UN relief coordinator thanks Saudi Arabia for supporting humanitarian efforts in Yemen

Time: October 17, 2019  

Workers prepare to unload a fuel shipment from an oil tanker at the port of Hodeidah, Yemen

RIYADH: The Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock thanked Saudi Arabia for supporting UN efforts to address the humanitarian situation in Yemen on Thursday.

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths also spoke at the UN Security Council meeting and  thanked Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his efforts in supporting the Yemen peace talks

Griffiths added that the UN team’s efforts in Hodeidah has also helped reduce violence.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s permanent representative at the UN ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi said that his country was ready to host a new round of negotiations between Yemeni sides.

Kuwait previously hosted talks on Yemen in 2016 but they broke down after the Houthis rejected a UN proposal aimed at ending the war in the country.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Sudan has received half of $3bn aid promised by Saudi Arabia and UAE

Time: October 08, 2019  

Sudan’s protest leader Ahmad Rabie flashes the victory gesture alongside Gen.Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, the chief of Sudan’s ruling Transitional Military Council during a ceremony where they signed a “constitutional declaration” in August. (AFP)
  • Finance Minister Ibrahim Elbadawi said Saudi Arabia and the UAE had deposited $500 million in the Sudanese central bank
  • He was speaking on the sidelines of an event in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI: Sudan has received half of $3 billion in aid promised by Saudi Arabia and the UAE in April and expects the remainder to be paid by the end of next year, Sudan’s finance minister said late on Monday.
The Gulf countries agreed the aid package soon after former president Omar Al-Bashir was ousted, throwing a lifeline to Sudan’s new military leaders at the time.
Finance Minister Ibrahim Elbadawi said Saudi Arabia and the UAE had deposited $500 million in the Sudanese central bank, while $1 billion worth of petroleum products, wheat and agricultural production inputs had been received.
Long lines for bread and fuel are a recurring feature of Sudan’s economic crisis.
“I met with the ambassadors of the kingdom and of the UAE, and we agreed on a programmed schedule that will God willing take us to the end of 2020, to finish off the rest of the grant,” Elbadawi said.
He was speaking on the sidelines of an event in Abu Dhabi, where Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is visiting after traveling to Riyadh earlier in the week.
Sudan’s new prime minister was accompanied on his visit to the Gulf by General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, head of the transitional sovereign council, and other senior officials.
Last month, Elbadawi announced a nine-month economic rescue plan aimed at curbing rampant inflation while ensuring supplies of basic goods, which would keep bread and petrol subsidies in place until at least June 2020.

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Saudi Arabia donates $3 million to UN cultural tolerance initiative

29/09/19

  • Saudi UN representative said some of the recent terror attacks were caused by hate speech
  • The Kingdom created a center to promote intercultural and religious understanding
  • NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia has pledged $3 million in support of the UN Alliance of Civilizations’s (UNAOC) plan of action, activities and programs over the next three years, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday. UNAOC seeks to improve understanding and cooperation among nations and peoples across cultures and religions, in addition to countering polarization and extremism.
    The donation was announced during a speech by the Kingdom’s permanent representative to the UN, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, in a meeting for the UNAOC initiative on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
    In his speech, Al-Mouallimi said: “The world today is witnessing many conflicts, some of which are a result of the upsurge in hate speech and the growing violent ideologies in many countries around the world. This has led to the terrorist attacks against holy places and houses of worship as well as the murder of innocent people.”
    He stressed that the matter requires the international community to take a serious stance and face this phenomenon.
    Al-Mouallimi added: “We must believe that religious and cultural diversity in human societies does not justify the clash. It requires the establishment of a civilized partnership and building bridges of communication and dialogue.”

The initiative of UNAOC was a positive step toward promoting noble values, building bridges of love and peace, addressing all that violates holy places and providing security for houses of worship.

