Worldbank: Arab donors among the most generous in the world - twice the recommended amount

Arab donors—predominantly the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Kuwait and United Arab Emirates (UAE)—have been among the most generous in the world, with official development assistance (ODA) averaging 1.5 percent of their combined gross national income (GNI) during the period 1973–2008, more than twice the United Nations target of 0.7 percent and five times the average of the OECD-DAC countries. Arab ODA accounts for 13 percent of total DAC ODA on average and nearly three-quarters of non-DAC ODA.

The share of Arab ODA in Arab GNI was exceptionally high in the 1970s and early 1980s, peaking at over 12 percent for the UAE and at about 8.5 percent for Kuwait and KSA in 1973. Nearly one-third of all ODA during the 1970s was from Arab donors. Although the ratio has fallen over time, it still exceeds the average among OECD-DAC member countries.

Moreover, Arab aid is generally untied, and is offered without conditions or restrictions.
Over time, Arab donors have expanded their reach—beyond Arab and predominantly Muslim countries in terms of recipient countries and beyond infrastructure in terms of sectors. Their assistance has come to play a major role in total ODA flows to several developing countries.
In addition to government-to-government aid, Arab donors have established a number of specialized financial institutions to provide development assistance to low-income countries.

Assistance through these institutions increased substantially by 4.4 percent per year in real terms over the period 1990–2008. There are good reasons to believe that Arab aid will continue to play an important role in international development assistance into the foreseeable future. Arab donors have recently increased their aid volumes, and Arab financial institutions are well capitalized, with the capacity to scale up assistance.

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