Misers No More? Saudi Arabia Pledges $500 Million to World Food Program

Two weeks after a FOX News investigation showed oil-rich Saudia Arabia had donated nothing this year to help the United Nations World Food Program feed the world's hungry, the globe's number one oil exporter is finally opening its checkbook.

The United Nations this morning told FOX that the Saudis have pledged WFP a whopping $500 million contribution in response to the urgent WFP appeal in early April for $775 million to help it cope with a crisis caused by lower international grain stocks and rising energy costs. According to WFP that threatened to put at least 100 million more people around the world on the edge of starvation.

The Saudi contribution came two weeks after FOX revealed, based on WFP donor records, that Saudi Arabia had given nothing at all to the food agency this year, despite spiraling oil prices that had brought on the food crisis.

All of OPEC — the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries — had collectively given just $1.5 million, or about 1 minute and 10 seconds worth of OPEC's 2007 oil revenues, FOX disclosed.

Those revenues will be vastly greater this year due to even sharper oil-price hikes.

In noting the Saudi contribution, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that it “comes not a moment too soon, given the needs of millions of people dependent on food rations.”