The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been a member of the United Nations since its founding at the San Francisco Conference in 1945, and has always been a strong supporter of the organization, its international bodies and its various programs to preserve security and peace worldwide.
Saudi Arabia gives financial support to a number of UN funds and assists in technical cooperation programs. For example, the Kingdom's aid to the World Food Program totals SR 1.5 billion (about US $ 0.4 billion), and since 1976, Saudi Arabia has contributed annually SR 750,000 (about US $ 200,000) to the International Red Cross Committee.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the first country in the world in its extension of financial aid on the basis of per capita income. The percentage of Gross National Product stipulated by the UN for donor countries is 0.7, but Saudi Arabia greatly exceeded this target, providing total aid contributions amounting to 5.5 percent of its GNP in the twenty years from 1973 to 1993, with financial assistance over this period totalling SR 245 billion (about US $ 60 billion), to over seventy nations. The Saudi Development Fund (SDF), the primary body for extending developmental aid, provided loans to help finance 281 projects in 61 countries over the period 1975 to 1993.