SR 692 m contracts boost wheat storage, flour production

Updated 05 November 2012
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SR 692 m contracts boost wheat storage, flour production

JEDDAH: Agriculture Minister Fahd Balghunaim yesterday signed two contracts worth SR 692.7 million to establish a wheat storage facility in Al-Ahsa with a capacity of 60,000 metric tons and two flour mills in Al-Ahsa and Al-Kharj with a total capacity of 600 tons daily.
The storage project in Al-Ahsa will be completed in 26 months at a cost of SR 298 million. The two flour mills, which will be implemented at a cost of SR 394.7 million, will also be ready within 26 months. Later speaking to reporters, the minister said the King Abdullah Food Security Program was progressing well.
He spoke about the formation of Saudi Agricultural & Livestock Investment Company and its board of directors.
He said there is good coordination between the ministries of foreign affairs, finance, commerce and industry, and agriculture regarding the program. A number of meetings have been held to implement the project.
“The Foreign Ministry has prepared the draft for agreements to be signed between Saudi Arabia and countries targeted for agricultural investment,” Balghunaim said.
The Cabinet has approved a system to finance foreign agricultural investment and authorized the Agricultural Development Fund to provide necessary finances. “We have thus completed the main steps of the program,” he added.
“We have outlined a plan for the food security program,” the minister said. “We’ll invite Saudi agricultural investors abroad for coordination of efforts,” he added.


Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100million of humanitarian aid

Updated 47 min 48 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.