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SAUDI ARABIA: Unlike Qatar, Iran and Jordan, kingdom fails to cough up Haiti cash

Haiti-cole  

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is one of the world's wealthiest countries. But though it's generous when it comes to building Islamic religious schools and mosques throughout the world, Saudi Arabia has been rather miserly when it comes to the suffering of the people of Haiti, which was struck by a cataclysmic earthquake that  destroyed its capital and killed tens of thousands. 

Certainly, Haiti is a world away from Saudi Arabia. And it's a mostly Christian country, rather than Muslim. But that hasn't stopped other wealthy Middle East countries from pitching in.

The United Arab Emirates, for example, has launched an air bridge for getting relief supplies to Haiti. Qatar has dispatched 50 metric tons of aid to Haiti, and Kuwait has made an initial pledge of $1 million, as has Morocco

Earthquake-prone Turkey and Iran also are helping. Ankara has dispatched a mobile hospital to Haiti and  Tehran has donated 30 metric tons of aid.

Even some poorer Middle East countries are helping out. Jordan has sent a planeload of supplies while Lebanon has committed to taking part in relief efforts. Israel has dispatched medical rescue teams to Haiti.

Saudi King Abdullah, meanwhile, has sent a message of condolence to Haitian President René Préval.

-- Los Angeles Times

Photo: A boy watches a passing helicopter as Haitians line up to receive high-protein biscuits being handed out by the World Food Program with the assistance of United Nations troops.  Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (37)

Let's focus on the positive. Several Arab countries are helping Haiti. Israel is helping Haiti. Lebanon is helping Haiti, so is Jordan, so is Morocco, so is Qatar, and also the same for the UAE, Turkey, and Iran.
Saudi Arabia has helped many people all over the world.
They have helped people during the Tsunami. I hope that the king will send money. However, there is a lot of focus on highlighting that Israel is helping while Arabs are sending more combined aid. During the time when people were sending Kosovo, you had the impression Israel was sending aid and the Arabs were not, though more aid was coming from Arabs. It's the fault of the media. They don't want to highlight that Arabs have written many checks to help people in disasters. Arabs are generous and help people of all races and nationalities. During the Tsunamni many helped.

First of all, May Allah help the people of Haiti.
It's shame on some of you to use people's tragedy for political purposes.

Second of all, in 2008 Saudi Arabia was the top humanitarian donor in terms of percentage of GDP in the world. Of course you don't care about that. You are all ready all the time to criticize Saudi Arabia no matter what. But when it comes to its good deeds and contributions, I don't see that much attention. Where were you 2 months ago when Jeddah ( a city in Saudi Arabia) had a massive flood that destroyed the southern part of the city?, I didn't see you whining why people didn't help Saudi Arabia. I know that some of you only want to insult my country and religion in each and every incident. Well, Saudi Arabia will step in "as usual" and provide the appropriate help for Haitian. For us, it's not only a show off that we care about. I don't care if you like us or not, as long as we are doing what we believe is right.

BTW, do you know that some aids are not getting to Haiti and there are thugs wandering around in the country destroying and stealing. It's not only a PR we care about. Since the US is taking care of the immediate rescue, many roles will be played in the future by different countries to rebuild Haiti.

can't blame them, Saudi government is saving their money so that they can buy more bombs to drop on Yemen...

The House of Saud only cares about "Islam Uber Alles" and themselves being on top of Islam. It is in cahoots with the Binladin Group. You know who that is? Essentially, a company run by relatives of Osama bin Laden. Already the Binladin Group is ruining the city of Mecca in the name of commercialism, erecting the world's biggest and second-tallest building (a posh hotel with a caricature of Big Ben on top) on the doorsteps of the Kaaba, holiest site in the Muslim religion. On the opposite side of the Kaaba, a neighborhood has apparently been gutted in some grand development scheme. This has been the Saudi approach: hog the glory, gut the history in the name of some gaudy fake version of Islam, and never mind the critics - and, oh yeah, never mind who you tread on to get Islam (and your own version of Islam at that) on top and yourself on top of Islam. Pathetic.

