UK and Saudi Arabia to together boost economies in developing countries

12 Mar 18

The UK and Saudi Arabia are to partner up to boost economic development and infrastructure in some of the world’s poorest drought and conflict-hit countries.

The partnership, announced during the Saudi crown prince’s visit to the UK, includes commitment to work in east Africa, which will in turn strengthen global prosperity.

International development secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “The Saudi Fund has a long record of investing in successful development projects around the world.

“We are sharing the best of British expertise, and our collective efforts will help create jobs and livelihoods to support the poorest people to stand on their own two feet. This in turn will help to boost global prosperity, which is in all our interests.”

Both countries are already providing support to progress economic development across Africa.

It will see a joint commitment of £100m between the two countries to further these efforts. The UK’s contribution will include allocations from existing country budgets.

Mordaunt said: “By building critical infrastructure for some of the world’s poorest whose lives are threatened by drought, disease and conflict, together we can make a bigger difference and ensure that everyday tasks like collecting drinking water are made much easier.”

It is the first of its kind between the UK’s Department for International Development and the Saudi Fund for Development.

In the meeting, the UK also stressed the importance of opening ports to allow aid to enter Yemen, following the blockage of ports by the Saudi coalition.

Saudi Arabia announced in January that it would help Yemen’s struggling economy with a $2bn transfer to its central bank following the appeal for help.

In December, the UK pledged to provide an extra £50m to help Yemen, bringing its aid to the country to a total of £205m for the 2017-18 year. 

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