WASHINGTON, DC [December 7, 2007] – Saudi Arabia has extended a $100 million grant to Bangladesh to ease the suffering caused by the recent cyclone there. In addition to the grant, Saudi Arabia has airlifted urgent humanitarian aid into the country, including medical supplies, relief materials and foodstuffs. The Kingdom is the leading contributor in the global relief effort.
The Saudi relief airlift to Bangladesh began November 26, and the fourth plane arrived in Dhaka today carrying 96 tons of relief items. The aid is being distributed in coordination with the Saudi Red Crescent Society, international humanitarian organizations and Bangladeshi authorities.
Since the mid-1970s, Saudi Arabia’s foreign aid has amounted to nearly $80 billion. In total, this represents, on average, approximately 4 percent of the Kingdom’s annual gross domestic product, surpassing the United Nations’ call for nations to earmark 0.7 percent of GDP for overseas assistance. The Kingdom is the leading foreign aid contributor in the Middle East region and the 16th largest in the world.