Between 1975 to 1987, Saudi developmental aid amounted to US$48 billion, second only to the United States of America. The ODA/GNP ratio averaged 4.2% over this period, well above the highest amount provided by Development Assistance Committee countries (the DAC average is 0.35%). The figure has also made it one of the most generous donor nations on a per-capita basis.
Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal pledged to rebuild a village in northern Syria which was inundated when a dam burst in 2002, killing more than 20. Waleed's investment firm, Kingdom Holding Company, said it was to "reconstruct the entire village of Zeyzoun and all its infrastructure of water, electricity, telephone and sewage systems".
After the Iranian earthquake, Saudi Arabia pledged more than $200,000 to the victims.
Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of aid to the Palestinian people. Since 2002, Saudi Arabia has given more than $480 million in monetary support to the Palestinian Authority, and has supported Palestinian refugees by contributing to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Through the Arab League it has provided more than $250 million for the Palestinians, and pledged $500 million in assistance over the next three years at the Donors Conference in Dec 2007. Unlike aid from other nations, Saudi Arabian aid to Palestinians was not disrupted by the election of Hamas.
In the aftermath of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, Saudi Arabia donated over US$3.3 million, more than any other country, and promised an additional $573 million, also the maximum amount of money pledged. Saudi Arabia also provided 4000 pre-fabricated houses to Pakistan through the Saudi Public Assistance for Pakistan Earthquake Victims (SPAPEV). The houses, which were to be equipped with all required facilities, cost over $16.7 million. The SPAPEV also distributed 230,000 blankets, 150,000 quilts, 10,000 ordinary tents, 2,500 special winterized water proof tents, 100,000 stoves, 100,000 food.
The Saudi government pledged $230 million to development in Afghanistan. It has also pledged $133 million in direct grant aid, $187 million in concessional loans, and $153 million in export credits for Pakistan earthquake relief.
The Saudi Joint Committee for the Relief of Kosovo used $5 million to finance projects in rehabilitation, foodstuffs, relief materials, educational and religious programs, sponsorship of orphans, health care programs and development. Freights from Jeddah took 400,000 liters of milk as well as 900 cartons of clothing, 1,000 blankets, 25 water cisterns, medical supplies and surgical appliances such as wheelchairs to Pristina. Saudi citizens donated $20 million to Kosovo in cash as well as food and medical supplies, and the Saudi Red Crescent sent medical volunteers.
In 2006, the Saudi government gave $10 million in aid to the horn of Africa, through the World Food Programme, of which Kenya received $2 million. Saudi prince Al-Walid bin Talal donated $1 million to help feed 3.5 million Kenyans during the drought.
There are many who view that Saudi aid is earmarked for Muslims and Muslim states. This view led a Saudi philanthropist to lobby the Saudi government to give £250,000 in aid used to purchase rice for Cambodian children.
Saudi Arabia was also criticized for giving too little in response to the 2004 tsunami, considering its large oil reserves. Al-Jazeera described its contribution (along with that of other gulf states) as "shameful."