Abdallah Al-Moualimi, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN

He highlighted that the Kingdom is one of the first countries to call for religious dialogue and the promotion of a culture of tolerance. “For this reason, it has established the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue and cooperated with the activities of the United Nations and UNAOC,” he said.
“The other factor that leads to conflict is occupation. The continuance of occupation, denying people their rights, marginalization, and oppression help spread extremist ideologies and hate speech.
“Palestine is a vivid example of that. Israel’s continued violations of international resolutions and its undermining of all opportunities for peace, in addition to the continued siege on the Palestinian people, the seizure of their lands and the destruction of their properties were the main cause threatening international stability, peace and security,” he said.
The Kingdom’s permanent representative to the UN conveyed his country’s appreciation for the determined and concrete efforts of UNAOC to foster a culture of peace, combat hate speech and face the spread of extremist ideologies, which violate holy places and kill innocent people.

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OIC praises Saudi Arabia’s $50m donation to UNRWA

28/09/19

Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf announced the donation to UNRWA on Thursday
OIC Secretary-General Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen also praised donations made by other member states of the organization
RIYADH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) praised Saudi Arabia’s donation worth $50 million to the UN’s relief agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA on Saturday.
OIC Secretary-General Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen also praised donations made by other member states of the organization.
Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf announced the donation to the core program budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for 2019 on Thursday during a meeting with UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.
“The renewed and generous donation by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is of great significance to our Agency… We are very grateful for the dynamic partnership and cooperation with the Kingdom”, said Mr.Krahenbuhl.
UNRWA is a UN agency and provides assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza.

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UN official thanks Saudi Arabia for $500m aid for Yemen

28/09/19

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock. (AP)
  • Saudi Arabia has also supports all meaningful and constructive dialogue that supports peace efforts and adopts peaceful solutions in Yemen

NEW YORK: The under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Mark Lowcock, thanked Saudi Arabia for $500 million in funding to the UN for the 2019 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday.
Lowcock said the grant will be distributed by OCHA to the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization, the UN Children’s Fund, the International Organization for Migration, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Development Programme, and the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), presented Lowcock with a cheque for $500 million from Saudi Arabia.
The ceremony took place at the opening of a conference titled “Humanitarian Situation Yemen, The Way Forward,” which featured statements from a number of UN officials and diplomats, including foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

HIGHLIGHT

The grant will be distributed by OCHA to the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization, the UN Children’s Fund, the International Organization for Migration, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Development Programme, and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Following the signing, Lowcock expressed his appreciation for the Kingdom’s generous support: “With today’s provision of funds from Saudi Arabia, the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan will have received more than $2.3 billion, or 56 percent of its requirements for the year. This is substantial progress, and we thank all our donors for their support.”
Al-Rabeeah said that KSRelief commends the efforts of the UN organizations, which share our commitment to alleviating the suffering of the people of Yemen in accordance with international humanitarian laws and principles of neutrality. “I assure you that Saudi Arabia is keen to support all peace initiatives submitted by the UN envoys to Yemen.”
“The Kingdom has also supports all meaningful and constructive dialogue that supports peace efforts and adopts peaceful solutions in Yemen, such as the Yemen National Dialogue, the Stockholm Agreement and UN Resolution 2216 to ensure the return of peace, security and stability to Yemen, the region and the entire world,” Al-Rabeeah said.

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Saudi Arabia donates $500m in aid for Yemen

Time: September 27, 2019  

Saudi Arabia believes the Yemeni people do not deserve to live under the humanitarian crisis. (File/AFP)
  • Saudi Arabia is committed to humanitarian principles
  • The Kingdom believes the international community should take a serious stance in Yemen

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia announced the completion of their aid pledge to Yemen through a $500 million donation, Saudi state news agency SPA reported on Wednesday.

The statement was made by the Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf during a conference on the humanitarian response in Yemen, organized at the sidelines of the 74th General Assembly session in New York.

The donation shows the Kingdom’s commitment to humanitarian principles, Al-Assaf added.

