Saudi Arabia and UAE agree to fight disease, malnutrition in Yemen at high-level WHO meeting in Riyadh

The agreements were signed with UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) during a high-level meeting in Riyadh, which UN relief chief Mark Lowcock in attendance. (SPA)
Updated 22 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia and UAE agree to fight disease, malnutrition in Yemen at high-level WHO meeting in Riyadh

  • Yemen wracked by cholera outbreak
  • Country is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE on Wednesday signed agreements to combat disease and malnutrition in Yemen, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The agreements were signed with UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) during a high-level meeting in Riyadh that was attended by the General Supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center and adviser to the Royal Court Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Maalami, and the UAE Minister of State for International cooperation Reem Al-Hashimy as well as the UN’s relief chief Mark Lowcock.
The first agreement is about controlling a cholera outbreak in Yemen in cooperation with the WHO as part of an initiative to support relief and humanitarian projects with $20 million, directly benefiting more than a million people and indirectly aiding more than 18 million.
As of May 10 more than 306,000 suspected cases had been reported across the country, according to UNICEF, two years after the country was gripped by the world’s largest cholera outbreak.
An estimated 16 million people in Yemen, more than half of them children, lack adequate access to water, sanitation and hygiene services, UNICEF added.
The second agreement will address acute malnutrition in high-risk areas in cooperation with UNICEF. The project has a total value of $40 million and will benefit 1.4 million people.
The agreement also aims to treat 50,000 Yemeni children under the age of five who are suffering from acute malnutrition, promote infant and young child feeding practices and monitor their growth, provide health counseling to the local community, health facilities and 400,000 mothers, provide micronutrient supplements to 800,000 children under the age of five, and detect malnutrition in a million children.
Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. More than 24 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 12 million children.
Around 360,000 children under five were suffering from severe acute malnutrition and require treatment, UNICEF said in March.
The Riyadh meeting discussed the humanitarian situation in Yemen and reviewed matters related to the Saudi and Emirati grant for 2018.
In a press conference after the meeting, the Lowcock thanked Saudi Arabia and the UAE for their humanitarian support and relief work in Yemen.
Lowcock, who is the UN’s under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said the two countries offered around $1 billion at a UN pledging conference in Geneva in February.
“Heavier trucks, including those carrying food aid, now take more than 60 hours to travel between Sana’a and Aden — that is about four times as long as used to be the case. In February and March, more than 900,000 people were affected by delays or interruptions in assistance,” he told the Council.


High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 18 June 2019
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High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.