Top Arab and Bilateral Donors and Development NGOs: A Primer

A_PrimerThe Arab world appears in the midst of massive changes as disenfranchised citizens in several Middle Eastern and North African countries push for more democracy and economic opportunity. Whatever the outcome of these revolts, aid from Arab multilateral, bilateral and non-governmental institutions will be crucial to rebuilding and fostering a more progressive Arab union.

Despite the region’s own development challenges, Arab aid institutions have been operating for more than four decades now, funding development programs in and outside the Arab world. Africa, Asia and other parts of the world have benefited from the development aid. Here are some of the more prominent bilateral and non-governmental organizations in the region, as well as their origins and objectives.

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development

- Type: Governmental
- Headquarters: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Director of Loans: Fawzia Al Mubarak
- Number of Employees: 100
- Authorized Capital: $2.17 billion

ADFD, established in 1971 by the United Arab Emirates, aims to provide assistance to developing countries, principally in the form of concessional loans for projects. Since its foundation, the fund has provided almost $3.54 billion to 207 projects in 53 countries. It has also supervised the management of loans and grants offered by the UAE.

Alwaleed bin Talal Foundation

- Type: NGO
- Headquarters: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- Chairman: Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud

The foundation supports organizations with development and humanitarian projects and has provided grants and donations in more than 60 countries, totaling more than $2.4 billion over the last 30 years.

Arab Science and Technology Foundation

- Type: Nonprofit
- Headquarters: Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
- Chairman: Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi, ruler of the Sharjah emirate
- President: Abdalla A. Alnajjar

The Arab Science and Technology Foundation, established in 2000, aims to identify and support outstanding scientific research activities being conducted by scientists from the Arab world. It provides grants for projects such as water desalination by solar energy and the Iraq Research and Development Initiative to contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq.

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