It would have been nice to see more presence from Saudi Arabia. This story is significant because Saudi Arabia is one of the few countries in the world that has not sent any help. Every country in the Americas has sent help,the European community is there in force, the big Asian nations are there; tiny countries far away from Haiti like Samoa has sent money and resources and even many of the corrupt African nations have sent aid and resources. There's no excuse for one of the richest nations in the world to do nothing more than to make a condolence call. To the poster who said that it's only been four days, here in the SF Bay Area there's an earthquake awareness website called "72 Hours" which is named after the amount of time a injured earthquake victim can survive without help and why it's important for people who live in earthquake country to be prepared to live on their own for at least 72 hours after a quake, and how important for first responders to reach victims within that 72 hour window

Saudi Arabia has a corrupt goverment (Owner) and if they helped Katrina is was just a show off and due to 9/11 they were in trouble.

OBAMA SAID US IS TO STAND WITH HAITI BY GRACE OF GOD, HAITI WILL NOT BE FORSAKEN, BUT OBAMA FORGOT PALESTINIANS IN GAZA RAIDED BY ISRAEL.

stay classy, saudi arabia.

Thanks Marks for calling me an idiot (that is a first). Your comment speaks for itself as what kind of person you are. your statements are venomous and full of hate to all muslims regardless.
Discussions with people like you are useless as it is obvious what your position is.

For those who think Saudi Arabia will commit time or money to Haiti if given enough time, maybe. Maybe the international pressure of saving face will propel them. However, all the King had to do when he called up the Prince was say, "Oh, and by the way, I'm sending you X amount of cash to help." But the King didn't. He hung up. So if you're still thinking Saudi Arabia gives a damn about Haiti, you are either a Muslim or an Arab ashamed by what Saudi Arabia isn't doing and trying to explain away their disgusting lack of action.

ONLY four days? Be PATIENT? Tell you what, let me bury you under some rubble with a broken leg without food or water for four days and then we'll see how okay you are with being patient for help. I have no doubt Saudi Arabian people are generous, but Saudi Arabia as a country is ignoring this situation, is the point of the article.

An opportunistic post to put down the Saudis. Why don't you check where Saudi stands according to the World Bank and the IFC in helping poorer countries. You will be surprised to learn that it ranks one of the highest in per capita terms.

Wow take it easy! Facts are facts, whatever happens in the future - wheter Saudi Arabia donates or not - is one thing, that they've
made no commitment to help is another.

Saudi Arabia has donated over $90 billion between 1973-2007, well over the UN recommended 7% of GDP. During the Katrina disaster Saudi Arabia donated $255 million, and over $80 million during the Asian Tsunami disaster. The situation in Haiti is sad, but your article would serve better purpose if it were fashioned to find out why they are so poor in the first place.

I agree that everyone should help, so please tell us what other countries have not donated.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_foreign_assistance

http://www.saudiembassy.or.jp/En/PressReleases/2008/006-Jun/8.htm

great article,i was wondering it myself if they helped,just tell me why would a muslim country donate to a catholic nation. according to there religion all should die,if not muslim. see if al quaida helps,they did nothing during the sunanmi ,that killed ,lots. and they will not help this time , but be sure they will cause more havock and meyhem. and go
on as nothing has happened,except there own coward ways,of hideing and not wearing a proper uniform,even hitler wore a uniform,and he was proud to wear it.not a coward to hide.
as i remember after 911 ,a great some of money was donated to ny city by saudia arabia,but was not accepted ,great work ,my hats off to the mayor.
as for the idiot on comment one,wake up and smell the roses.you are narrow minded to even think saudia arabia would help.and its prove!

TO THE COUNTRYS HELPING THANK YOU. TO THE COUNTRYS THAT HAVE MORE MONEY THAN YOU COULD SPEND IN A HUNDRED LIFE TIMES. YOU NEED TO GET CRACKIN AND HELP OR IS IT BECAUSE THEIR POOR AND YOU HAVE NOTHING TO GAIN. ITS NOT WORTH YOUR TIME. RICH OR POOR EVERYBODY IS IMPORTANT AND THE WORLD IS WATCHING.WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND AND IT DOSE COME AROUND. HELP THEM PEOPLE THE KEY WORD PEOPLE

I am not sure what you want to proof? It is only 4 days since the disaster and I don't take it that you have an insider access to all accounts of who donoated to Haiti. Before jumping to conclusions and start projecting your narrow-minded views, be patient and you will see that Saudi Arabian people are charitable and generous when it comes to helping the needy regardless of their religion.

 
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