Rabat: Saudi Arabia and Morocco have signed an aid agreement worth $230 million, the Moroccan finance ministry said on Wednesday, part of a five-year package of financial assistance extended by wealthy Gulf states.

Four Gulf states - Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates - agreed in 2012 to provide aid worth a total of $5 billion to Morocco in the period 2012-2017 to build up its infrastructure, strengthen its economy and foster tourism.

“The chunk signed today in Manama is Saudi Arabia’s 2016 part,” Morocco’s finance minister told Reuters.

Morocco received the first slice of the aid package in 2013 that was designed to cement ties between Arab monarchies.

Analysts at the time described the move to forge closer links between regional monarchies as part of a concerted effort to contain anti-government protests that ravaged the region and ousted the governments of Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen.

The cash-strapped country relies on foreign aid, given its $90-billion economy is heavily exposed to the debt-scarred Eurozone through trade, tourism revenues and migrant remittances.