Stay illuminated the ‘King of Humanity’

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Updated 22 December 2012
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Stay illuminated the ‘King of Humanity’

On behalf of millions of poor people across the developing world, who are deprived of clean energy supplies, I thank and express my gratitude to Almighty God, as Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has recovered from an ailment.
These millions of people remember and cherish that King Abdullah — the King of Humanity — was the first world leader to put the question of energy poverty on the international negotiating table before the United Nations did so. King Abdullah (may Allah protect him) has put the goal of eradicating energy poverty on the agenda of the third OPEC summit, which was held in Riyadh in November 2007, adding therefore a ninth goal to the eight Millennium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in 2000, which omitted this goal for unknown reasons.
Furthermore, the king (may Allah protect him) launched at the Jeddah conference, which brought together the producers and consumers of energy in 2008, his initiative which became known as "Energy for the Poor," the second point of which called upon the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) — the institution I have the honor to manage — to allocate $ 1 billion; the amount committed in 2012 by the Declaration of the Ministerial Council of (OFID). This amount was pledged to combat energy poverty in developing countries as a minimum commitment that is to be increased in accordance with requirements. This declaration was among the most significant outcomes of the Rio de Janeiro Summit that took place last summer.
What will be recorded in history for King Abdullah is that he was the first to set this goal four years before United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced it under the title “Energy for All.”
For all these initiatives, I, on behalf of many representatives of the developing countries that have benefited from clean energy projects launched on the orders of the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, thank Almighty God for King Abdullah's recovery, praying that he be protected from all harm, and that his way in this world and the hereafter be illuminated as he illuminated the roads for millions of poor people.

n Suleiman Jassir Al-Herbish is the director-general of OPEC Fund for International Development.


Saudi MERS outbreaks killed 23 over four months: WHO

Updated 18 June 2018
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Saudi MERS outbreaks killed 23 over four months: WHO

  • The latest figures take the number of confirmed cases to 2,220 since September 2012, including 1,844 from Saudi Arabia
  • The disease is hard to spot, partly because it often infects people with an underlying condition such as diabetes, renal failure or chronic lung disease

GENEVA: Outbreaks of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) killed 23 people in Saudi Arabia between Jan. 21 and May 31 this year, the World Health Organization said on Monday.
The deaths were among 75 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) during the period, the WHO said, and take the total number of deaths from the disease to 790 since it was first diagnosed in humans in 2012.
The latest figures take the number of confirmed cases to 2,220 since September 2012, including 1,844 from Saudi Arabia.
One outbreak in February hit a private hospital in Hafer Albatin region, where the patient passed the disease to three health workers. There was another cluster of six cases in a hospital in Riyadh in the same month, although no health care workers were infected.
Two other clusters affected households in Jeddah and Najran.
MERS-CoV is a member of a virus family ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. It appears to have emerged in humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012, although it has been traced in camels, the source of the infection, back to at least 1983.
The disease is hard to spot, partly because it often infects people with an underlying condition such as diabetes, renal failure or chronic lung disease.
But it kills one in three sufferers, and hospital workers are at risk unless extreme caution is taken to identify MERS sufferers early and to protect health care workers from infection via airborne droplets such as from coughs and sneezes.
Susceptible people should avoid contact with suspected cases and with camels, and anyone who has contact with animals should wash their hands before and afterwards, the WHO said. Everyone should avoid drinking raw camel milk or camel urine, or eating undercooked meat.
Three MERS cases have been reported this year outside Saudi Arabia. Oman and the United Arab Emirates each reported a case, while in Malaysia a man fell ill after drinking unpasteurised camel milk during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.