Saudi Arabia believes the Yemeni nation does not deserve the suffering it has endured at the hands of Houthis, he added.

The international community should take a serious stance against the militia because of the dire humanitarian crisis they have caused in Yemen, the minister said.

The Houthis failed to implement the numerous security council resolutions, continue to recruit children into their ranks and impede the delivery of humanitarian aid, Al-Assaf added.

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Saudi Arabia is Lebanon’s ‘main supporter’

Time: September 24, 2019  

  • Saudi National Day celebrations held in Beirut

BEIRUT: Celebrations of Saudi National Day held on Sunday at the Saudi Embassy in Lebanon was marked by the positive exchange of solidarity messages.
The political, cultural, social and diplomatic crowd that attended expressed Lebanon’s solidarity with Saudi Arabia against any attempt to harm the Kingdom’s sovereignty.
Saudi Ambassador Walid bin Abdullah Bukhari chose the square of the National Museum in Beirut as the location for the celebration.
In a speech, Bukhari said: “Your sincere love for my country has repeatedly shown the depth and solidity of ties between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, based on goodness, peace, justice and brotherhood.”
He said the square was chosen as “it represents the unity of all Lebanese brothers, in their different sects, and their devotion for their coexistence history.”
“Today, we celebrate the past of a glorious nation and its bright present, reflected in the era of King Salman by an insightful vision and firm positions dealing with crucial issues on the local, regional and international levels and giving the Kingdom its true status: A pioneer on the Arab, Islamic and international levels.
“Saudi National Day this year is being celebrated in light of exceptional developments in the region and numerous challenges facing the Arab countries, with Saudi Arabia on top of that list, as it still is a victim of aggressions with clear objectives and intentions.”
The envoy added that “the cowardly attack on the vital oil installations does not only target the Kingdom but the whole world. It is an attack on the global energy supply for international markets.”
Bukhari reiterated his country’s condemnation of the attack. “It targets the global energy supply, and is a continuation of the previous attacks against the Kingdom, with arms of Iranian origin,” he said.

We are also looking forward to maintaining the Saudi-Lebanese relationship.

Alain Aoun Lebanese MP

He recalled the words of King Abdul Aziz, who said: “Lebanon is part of us. I protect its independence myself and will not allow anything to harm it.”
The celebration continued with fireworks lighting up the skies above Beirut. Children of Saudis residing in Lebanon also attended the event. They walked down the red carpet that covered the road leading to the National Museum, with green scarves around their necks, emblazoned with the countries’ flags.
A Saudi folk dance group performed the traditional Ardah dance. Lebanese poet Talal Haidar delivered some popular recitations. Photos of King Salman and Lebanese President Michel Aoun were hung up on the museum’s walls, where a visual presentation was displayed.
Aoun was represented by Lebanese Tourism Minister Avedis Guidanian, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri by MP Ali Bazzi and Prime Minister Saad Hariri by MP Bahia Hariri.
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam told Arab News: “The organization of this celebration outside the National Museum in Beirut is very important for the historical relationship between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. Today, we hope for this relationship to keep growing in favor of both countries.”
Bahia Hariri told Arab News: “We hope that stability will keep reigning in Saudi Arabia, and for the Kingdom to continue supporting the whole Arab region and its stability.”
Free Patriotic Movement MP Alain Aoun told Arab News: “We hope Lebanon remains an intersection point for friendly countries, including Saudi Arabia. We are also looking forward to maintaining the Saudi-Lebanese relationship.”
Minister Akram Chehayeb told Arab News: “The Kingdom has always been the main and permanent supporter of Lebanon, on all levels and during the good and bad times. The Kingdom represents the Islamic Arab center in the Arab world. We hope it overcomes the difficult situation in the Arab Gulf, and comes out victorious and gracious.”

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Dr. Abdulhamid Al-Khalifa, director general of the OPEC Fund for International Development

Time: July 21, 2019  

OFID Director General Abdulhamid Al-Khalifa

Dr. Abdulhamid Al-Khalifa has been the director general of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) since November 2018.

