To Stave Off Arab Spring Revolts, Saudi Arabia and Fellow Gulf Countries Spend $150 Billion

arab-spring-donation-2

Saudi Arabia’s generosity has been criticized as a means for the Arab world’s most populous country to make political gains and spread influence.

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Possessing 20% of the world’s proven petroleum reserves, Saudi Arabia has long played the expected role of benefactor among its fellow Arab and Muslim countries. With a total aid budget of $3.1 billion in 2009, Saudi Arabia keeps one of the largest humanitarian aid funds in the world.

Much of that aid went to hardship-struck Muslim nations, including Pakistan, Somalia and the Palestinians. But since the Arab Spring took root this year, Saudi Arabia has spread its largesse among its own citizens and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) neighbors — a large part of $150 billion worth of social welfare spending in the region since the unrest began, according to a new report by Merrill Lynch Bank of America.

Only days following the collapse of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s regime in February, for instance, Saudi Arabia announced a social welfare package for its citizens worth $10.7 billion, featuring pay raises for government employees, new jobs and loan forgiveness schemes. By the end of the month, the handouts totaled $37 billion. In March, the trend continued, as Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah heralded an additional $93 billion in social spending.

Such generosity was no coincidence, noted the Merrill Lynch Bank of America report’s authors. “The initial response of GCC policymakers [to the Arab revolt] has been to sharply increase current spending to accommodate social pressures and to pledge intra-regional fiscal transfers to less endowed members,” wrote Jean-Michel Saliba, Middle East and North Africa economist for the firm.

In addition to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital of Abu Dhabi put forward plans to spend nearly $2 billion to provide housing loans to Emiratis, while Qatar announced this month an $8 billion payout in wage, salary and benefits increases for all state and military personnel. Oman and Bahrain have also indicated they would increase social spending by the billions this year.

Aside from raises for state employees, the spending in these Gulf states will go toward infrastructure and social amenities, such as roads, schools and hospitals, and further subsidies on food, water and power consumption for citizens.

READ MORE HERE

Facebook Comments

BERKAITAN

TERKINI

Kesesakan LRT: PH melalak dan merapu sembang fasal dasar pengangkutan awam, rakyat teraniaya

Korang nak tahu tak fasal LRT 3 yang dijangka dirasmikan dan digunapakai tahun 2023 nanti actually tersasar dari jadual asal sepatutnya tahun 2020 dah...

Gol pelik punca Selangor diratah JDT

Ketua jurulatih Selangor FC, Michael Feichtenbeiner menyifatkan dua gol pada awal permainan yang dijaringkan Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) mematahkan semangat pemainnya hingga diratah 1-5...

[Video] Jalan sesak akibat Kemalangan 2 lori terbalik di KM 425.7 (arah utara) PLUS Utara di antara Bukit Beruntung & Bukit Tagar.

Kejadian berlaku kira-kira jam 10 pagi di KM425.7 (arah utara) Lebuhraya Plus diantara Bukit Beruntung ke Bukit Tagar. Kesesakan berlaku sejauh 18 kilometer dari Rawang...

Syed Saddiq mempergunakan nama ibu bapa untuk berbohong?

Syed Saddiq didakwa mengeluarkan wang tunai RM1.12 juta secara tidak jujur daripada akaun bank PPBM untuk kegunaan sendiri. Daripada situ, dia menggunakan RM100k untuk membeli...

[Video] Seorang daripada dua remaja hilang akibat arus deras di Penampang ditemukan

Penampang: Seorang daripada mangsa yang dilaporkan hilang selepas dihanyutkan arus deras di Sungai Kampung Pogunon, sejak semalam, ditemukan lemas di Sungai Moyog Kampung Pagansakan...

SPRM akan siasat individu terima dana UKSB termasuk Muhyiddin Yassin

SPRM dalam kenyataan berkata, agensi itu juga mengesahkan sudah menerima beberapa aduan terhadap individu terbabit Siasatan yang akan dijalankan mengikut bidang kuasa yang...

Artis versetile, Adibah Noor meninggal dunia

Ramai peminat masih tidak dapat menerima kenyataan pemergian artis versatile Adibah Nor. Media sosial di penuhi dengan berita pemergian beliau. Berita awal mengenai pemergian Allahyarham...

2 remaja maut motosikal bertembung kereta di Kalumpang

HULU SELANGOR: Dua remaja lelaki maut selepas motosikal dinaiki mereka, bertembung sebuah kereta di Kilometer 75 Jalan Kuala Lumpur-Ipoh dekat Taman Keliang, Kalumpang di...

Dr Mahahir lindungi Muhyiddin daripada didakwa – Razlan

Ahli Majlis Kerja Tertinggi Umno, Razlan Rafii mendakwa berlaku pendakwaan terpilih ketika pentadbiran Mahathir Mohamad, susulan laporan Muhyiddin Yassin dikatakan menerima dana daripada Ultra...