JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is presenting its first voluntary national review of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the UN headquarters in New York.
The Ministry of Economy and Planning is leading the Saudi delegation at the UN forum on sustainable development. The ministerial meeting of the forum, whose theme is “Transformation toward sustainable and resilient societies,” is from July 16 to July 18. Saudi Vision 2030 is a roadmap toward a future based on three pillars: A a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation. Many of the vision’s initiatives are geared toward SDGs.
Saudi Arabia has upgraded its welfare system, including social protection programs, financial assistance, child care, retirement pensions, elderly care and women’s welfare.
Saudi Arabia’s initiatives to enable the full participation of women in society include the national observatory of women’s participation in economic, social and environmental development. Other contributions to women’s advancement include the launch of a digital portal for female job seekers, the Al-Nahda Women’s Charitable Society program to help working women to commute (Wusool), and a daycare program to assist working women (Qurra).
King Khalid Foundation
KKF was the first nonprofit body to conduct research on women issues through a nationwide survey of 10,000 households. The results informed proposals on how best to tackle issues.
To scale up diversification, raise the skills of the Saudi workforce and exploit the Kingdom’s natural resources, the government has increased investment in telecommunications, e-government, water, wastewater and energy. It is continuing to develop the country’s infrastructure, including expansion of the railway system and the introduction of a light rail transit project with metro lines and a community bus network in the Kingdom’s major cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah.
According to a recent World Bank report, Saudi Arabia instituted the largest number of business reforms among countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. In addition to hosting millions of Hajj and Umrah visitors, Saudi Arabia is promoting the country as a tourist destination, including easing visa restrictions.
Saudi Arabia has invested in advanced waste-disposal systems and integrated recycling projects as well as fighting desertification and reducing pollution. It is addressing water scarcity through conservation, desalination and reuse of treated wastewater.
It is active in promoting green building technologies and ensuring the protection and sustainability of marine and coastal ecosystems and increasing the number of nature reserves. The government is building clean energy facilities. King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy has been created, and a national renewable energy program has been launched to promote participation of local and international companies in renewable energy projects.
Humanitarian relief Saudi Arabia is the world’s fourth-largest aid donor. Through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), Saudi Arabia has given more than $1.543 billion to Yemen in the past three years. KSRelief implemented 260 projects that targeted food security, refugees, control of cholera, water and wastewater, and support to the Central Bank of Yemen.
The Social Charity Fund
In 2016, SCF allocated $139.81 million for scholarship programs, in addition to $30.51 million earmarked for training and employment programs.