Saudi Arabia Gives More Than $100 Million to Pakistani Flood Victims
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is rushing more than $80 million for flood relief efforts in Pakistan. In addition to the official assistance, a Pakistan flood appeal launched by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz on August 16 has raised over $28 million. King Abdullah kicked off his Campaign for the Relief of the Pakistani People with a $5.33 million donation. Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz donated $2.67 million and Second Deputy Prime Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz donated $1.33 million to the campaign. Earlier this month, King Abdullah ordered the dispatch of emergency supplies for the flood victims. The first Saudi relief plane arrived in Peshawar on August 4 and the twenty-first relief plane arrived yesterday in Quetta. The humanitarian supplies transported by the Royal Saudi Air Force consisted of food, medical supplies, tents, blankets and other necessities.
Saudi Arabia has a tradition of reaching out and lending a hand to nations devastated by natural disasters. In October 2005, the Kingdom donated $133 million to Pakistan following an earthquake that killed more than 82,000 people and left more than 3.3 million people homeless. The aid was earmarked for the reconstruction of public infrastructure. Later that month, King Abdullah launched a donation campaign, which raised more than $168 million to help the victims of the earthquake. Between 2006 and 2009, Saudi Arabia provided Pakistan over $1.5 billion in loans and aid, including $700 million pledged at the donor conference in Tokyo on April 17, 2009.
Since 1978, the Kingdom's foreign aid has averaged well above the official United Nations goal of 0.7 percent of total GDP. Saudi Arabia makes all of its contributions through the United Nations and its satellite organizations.