Saudi Arabia

    In a rare televised address March 18, King Abdullah offered $93 billion in handouts and promised to boost his security forces and religious police. The handouts are to implemented through increases in welfare benefits, minimum wages for state employees, a new housing project, and bonuses for students and public sector workers. Reuters notes that the king’s address did not offer political concessions or offers of reforms toward transitioning the country into a democracy, which reformists in the country are seeking.

    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.