Saudi Arabia made an impressive $500 million donation to the United Nations World Food Program, the UN announced Friday.
The country, benefiting from high oil prices while many others feel the pinch, is doing its part to help assuage the developing global crisis caused by rising food prices. The effects have been seen all over the world. In Mexico, the government is preparing for a backlash against rising tortilla prices, in Suburbia, USA, big box stores have rationed staples, and in Haiti the government collapsed over the crisis.
Saudi Arabia produces 9 million barrels of oil a day and oil prices have now topped $130 a barrel. You don't even have to do the math to know that's a whole lot of revenue.
The UN World Food Program, the world's largest humanitarian operation, set a goal of $755 million to be raised by all its member agencies. Thirty-two countries added to the Saudi donation, contributing a total of $960 million, exceeding the target significantly. Hopefully the money will quickly help the 130 million of people in hunger as a result of rising food prices.