By Joanne Bladd
Gulf states UAE and Saudi Arabia singled out by agency for massive contributions to humanitarian aid
The UAE is ranked among the top ten most generous nations in the world in terms of humanitarian aid donations per capita, a report has found.
The Gulf state was ranked seventh by Global Humanitarian Assistance, an agency that tracks aid funding around the world, making the UAE the first non-Western country to make the top 10.
The UAE contributed just over $30 per citizen in 2009, or a total of $138.9m, the report said.
Luxembourg rated the highest donor per citizen, with each member of the population contributing just over $136 to humanitarian aid expenditure, followed by Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland and the Netherlands.
In terms of the total sums contributed, the US was the largest donor, with $4.3bn, followed by the EU institutions, the UK, Germany, Spain and Sweden.
However, Saudi Arabia was ranked the largest non-DAC donor – so country not a member of the OECD-backed Development Assistance Committee - with $51.8m worth of contributions in 2009, amounting for 23 percent of the total.
“Humanitarian aid from non-DAC donors is characterised by one-off contributions, which result in big year-on-year fluctuations,” the report stated. “In 2001, for example, $645m of the $734m total was from Saudi Arabia to Palestine.”
Of the non-DAC donors, the UAE ranked second, with Kuwait third and Qatar seventh.
“In the last five years, only five non-DAC donors have been ever-present on the top ten list of contributors: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Russia and Turkey,” the report said.
“In terms of volume, the three Gulf states have been particularly important, and of those, Saudi Arabia’s aid has been especially significant. It has been the largest non-DAC donor since 2005, and has been in first place in seven of the last 10 years.”
The report added that Saudi Arabia had donated over $2bn worth of aid in the last 10 years.
The highest recipient of international aid during 2009 was Sudan, which took in $1.3bn.
The Palestinian Authority received $1.2bn, followed by Ethiopia, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.