Gulf aid to Arab nations is $107 billion
Developing Arab nations have received a staggering $701 billion from just three Gulf states, according to a new economic report.
Saudi Arabia was the biggest contributor, giving 64.4 percent of total development aid from 1970 to 1999. Kuwait was second with 16.3 percent and the UAE (United Arab Emirates) provided 10.5 percent.
The report, United Arab Economies 2000, was produced by the Abu Dhabi-based Arab Monetary Fund and will be discussed next week in Libya at a meeting of heads of Arab central banks and monetary institutes. The report says development aid is considered an important factor in relations between Arab countries.
Aid is usually given at low interest rates with long-term repayment and is not restricted to stipulated projects. Receiver nations are not told how or where to spend the money, and the donor countries do not attach strings to their economic or political policies.
In 1999, Arab development funds and institutions were shouldering $53.1 billion in aid commitments for development projects in the Arab world, the report said.
The report, which studied the economies of Arab countries, said that despite a reduction of 0.6 percent in oil production in 1999, Arab revenues from oil sales were not affected because prices rose. Arab exports in 1999 totaled $164.5 billion, an increase of 19.8 percent from 1998.
Arab countries sold 20 million petroleum barrels in 1999 for $112.8 billion, compared to 20.6 million barrels in 1998 at a price of $81.9 billion, the report says. The price increase translates to a $30.9 billion difference. The report found that the increase in prices helped Arab countries lower their debts in 1999 from $157 billion to $155 billion. –(Albawaba-MEBG)