Saudi NDF pours more than $7.5bn as COVID-19 relief to aid local economy

By Arya M Nair, Intern Reporter
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Saudi Arabia
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The Saudi Arabia National Development Fund (NDF) has supported the local economy with $7.5 billion, as COVID-19 introduced many unprecedented economic consequences for the Kingdom.

COVID-19 disrupted work, trade, and economic systems globally. Many governments around the globe saw the necessity to intervene to secure their economies and protect their social systems. The Saudi leadership launched government initiatives to aid society and the local economy in order to achieve this.

Since March 2020, NDF has been at the core of these efforts, exercising one of its primary roles, to support the country in times of economic fluctuations by acting counter-cyclically and being an engine of continued growth. NDF and its supervised development funds and banks sought to aid the health care and education sectors, support citizens, and stimulate the local economy with financing.

NDF closely monitored the consequences of the pandemic and directed its support to all economic sectors while focusing on the most affected segments. Initiatives from the Social Development Bank and Kafalah Program were introduced to finance small and emerging enterprises specialized in health care and education.

The Fund is also targeted to support employment in the private sector, train employees, finance individuals, and enable self-employment through the initiatives of the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) and the Social Development Bank. NDF provided its support to the agricultural sector by stimulating small and medium enterprises and facilitating the import of agricultural products through the initiatives of the Agricultural Development Fund.

Moreover, NDF adopted initiatives of the Kafala Program to support the Hajj and Umrah sector, sports sector, and supply chains. The support was also extended to the aviation sector to overcome the exacerbating negative effects the industry was under.

Related: S&P updates Saudi Arabia’s outlook to positive as it recovers from COVID-19


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