May 22, 2024

Moon Desk: Non-profit organizations in Saudi Arabia grew by 72 in March, as the sector recorded a 1.4 percent rise over the month.

Official figures released by the National Center for Non-Profit Sector Development showed the number of bodies registered in this sphere now stands at 4,721 – a 182 percent rise from 2018.

March saw the creation of 57 civil associations, seven civil society organizations, and eight family funds across the Kingdom, according to a report by the Saudi Press Agency.

The non-profit sector is a key part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic diversification initiative, and in June Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi lauded the organizations for creating “sustainable impacts” and implementing “many outstanding projects.”

The SPA report highlighting the latest increase said the National Center “noted the continuous growth witnessed by the non-profit sector, at the level of non-profit organizations, the number of volunteers, and the increase witnessed in the number of technically supervised units in government agencies.”

The release added; “The Center points to the progress achieved through the cooperation of all parties of the non-profit sector system, and the observed development in the governance of non-profit organizations.

“In 2023, it achieved advanced levels of governance, which confirms the sector organizations’ commitment to compliance according to the targeted development roles.”

According to SPA, the Center also announced the issuance of decisions against a number of non-profit organizations and individuals, including four warnings against civil society organizations, four dismissal decisions for the boards of directors of civil society organizations, and a decision to exclude an employee of a civil society organization from working in the sector for a temporary period.

In February, the minister of human resources and social development used a speech at the Second Annual Forum for Non-Governmental Organizations in Riyadh to highlight how well bodies in the sector are run.

“There has been an increase in the satisfaction rate of beneficiaries of services of non-profit organizations reaching 86 percent, exceeding the target for the year 2025,” said Al-Rajhi at the time, adding that there are more than 800,000 volunteers in the sector, with government contracts awarded to non-profit sector organizations valued at SR6 billion ($1.6 billion) since 2018.

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