Saudi initiative exempts less-developed countries from $6bn debt

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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman chairs the council of ministers’ weekly session. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman chairs the council of ministers’ weekly session. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman chairs the council of ministers’ weekly session. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman chairs the council of ministers’ weekly session. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman chairs the council of ministers’ weekly session. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman chairs the council of ministers’ weekly session. (SPA)
Updated 31 October 2018
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Saudi initiative exempts less-developed countries from $6bn debt

  • The figure was revealed during a meeting of the Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday chaired by King Salman

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has canceled $6 billion of debt owed to the Kingdom from the least developed countries.
The figure was revealed during a meeting of the Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday chaired by King Salman.
The Cabinet discussed the Kingdom’s cooperation with the international community to achieve stability and development and the humanitarian and economic role played by Saudi Arabia, particularly with its commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The ministers referred to the “Kingdom’s debt pardoning initiative,” which had “exempted least developed countries from a total $ 6 billion debt.”
The Cabinet also expressed the Kingdom’s condemnation of the shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the attack in the town of Jafra in southern Libya, and the two suicide bombings in the capital of Tunisia and the Afghan capital. 
The Cabinet also reiterated the Kingdom’s condemnation of the terrorist massacres, brutal attacks and genocide being committed against the Rohingya in Rakhine State and other minorities in Kachin Shan province and other areas in northern Myanmar, which constitute one of the worst forms of terrorism against Muslim and other minorities. It reaffirmed the Kingdom’s call for urgent action to stop the violence and to offer the Rohingya in Myanmar their rights without segregation or apartheid.
The Cabinet praised Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for assuring at the Future Investment Initiative 2018 last week that Saudi Arabia had made huge steps in enhancing and developing its economy during the past three years.
The ministers also commended the status that the Kingdom’s economy has reached, pointing to the growth of non-oil revenues by 48 percent at the end of the third quarter compared to the same period last year, and the growth of government spending by 25 percent at the end of the third quarter, compared to the same period last year.
The Cabinet praised the completion of the specialized judiciary system following the launching of general, specialized and labor courts to develop the judiciary sector.
The Cabinet welcomed the measures taken by the member states of Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, which designated nine individuals linked to the Taliban Movement, including Iranians, in addition to the designation made by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain for four persons who provided sponsorship and financial and material support for Iran’s terrorist sabotage activities.


Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

Updated 21 July 2019
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Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

  • 257,981 pilgrims benefited from the "preventive services" since the new initiative’s launch

RIYADH: One of the services provided by the Makkah Route initiative, which aims to smooth the Hajj journey of pilgrims and provide top-quality service, is to ensure that all health requirements are met.

The Communication, Relations and Health Awareness General Department of the Ministry of Health is implementing the initiative in two ways. 

The first is to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa (Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Tunisia). 

The second is to check that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

“Preventive measures” mean, for example, providing polio vaccines for pilgrims. The vaccine, approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), is provided through the Pakistani health authorities at the departure area of the airport.

“The ministry is also deploying a team of five people qualified to supervise the application of health requirements and assess the vaccination procedure and the application of preventive measures,” the department added.   


HIGHLIGHTS

The Makkah Route initiative aims to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa.

The initiative also ensures that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals.

The teams include 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.


The ministry’s procedures in the departure hall include prepping emergency clinics at the points where Makkah Route pilgrims are received. 

These clinics deal with urgent cases, prepare awareness information for pilgrims and coordinate with the General Authority of Civil Aviation regarding their distribution on the targeted airlines.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals, including 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.

The ministry stated that the number of health practitioners assigned to the service of pilgrims during Hajj “is more than 30,000.”

The ministry encourages volunteering during the Hajj season; it believes that it is a very important and noble service toward fellow citizens, nations and the religion, where Islam highly encourages volunteering and serving others.

The ministry is coordinating the major institutions and commissions via its Hajj volunteering link to register volunteers so that they can participate through the societal partnership program.

The missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices provide basic treatment services and refer patients to the ministry’s health facilities, keeping an eye on the overall health situation and reporting any suspicious infectious diseases. 

The ministry monitors all the health institutions and medical missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices to make sure the health requirements are being properly applied, to ensure pilgrims’ safety and guarantee an environment free of infectious diseases.

The Health Ministry has confirmed that so far that there has been no incidence of any epidemic diseases or quarantine cases recorded among pilgrims, who arrived and the health situation is reassuring.

Since the first of Dul Qaada, the ministry has provided preventive services, via access points, to 257,981 pilgrims, with a total rate of commitment to vaccination reached  87.4 percent for meningitis, 67.3 percent for yellow fever and 95.3 percent for polio.