GCC Efforts During Pandemic

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GCC Countries pledge over $120.8 billion

The GCC Countries took broad, fast action to control the spread of COVID-19 and to have health response operations in place.

The Gulf Cooperation Council have pledged over $120.8 billion to help the economy fight the impact of the coronavirus and stopping businesses going bankrupt.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: $32 billion

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Kingdom of Saudi Arabia unveiled stimulus measures to help the economy.

The sum includes a package of 50 billion riyals announced earlier to support small and medium sized businesses coupled with a further 70 billion riyals to aid businesses through postponement of tax payments and exemptions of various government levies and fees.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will finance treatment for anyone infected with the coronavirus in the country

Saudi Arabia announced that the government will cover a portion of private sector salaries in the industries most impacted by the novel coronavirus.

Under royal decree, companies needing to lay off employees can instead apply for the government to compensate 60% of those salaries for the next three months for more than 1.2 million citizens

After the three month period ends, the royal decree mandates that companies resume paying their employees. 

UAE: $34.3 billion

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The UAE government eased the impact of the coronavirus on the country, raising the country’s total stimulus package to 126 billion dirhams.

The package of measures aims to reduce the cost of doing business, support small businesses and accelerate the implementation of major government infrastructure projects.

The Central Bank announced a comprehensive economic support scheme worth 100 billion dirhams. The central bank is prepared to support the country’s banking system in mitigating any downside risk from the pandemic.

Abu Dhabi Executive Council will offer 5 billion dirhams in subsidies focused on water and electricity subsidies for citizens, commercial and industrial activities, and electricity connection fees subsidies. A 3 billion dirham credit guarantee program has also been set up with performance guarantees and projects of up to 50 million dirhams have been waived for start-ups this year.

Abu Dhabi also announced up to a 20 percent payback on rentals for the restaurant, tourism, and entertainment sectors. Tourism and entertainment sector municipality fees have been suspended this year. Authorities have also created a 1-billion-dirham fund to enhance liquidity and sustain balance between supply and demand for stocks on Abu Dhabi Securities Market.

Dubai announced a 1.5 billion dirham package which includes 15 focused initiatives aimed at reducing the cost of doing business and simplifying business procedures, especially in the commercial, retail, external trade, tourism, and energy sectors.

The United Arab Emirates sent seven metric tonnes of medical supplies to South Africa to bolster the country’s efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The UAE’s aid planes have carried approximately 260 tonnes of medical and food aid to 24 countries in the region and beyond since the outbreak of pandemic. 260,000 medical professionals had also been assisted by the aid flights.

The UAE worked with many countries to repatriate their citizens who were unable to travel due to the coronavirus outbreak.

It sent 20 tonnes of supplies to China and airlifted those stranded to UAE Humanitarian City in Abu Dhabi.

UAE helped in setting up a 4,000 bed field hospital NHS Nightingale in London.

Thirteen tonnes of medical supplies meant for thousands of health care workers were dispatched to Kazakhstan, Italy, Ukraine, Croatia, Seychelles and Greece. The list of nations receiving UAE aid during the outbreak is long and growing.

UAE sent more than 33 tonnes of critical medical supplies, including gloves and surgical masks, as well as other protective equipment.

UAE has been helping countries in the region and around the world. The country’s leadership has always given priority to humanitarian missions in conflict zones in Middle East and across the world.

Oman: $20.8 billion

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The Central Bank of Oman announced a 8 billion Omani rial stimulus package aimed at providing additional liquidity to the country’s financial institutions.

Central Bank of Oman increased the financing ratio for lenders from 87.5 percent to 92.5 percent, allowing banks to lend more money.

The central bank has reduced existing fees related to banking services and avoided introducing new fees.

Oman slashed its civil, military and security agency budgets by 5 percent. Other measures include tourism and municipality tax breaks as well as postponement of credit installment payments.

The decisions are highly motivational. These decisions will help in the current economic situation and contribute to achieving financial stability and will stimulate the growth of economy in the Sultanate.

Bahrain: $11.4 billion

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Bahrain has announced a 4.3 billion Bahraini dinar economic stimulus package to support its citizens and the private sector amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The eight point package includes a draft law that concerns paying the salaries of all private sector employees from the unemployment fund for three months.

Bahrain has doubled its liquidity fund to 200 million dinars and announced a waiver on utility bills for three months. The Kingdom has also allowed Bahraini nationals to delay payment of bank loans by six months.

During the three months, individuals and businesses will also be exempted from municipal and industrial land rental fees, while tourism related companies will be exempted from tourism levies.

The central bank of Bahrain banned lenders from freezing customers accounts in case of job loss or retirement.

Kuwait: $1.5 billion

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Kuwait approved a draft law authorizing additional funding of 500 million Kuwaiti dinars to ministries and state agencies to fight the impact of coronavirus.

The central bank has reduced the discount rate to 1.5 percent from 2.5 percent.

The central bank has also suspended fees on point of sales devices and ATM withdrawals in addition to increasing the limit for contactless payments to 25 dinars from 10 dinars.

Kuwait has also set up a 10 million dinar fund, financed by Kuwaiti banks, to combat coronavirus.

Qatar: $20.6 billion

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Qatar has announced a stimulus package worth 75 billion Qatari riyals to provide financial and economic incentives for the private sector.

The government funds were asked to increase investments in the stock exchange by 10 billion riyals. Food and medical goods in the country were exempted from customs duties for six months.

Qatar has also announced utilities bill exemption.


Outside of the GCC government, individuals have donated billions of dollars to help poor countries fight the epidemic. This has been done through independent bodies and undisclosed identities within the GCC.

Most of the aid has been focussed on Africa and poor underdeveloped counties around the world.

Financial assistance has been highly distributed for the  poor families whom have been effected during the crises.

Royal Group Charity Foundation has been a main contributor to Africa and Asia and other countries across the world.