Algeria offered $2 billion to Palestinians and Africans
Algeria spent more than $2 billion in the last ten years as part of direct financial aid to different countries, contributions in many budgets and funding programs to fight poverty and face natural disasters.
Algeria’s aid to Palestinians consumed more than this sum third and other large part were intended to support international political institutions’ program.
Algeria raised its contribution in the most important financial institutions’ capital in Africa and the Islamic world since 2007. They granted loans and aid to developing and poor countries to boos its economies.
Algeria’s foreign financial expenses as part of aid and international institutions-support shifted to about $300 million par year in 2010 from $150 million in 2005 and less than $50 million in 2000. That was positively reflected in oil incomes and the improvement of the State’s revenues.
Those figures do not include the diplomatic corpse’ foreign expenses which went up to $200 million per year in 2010.
Algeria granted $730 million to Palestinians in 10 years
Financial accounts of the foreign ministry’s budget show that Algeria’s direct financial aid has the lion’s share. It has been estimated at $730 million so far. This figure includes Algeria’s commitments to the Arab League’s decisions. Yet, it does not include other aid sent to Palestinians after the Israeli attacks on Gaza. It also does not include financial and technical aid offered by financial and human institutions in which Algerian contributes.
Algeria’s direct financial aid to Palestinians is divided into three canals. The first one is the direct financial funding of the Palestinian national authority’s budget.
The second canal is Al Aqsa and Al Qods Intifada Funds. Cairo Summit held in 2000 issued resolution No 199 about creating two funds worth $1 billion. Al Qods Intifada Fund had $200 million capital meant to support martyrs’ families and treat wounded people. Al Aqsa Fund had $800 million meant to support the Palestinian economy.
Beirut Summit approved an additional support to the funds worth $150 million in 2002. Algeria has offered $33.6 million to Al Aqsa Fund since its creation. Of it, $9.6 million was directly paid when it was set up in Beirut Summit.
It is believed that Algeria paid $50 million to the Funds in the last ten years.
Earlier in 2009’s Kuwait Summit, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced financial aid to reconstruct Gaza worth $200 million.
In a conference held in Paris in 2007, Algeria granted $10 million to support the Palestinian national authority.
The Algerian and Arab aid prevented the decline of the Palestinian authority’s institutions and economy.
Algeria offers $300 million to African Union and other institutions
A large part of the Algerian financial contributions is intended to foreign institutions mostly to the African Union.
Official figures show that the African Union consumed more than $200 million of Algeria’s contribution in the last ten years. The rest of the contributions were intended to fund the Arab League’s program (about $40 million) and the United Nations Development Programme ($20 million).
Algeria has contributed in the African Union’s budget by 15 percent since 2005. It agreed with Libya, Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt on sharing equally 75 percent of the African Union’s budget to face deficit.
Algeria’s annual contribution was doubled in less than six years as the African Union’s budget went up to $200 million.
Algeria contributes by 8 percent in the Arab League’s budget. This puts it in the 5th place among the rest of the Arab countries in terms of contributions.
The Arab League’s budget is still weak compared to similar regional and international organisations. It reached $61 million in 2010. The burden on the Arab countries’ shoulder consists in funding extraordinary programmes and other special funds. Contributions repartition system in the Arab League’s budget is still based on counting the Arab countries’ contribution rate in those programmes and special funds. Because of that, countries like Algeria were theoretically asked to pay the double in terms of contributions for Arab programmes and special funds funding.
Non paid commitments were estimated at 15-30 percent in the last three years. That caused a clear deficit in the Arab League’s budget.
Earlier in 2005, Algeria’s Summit decided to form a monetary reserve for the general secretary to save money for urgent projects.
Special aid to African countries
It is difficult to give an exact number about Algeria’s other financial and human aid to other countries in the last ten years. Yet, traces of a large part of it can be tracked through the financial documents of the Algerian foreign ministry’s budget. The number reached $1 billion in ten years along with $30 million aid.
What are those countries which benefited from aid?
The same document shows that African countries got the largest part of the financial and human aid. Of them, there are Senegal, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan, Benin Côte d’Ivoire and the Comoros Islands. Two years ago, the Algerian president approved $10 million aid to sub-Saharan countries to help them in overcoming food crisis.
Algeria also helped countries affected by natural disasters in Asia and Southern America. Of them, there were: Pakistan and Haiti.
Bouteflika prefers to deliver his cheques directly to beneficiaries
Algeria’s ambassador to Egypt Abdelkader Hadjar said President Abdelaziz Bouteflika had ordered to give aid directly to Palestinians without passing by the accounts of the Arab League or any other organisation.
Usually, President Bouteflika asks foreign and finance ministries to bring to him a cheque on the eve of the annual Arab League. He would directly give it to the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in presence of the Arab League’s Secretary General Amrou Moussa.
In 2008, Bouteflika gave him two a $52.8 million cheque and a $10 million cheque. The first one represents Algeria’s annual contribution in the account of the Palestinian national authority’s budget. The second cheque represents Algeria’s commitments in a conference held in Paris in 2007.
In 2009 before the Arab League held in Qatar, Algeria paid its total share as part of supporting the Palestinian authority’s budget beforehand upon a request of Mahmoud Abbas.
At that time, Palestinian officials said the Authority suffered from a financial crisis because several countries had not paid their commitments.
Seven Arab countries did not pay their shares at all. They are: Djibouti, Somalia, Mauritania, Sudan, The Comoros Islands, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. They lived in bad economic conditions while other countries paid just a small part of their commitments.
Former foreign minister Belkhadem released an official communiqué and distributed it to the Arab League. It asked Arab countries to pay their total or partial shares. At the same time, the Palestinian authority faced American European pressures as Hamas won the legislative elections.
Return strategy to influence regional financial institutions
Algeria’s financial contributions were multiplied 12 times in five years. The African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank dominated about 75 percent of them.
The African Development Bank adopts the same objectives of the International Bank Group. Yet, it limited its activity in the African continent and gives to its countries loans at low interests.
Algeria raised its funding to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) by more than three times. It also contributes annually in economic organisations and financial institutions’ budget.