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Saudi a major aid donor says report

Manama, September 24, 2013

Saudi Arabia gave more aid than 15 OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries in 2011 and roughly the same amount as Canada ($5.5 billion), a new report said.
 
However, Saudi Arabia's allocated official development assistance (ODA) almost entirely to countries in the Middle East, where the numbers and shares of people living on less than $1.25 a day are relatively low, the Investments to End Poverty report by Development Initiatives, a leading independent organisation that provides research and analysis on poverty, said.
 
The report argued that extreme poverty can be ended by 2030. However, counting the poor and tracking 
 
resources available to get to zero poverty need to significantly improve for this to happen.
 
Extreme poverty – the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day – has fallen from 43 per cent in 1990 
 
to 21 per cent in 2010, making it possible to end poverty by 2030. But economic growth alone may not be enough to get there, it said.
 
The UAE gave $816 million in development cooperation in 2011. The UAE’s net ODA increased by 69 per cent between 2010 and 2011, but it went mostly to countries with a low share of the population living on less than $1.25 per day.
 
Turkey gave $1.3 billion in ODA in 2011, more than six DAC donors (Austria, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Portugal).
 
Most ODA from Turkey went to regional political hotspots with relatively low numbers of poor people 
 
and low poverty rates - 70 per cent of Turkey’s ODA went to neighbouring countries in the Middle East and South and Central Asia.
 
The report reaffirms the critical role of international aid in tackling extreme poverty, but warns that it must be better targeted and better coordinated with other financial flows for it to be most effective.
 
Judith Randel, executive director of Development Initiatives, said: “This report comes at a crucial time, as world 
 
leaders are meeting to discuss the post-2015 development goals. Investments to End Poverty arms them with the 
 
independent and reliable data they need to make informed decisions about where to target resources to end 
 
poverty”. 
 
Despite huge progress in poverty alleviation through growth, even the most optimistic scenarios of growth 
 
could leave more than 100 million people behind, it said.
 
The scale and diversity of international resources flowing into developing countries has increased rapidly, doubling since 2000 to reach $2.1 trillion in 2011. Long-term debt, FDI and remittances account for around two-thirds of all international flows. However, for the poorest countries, the resources going in are still limited. They face severe spending constraints that are likely to continue, it said.
 
Governments in developing countries have the greatest ability to end poverty in their own countries as 
 
they spend three times more than all resources coming in. However, 82 per cent of the world’s extremely poor people live in countries where government spending is less than the equivalent of $1,000 per person per year, compared with $15,025 across OECD countries. - TradeArabia News Service



Tags: Saudi | OECD | aid |

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