saudi king Salman on Thursday issued a decree allocating 72 billion riyals ($19.2 billion) of stimulus funds to support the Saudi private sector.

The package aims to boost the role of the private sector in light of economic reforms to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil following a slump in crude prices.

The funds will be used to finance 16 initiatives, the largest of which earmarks $5.7 billion to provide subsidised housing loans to citizens, according to the official news agency SPA.

The decree states that $1.33 billion will be used as a first instalment for the newly established exports promotion fund which will eventually have capital of $8 billion.

More than $2.6 billion will be used to support projects and $3.7 billion will be allocated to support construction technology, the decree said.

The remaining funds will be spent on a string of smaller projects carried out by the private sector with the aim of strengthening the competitiveness of the Saudi economy.