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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.

Dubai Cares

- Type: Charity
- Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- CEO: Tariq Al Gurg
- Budget: $1 billion

 Dubai Cares, launched by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2007, aims to improve access to primary education in developing nations by focusing on improving infrastructure, health and nutrition, and water and sanitation. The philanthropic organization is working alongside various international partners in 24 countries and communities, including Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Haiti, Laos, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Nepal, Niger, Palestinian territories, Pakistan, as well as with Palestinian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Yemen and Zambia.

 Gulf for Good

- Type: Charity
- Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Chairman: Brian Wilkie

 Established in 2001, Gulf for Good operates under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum. It focuses on child-related projects such as building and providing equipment and supplies to schools and hospitals, as well as refurbishing orphanages. The countries covered by these projects are Nepal, Tanzania, Kenya, Oman, Jordan, Sri Lanka, Borneo, Egypt, Cambodia and India.

 International Humanitarian City

- Type: Charity
- Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Chairwoman: Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein
- Vice-Chairman: Ibrahim Mohammed Bu Melha

 International Humanitarian City, created by the United Arab Emirates, is a global humanitarian aid hub aiming to provide facilities and services to all international aid actors. In 2009, International Humanitarian City reported contributions of 14.3 million dirhams ($3.9 million), all of which were on a multilateral basis. Contributions were primarily in the form of services provided to international organizations and NGOs, including the World Food Program, UNICEF, U.N. Refugee Agency and World Health Organization. All make use of the organization’s warehouses, offices and its logistical support.

 Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation

- Type: Charity
- Headquarters: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Director: Mohammed Haji Al-Khoory

 The foundation, established in 2007, has funded projects in more than 35 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. In 2009, the foundation made grants of 185.7 million dirhams ($50.6 million). It supports a range of programs including health, water and sanitation, social infrastructure and other humanitarian projects.

 Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development

- Type: Governmental
- Headquarters: Kuwait City, Kuwait
- Chairman: Muhammed Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah
- Director: Abdulwahab A. Al Bader
- Number of employees: 455
- Authorized capital: $7.15 billion

 The Kuwait Fund, the first development assistance fund to be set up by a developing country, was established in 1961 by the state of Kuwait. It was designed to assist Arab countries but its mandate was broadened in 1974 to include all developing countries. The fund’s operations are focused primarily on the sectors of agriculture and irrigation, transport and energy, communications, water and sewage.

 The fund extends loans, guarantees and grants, and provides technical assistance to provincial governments, international and regional development institutions, and corporate entities that undertake projects jointly owned by a number of developing countries. It participates in the capital of development institutions and manages grants extended by Kuwait to developing countries.

 Reach Out to Asia

- Type: Charity
- Headquarters: Doha, Qatar
- Chairwoman: Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani
- Director: Essa Al Mannai
- Budget: $20 million

 Reach Out to Asia, formed in 1995 under the umbrella organization Qatar Foundation, operates in Cambodia, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, the Palestinian territories, Iraq and Lebanon. Its main focus is improving the quality of education and health care in Asian countries. It builds or adopts schools, promotes female education and provides vocational training.

 Saudi Fund for Development

- Type: Governmental
- Headquarters: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- Chairman: Minister of Finance Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf
- Director: Yousef Ibn Ibrahim Al-Bassam
- Number of employees: 400
- Authorized capital: $8.26 billion

 Established in 1974 by the Saudi government, this fund ranks as the top Gulf and Arab donor, accounting for almost two-thirds of total Arab aid. The Saudi Fund has no geographical exclusion and it deals directly with governments in the developing world to finance projects. The fund has contributed financing to 3,750 projects in 71 countries, consisting of 41 African countries, 25 Asian countries, and five countries in other parts of the world. It also administers loans and grants extended by the Saudi government to developing countries.

 Silatech

- Type: Charity
- Headquarters: Doha, Qatar
- Chairwoman: Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned
- CEO: Rick Little
- Budget: $100 million

 Silatech was established in 2008 through the support of regional and international organizations and leaders such as the emir of Qatar, the chief executive of Cisco, Wolfensohn Center for Development at Brookings, Gallup, Dubai School of Government, World Bank, and International Labor Organization. The organizations aims to address the critical and growing need to create jobs and economic opportunities for young people. It promotes large-scale job creation, entrepreneurship, and access to capital and markets for young people, starting in the Arab world.

 UAE Red Crescent Authority

- Type: Charity
- Headquarters: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Chairwoman: Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak

 The UAE Red Crescent is the UAE’s main relief and aid agency. Besides humanitarian assistance, it implements developmental and reconstruction projects. The areas covered by these projects are: Palestinian territories, Yemen, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Maldives.

 Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation

- Type: Charity
- Headquarters: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Director: Mohammed bin Obaid Al-Dhaheri

 The Zayed Foundation, established in 1992, provides humanitarian assistance and grants for developmental projects. The foundation gave grants totaling 47.9 million dirhams ($13.0 million) in 2009 in support of at least 22 countries worldwide. More than half of the funds were directed to Africa, where they benefited a range of sectors, most notably education, water and sanitation, and social infrastructure and services.

Source: devex.com/

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