Elected at OFID’s June 2018 Ministerial Council meeting, Al-Khalifa replaces Suleiman Al-Herbish, who served three terms as OFID director general between 2003 and 2018.

Prior to his appointment at OFID, Al-Khalifa was deputy secretary-general of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund from 2014 to 2018 and adviser to the secretary-general from 2010 to 2014.

He has also held a number of leadership positions at the World Bank Group and served the government of Saudi Arabia in various capacities.

Al-Khalifa holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Miami, Florida, and a master’s in applied economics from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

During OFID’s annual ministerial meeting in Vienna, Al-Khalifa said: “OFID’s vision is to be a relevant, agile and efficient development finance institution that can deliver maximum development impact to its partner countries, while becoming self-sustainable in financing its operations.”

Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan headed the Saudi delegation at the meeting.

The Kingdom is the largest stakeholder in the fund, which was established in 1976 with the aim of contributing to the social and economic development of emerging and less-advanced countries. OFID’s financial aid has so far benefited 134 countries.

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Saudi Arabia and UAE send 50,000 tons of fertilizer to Sudan

14/07/19

A Sudanese farmer ploughs his field in the capital Khartoum on April 22, 2010. The newly elected governor of Khartoum warned on April 21 against protests disintegrating into violence like in “Tehran or Nairobi” after next week’s announcement of Sudan’s election results. AFP PHOTO/ASHRAF SHAZLY (Photo by ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP)
A Sudanese farmer plows his field in the capital Khartoum. (File/AFP)
  • The aid was an extension of the $3bn financial support already provided by Saudi Arabia and the UAE

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE have sent a ship carrying 50,000 tons of fertilizer to Sudan.
The aid, which left Jubail in the Kingdom for Port Sudan, will “urgently save the agricultural season in the country and help farmers,” the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The fertilizer was an extension of the $3 billion financial support already provided by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to the country, including a $500 million deposit into the Central Bank of Sudan.
The aid is to support the economy and ease pressure on the Sudanese pound, SPA said.
Sudan has been embroiled in months of turmoil after a deep economic crisis engulfed the country last year. Protests forced President Omar Al-Bashir from power in April after decades in at the helm of the country and a military transitional council reached a power sharing deal with the main opposition alliance this month.
SPA said the urea fertilizer would help the Sudanese people during the current crisis and ease the burden on Sudanese farmers “given that agriculture is a major source of income for a large number of the population.”

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Dr. Zakaria Sobhy Habib, lead specialist of the nonprofit Saudi organization Albalsam International

Time: July 05, 2019  

Dr. Zakaria Sobhy Habib

Top pediatrician Dr. Zakaria Sobhy Habib was born in Madinah, on Jan. 5, 1966. He has been leading a team of medical specialists from the Kingdom’s nonprofit organization Albalsam International, that has just completed surgeries on 14 Tanzanian children.

The week-long surgery trip, which ended on June 29, was the second visit by the Albalsam team to the East African country.

Habib gained his doctor of medicine degree from King Saud University, in 1989, and attained a master’s degree in pediatric surgery from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada in 2004.

His also worked as a resident general surgeon at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh from 1990 to 1996 and was a fellow pediatric surgeon from 1997 to 2007.

Habib was an associate consultant pediatric surgeon from 2001 to 2002, has been a consultant pediatric surgeon since 2002, was director of pediatric surgery from 2002 to 2005, has been chairman of the departmental mortality and morbidity committee in Saudi Arabia since 2004, and was a fellow pediatric surgeon at McMaster University from 2000 to 2001.

He is also a member of the International Pediatric Endosurgery Group, the Saudi Pediatric Association, and the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons.

The Albalsam medical team’s visit to Africa came in response to a request from the Tanzanian government and was carried out in coordination with Tanzania’s ambassador in Riyadh, Hemedi Idd Mgaza.

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