AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The world’s largest non-profit organization for religious minorities, the Christian Aid Foundation (CAF), today announced it will stop accepting donations from Saudi Arabia.CAF, which serves more than 2.5 million people in Saudi Arabia, announced in a statement today that it will cease accepting donations starting December 1.
CAF’s president, Christian C. DeCherney, said the decision was based on concerns over human rights abuses by the Kingdom.
“As a result, we will no longer accept any Saudi Arabia-based charitable donations for the time being,” said DeCherson.
The statement also stated that CAF has been unable to fully fulfill the needs of its 1.3 million members, which include the elderly and disabled, the poor, and the needy.
CAFs funding for programs that promote equality for all members of the Saudi community has also been cut by 95 percent.CAFs spokesperson, Matthew G. McInerney, issued a statement to The Wall Street Journal that read, “The recent crackdown on religious minorities in Saudi has not only negatively impacted the ability of CAF to provide programs for the most vulnerable, it has also had a profound and disproportionate impact on the well-being of CAFs members, many of whom have experienced severe financial and/or physical distress.”CAF’s decision follows the December 1 cutoff date set by the Saudi Arabian government.
Last month, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud ordered a nationwide ban on women driving, an initiative that was later blocked by the United States and international organizations.CAFCs spokesperson also noted that Saudi Arabia has been under intense international pressure to end its discriminatory ban on the sale of alcohol and other intoxicants.
In October, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said Saudi Arabia must halt its policies that discriminate against women and girls, which he called “one of the worst human rights violations” committed in the history of the region.
The Kingdom is currently facing a major financial crisis, with the annual budget deficit running at more than $10 billion.
Saudi Arabia is a major contributor to international organizations and its citizens.