Charity Begins Overseas: Donations and Aid Programmes from the Kingdom Have Been under Scrutiny Ever since the 11 September 2001 Terrorist Attacks
Gavin, James, MEED Middle East Economic Digest
The Islamic injunction to give to charity holds during good times and bad. But charitable giving and overseas aid invariably rise when the going is good--and Saudi Arabia's economic boom has furnished one of the world's largest humanitarian aid budgets.
Precise figures on the extent of Saudi aid are difficult to come by; though Saudi officials claim that more than $80,000 million of cash has been donated in the past 30 years. With coffers flush, there is evidence that aid flows are increasing. For example, Saudi donations to the UN World Food Programme in 2006 were exceeded only by Japan, reaching $15 million by mid-year.
According to UN figures, if private donations are factored in, Saudi Arabia ranks as one of the world's largest per capita donors, giving more than the developed world standard of 0.7 per cent of GDP
Yet it is not just the scale of funding that has made its impact felt in large tracts of the developing world, but the way the Saudis have channelled aid through a network of Islamic charitable organisations. These delivery channels traditionally enjoyed close ties with the government, yet retained operational independence and determined their own aid priorities. Funding comes from public and private sources--much of it from …
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Publication information: Article title: Charity Begins Overseas: Donations and Aid Programmes from the Kingdom Have Been under Scrutiny Ever since the 11 September 2001 Terrorist Attacks. Contributors: Gavin, James - Author. Magazine title: MEED Middle East Economic Digest. Volume: 51. Issue: 7 Publication date: February 16, 2007. Page number: 57+. © 1999 MEED Middle East Economic Digest. All Rights Reserved. COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group.
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