Skip to main content

'Saudi first' propels shift toward strings-attached aid policy

Saudi Arabia's announcement of conditional foreign aid is being seen as a move by the kingdom to stand up to global pressures and conduct itself with more autonomy.
Saudi aid

Saudi Arabia’s declaration this week that its financial aid offerings will be conditional moving forward can be seen as part of the country’s move to put “Saudi first” in spending and other global matters. 

The kingdom’s Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan made the pivotal announcement on Wednesday during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. 

“We used to give direct grants and deposits without strings attached, and we are changing that,” said Al-Jadaan. “We are working with multilateral institutions to actually say we need to see reforms.” 

Saudi Arabia seems to be re-calibrating how its constituents perceive it on the global stage, as the nation’s global economic ambitions demand domestic transformation and require heavy investments from its population. 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.