DUBAI - Saudi Arabia has so far disbursed about a fifth of the much-needed aid it promised to Arab countries since uprisings erupted in the region last year, according to the IMF, which cited data from Riyadh's finance ministry.

Riyadh pledged a total of $17.9 billion in loans, grants and other support between the start of 2011 and June 1 this year, to be disbursed over several years, potentially making it a key donor as Arab countries struggle to repair economic damage caused by the uprisings.

It disbursed $3.7 billion of that amount during the period, the International Monetary Fund said in a report on the Saudi Arabian economy, released this week after regular consultations with the Saudi government.

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