In this article we explore the top charitable Arab donor organizations that have been helping society by promoting education, arts and culture, and job creation by financing entrepreneurs.

Over the past decade, the number of foundations and nonprofits operating in the Middle East has exploded, up from just a handful to dozens of organizations, ranging from broad development funds to specific issue-focused family philanthropies. Often modeled on Western foundations, but drawing on a history and culture of generous giving, these organizations will be a powerful force in the Middle East’s development for years to come.

The World Bank's 2010 study, Arab Development Assistance: four decades of cooperation, showed that Arab countries have been generous donors over the years, particularly the three Gulf countries - Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which represent over 90 percent of total Arab aid provided by those countries on which information is available.

In this article, we will explore the largest Arab foundations that address a diverse range of issues.

Top 6 Charitable Middle East Donor Organizations

1. Abu Dhabi Fund for Development

Country: United Arab Emarites
Focus Area: Job Creation

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) aims to help developing countries to achieve sustainable socio-economic growth; through financial assistance in the forms of concessionary loans, managing government grants and equities. ADFD also peruses investments in order to encourage the private sector in the recipient countries to play an essential part in accelerating the economic development process, and at the same time playing a pivotal role in strengthening and diversifying the future resources of the Fund.

2. Islamic Development Bank

Country: Saudi Arabia
Focus Area: Job Creation, Education, Heath, Information and Technology, Community Development, Humanitarian Aid

The Islamic Development Bank ( IsDB) is an international Islamic financial institution aim to foster the economic development and social progress of member countries and Muslim communities individually as well as jointly in accordance with the principles of Shari'ah i.e., Islamic Law. It is considered a multilateral development bank (MDB), working to improve the lives of those we serve by promoting social and economic development in Muslim countries and communities worldwide, delivering impact at scale.

3. The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (the Arab Fund)

Country: Kuwait
Focus Area: Job Creation, Education, Entrepreneurship, Environment and Energy, Humanitarian aid, Social Development, Urban & Rural Development, Water and Wastewater

The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (the Arab Fund) is an Arab regional financial institution focused on funding economic and social development by financing public and private investment projects and providing grants and expertise. The Arab Fund's activities are characterized by a number of important aspects that make it a model of cooperation and Arab economic integration, and a reflection of outstanding joint Arab action.

4. Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development

Country: Kuwait
Focus Area: Child Rights, Education, Environment and Energy, Health, Information Communication and Technology

Kuwait Fund For Arab Economic Development is the first institution in the Middle East that took an active role in the international development efforts. It extends Loans on concessionary term to finance development projects in the developing countries. The Fund also provides technical assistance to finance the costs of the feasibility studies of projects, as well as the training of nationals of the borrowing countries. In addition, the Fund subscribes in the capital of international and regional development institutions. Today, the Kuwait Fund forms a solid bridge of friendship and solidarity between the state of Kuwait and the developing nations.

5. Qatar Fund for Development

Country: Qatar
Focus Area:  Education, Health, Job Creation

The Qatar Fund for Development cooperates with many active actors experienced in development efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals. In addition, QFFD has national strategic partners, including Qatari NGOs, Qatari government agencies and the private sector, as well as international partners such as UN organizations, international institutions and development funds. Based on bilateral and multilateral agreements, QFFD is fully committed to providing external aids through a variety of financial instruments including grants, soft loans, commercial loans, guarantees and development investments, according to best practices and professional standards.

6. Saudi Fund for Development

Country: Saudi Arabia
Focus Area:  Education, Health, Job Creation

The Saudi Fund for Development was founded by virtue of Royal Decree No. M/48, issued on 01/09/1974, and it commenced the operations  on 01/03/1975. As defined in its charter, the Fund’s main objectives are to participate in financing development projects in the developing countries by granting them the necessary loans, technical aids necessary for financing studies and institutional support and financing and guaranteeing the national non-crude oil exports.

NO Comment 24th November 2021

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