributed U.S. $ 367 million to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), representing 13 percent of its capital.  In addition, the Saudi Fund for Development has provided soft long-term loans worth U.S. $ 1.24 billion to developing countries to support 69 projects involving irrigation, soil reclamation, plantation, well-digging, and dam construction.