Saudi disburses $3.7 billion aid

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has so far disbursed about a fifth of the much-needed aid it promised to Arab countries since unrest erupted in the region last year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which cited data from Riyadh’s finance ministry.

Riyadh pledged a total of $17.9 billion in loans, grants and other support between the start of 2011 and June 1 this year, to be disbursed over several years, potentially making it a key donor as Arab countries struggle to repair economic damage caused by the unrest.

It disbursed $3.7bn of that amount during the period, the IMF said in a report on the Saudi Arabian economy.

“Regional support has come both in the form of substantial new pledges of financial assistance and indirectly, as fiscal expansion in Saudi Arabia creates increased demand for imports and also raises remittances from foreign labour employed in the kingdom,” the IMF said.

Egypt has received $1.5bn of the $4bn it was promised by Saudi Arabia, while Jordan has received $1.4bn of $2.7bn. Morocco and Tunisia are still waiting for the $1.25bn and $750 million respectively which they were promised, according to the IMF data.

gulf-daily-news, September 20, 2012