Total revenues of charities in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region reached $564.4 million (Dh2.1 billion) last year, Forbes Middle East said today.
The number one spot went to the Social Reform Society — General Secretariat of Charitable Work in Kuwait whose charitable spending reached $81.2 million.
Second place also went to Kuwait with Direct Aid, founded by Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sumait, spending a total of $65.7 million directly on charitable causes last year.
The UAE charity Dar Al Ber Society achieved third place, having been ranked number one on last year's list. While dropping two places, in 2011 the organisation spent an estimated $61.4 million in comparison to $50.2 million in 2010.
This year the number of charities on Forbes' ranking increased from 54 to 61 from the 2050 charities initially contacted to participate. Although this increase is slight, the endeavors and achievements of these charities are impressive nonetheless.
In fact, if anything, the results of the ranking serve as an indication of what lies ahead: even greater transparency in a region where the cultural norm of disclosing financial statements has been a topic of great sensitivity.
The study included a total of 19 countries, 11 of which are featured in the final ranking: Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Jordan, UAE, Lebanon, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Sudan, Tunisia and Egypt. Qatar, Iraq, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania were excluded since the official authorities in these countries declined to provide us with the necessary lists of active charities. Syria, Yemen and Libya were also excluded due to political instability which made gathering accurate information difficult.