Relief center to streamline Saudi aid

Updated 14 May 2015
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Relief center to streamline Saudi aid

The King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Works launched in Riyadh on Wednesday will streamline the Kingdom’s donations to distressed people across the world.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, who laid the foundation stone of the center here, said the organization would be based on Islamic principles.
Former health minister and current adviser to the royal court, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, who will be the general supervisor of the center, said Wednesday that all the Kingdom’s humanitarian efforts would be channeled through this new body.
Earlier, Al-Rabeeah said the aid provided by the Kingdom in the past has gone unnoticed because the country lacked such a centralized body. The organization was just starting out and needs the support and blessings of the people to fulfill the vision of King Salman, he said.
It would be a unique center dedicated to humanitarian projects as envisaged by the monarch, he said, with priority given at this stage to the needs of the Yemeni people.
Al-Rabeeah said it would now concentrate on assisting the Yemeni people following Operation Decisive Storm. One of its first tasks would be to help Yemenis in Egypt, Jordan and India. He said the second program is to disburse the donation of $274 million through the United Nations. The final program is to assist stranded Yemenis in Ethiopia.
Apart from the SR2 billion pledged by King Salman recently, the Kingdom has already given the country more than $3 billion over the last five years. According to the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), the Kingdom regularly finances projects in Yemen.
The SFD is the most prominent backer of development initiatives in Yemen, through loans and grants in several sectors, notably health, education, roads and water. These development projects have benefited all Yemeni governments in the past, directly and indirectly.
Saudi Arabia has always provided aid to the Yemeni people because of the historical links between the two nations, which have primarily been aimed at ensuring stability and peace in the country.
The SFD has also provided Yemen with a number of loans worth SR2.1 billion to fund some 24 development projects including infrastructure initiatives and vocational and technical training. Many of these development projects have already been implemented except for eight projects.
According to a statement released on Monday, the SFD has financed national exports at a total cost of SR1.2 billion, of which about SR1 billion was for Yemen’s public sector institutions, notably water and electricity.
About SR261 million was allocated to Yemen’s private sector institutions including banks, and SR30 million in credit to help national exports.
The Kingdom has provided two grants to Yemen for poverty alleviation and raising living standards. In 2006, Saudi Arabia provided Yemen with a grant of SR3.75 billion at a donors’ conference in London, for the implementation of 27 projects.
In 2012, the Kingdom announced assistance of SR12.9 billion, at a donors’ conference held in Riyadh, of which SR3.75 billion was deposited in the Central Bank of Yemen, and other funds allocated to finance 25 projects in various development sectors in all Yemeni governorates.
Moreover, an amount of SR1.63 billion was approved for the Social Welfare Fund, aimed at social protection for the poor.


Crown prince award ‘will build Saudi-Sino cultural bridges’

Updated 22 February 2019
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Crown prince award ‘will build Saudi-Sino cultural bridges’

ARAB NEWS BEIJING: Leading academics and literary talents from Saudi Arabia and China will be honored under an award scheme sponsored by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan announced the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Award for Cultural Cooperation between the Kingdom and China during a visit to King Abdul Aziz Public Library at Peking University in Beijing on Thursday.
The announcement was made on the eve of the Saudi crown prince’s visit to China, the latest stop on an Asian tour.
The cultural cooperation award will honor leading academics, translators and high-achievers from the Kingdom and China in the categories: Best scientific research in Arabic, best artistic work, best Chinese-Arabic book translation and vice versa, person of the year, and most influential person of the year in the cultural milieu.
Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan said: “This partnership is in the name of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and represents the common commitment to build cultural bridges between the two countries, developing cultural exchange, and promoting artistic and academic opportunities for our citizens.”
He said the yearly award will promote language, literature, and Arabic and creative arts in China, and encourage cultural exchange.
The Kingdom and China have a long history of cultural cooperation, including the annual Arabic Arts Festival.
The King Abdul Aziz Public Library at Peking University was inaugurated in 2017 during King Salman’s official visit to China, where he received an honorary doctorate degree.