Saudi Arabia, UAE send 95 tons of relief aid to flood-hit Iranians

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The plane will deliver relief items, including large quantities of food, tents and shelter materials. (Courtesy: WAM)
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The plane will deliver relief items, including large quantities of food, tents and shelter materials. (Courtesy: WAM)
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The plane will deliver relief items, including large quantities of food, tents and shelter materials. (Courtesy: WAM)
Updated 18 April 2019
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Saudi Arabia, UAE send 95 tons of relief aid to flood-hit Iranians

  • The plane was accompanied by a delegation from the Red Crescent to deliver relief items, including large quantities of food, tents and shelter materials

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have sent a relief plane to Tehran carrying 95 tons of relief items to support flooding victims as part of the joint UAE-Saudi initiative to alleviate the suffering of Iranians.

The plane was accompanied by a delegation from the Red Crescent to deliver relief items, including large quantities of food, tents and shelter materials.

Iran’s worst flooding in 70 years started on March 19 and has killed at least 76 people. It has forced more than 220,000 into emergency shelters and caused an estimated $2.5 billion in damage to roads, bridges, homes and farmland.

The two countries said the Iran relief operation was a reflection of their approach to stand by those affected by humanitarian crises and natural disasters everywhere, and at any time.

“The instructions of King Salman embody the ties of brotherhood that link Saudi Arabia to the Iranian people,” Dr. Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Qasem, president of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority (SRCA), said.

The SRCA has assigned a team to supervise the preparation of logistics and food in collaboration with its UAE counterpart.

The northeast of Iran was first to be hit by floods before the west and southwest were inundated on March 25. On April 1, the west and southwest were again engulfed after heavy rain returned.

Tehran has told its citizens, especially flood-affected farmers, that all losses will be compensated.

(With SPA)


Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. (SPA)
Updated 22 September 2019

Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

  • Debris major cause of death for marine life
  • Disintegration of plastic waste threaten human food resources

JEDDAH: A beach cleanup program targeting marine waste has been launched by the Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC), the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The firm, which is behind the development of a luxury seafront tourism destination in Saudi Arabia, is already developing a range of environment-friendly policies such as zero-waste-to-landfill, zero-discharge-to-the-sea, zero-single-use plastics, and achieving 100 percent carbon neutrality. On Saturday it launched the Marine Debris Beach Clean Up Program as part of the Red Sea Project. “Eliminating marine debris is receiving increasing attention from the media that it has become a global cause, urging us to participate in protecting our virgin environment for which our seafront is known,” said TRSDC CEO John Pagano.
“The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. It will also shed light on the importance of reducing the use of nonrecyclable plastics, in addition to encouraging the disposing of these substances in a safe and sustainable manner.”
The TRSDC will continue to explore ways for recycled materials to be a source of employment opportunities for the area’s residents, he added. 
TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land. It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

HIGHLIGHTS

• TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land.

• It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

• Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach cleanup program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject

Dr. Rusty Brainard, chief environment officer at TRSDC, said: “Marine debris causes significant damage to the environment and is a major cause of death for many marine organism species, which may ingest these substances. Moreover, the disintegration of plastic waste into small pieces that penetrate into the food web base may also threaten human food resources. Our program for eliminating marine litter is a long-term project that includes ongoing monitoring of environmental health, as well as periodic intervention to clean up any waste in the Red Sea Project.”
TRSDC has teamed up with leading academic institutions in the Kingdom, such as King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the University of Tabuk, on a number of educational initiatives, added Brainard.
The partnership between TRSDC and KAUST has led to an international competition — “Brains for Brine” — that encourages academics, scientists, engineers and the water industry to find solutions for managing the disposal of brine, which is a waste product of water desalination, in a sustainable and commercially viable way.
KAUST has also helped TRSDC with marine spatial planning for the Red Sea Project.
As part of the planning process, major environmental studies were carried out to ensure that the area’s sensitive ecology was protected both during and after completion of the development.
The final master plan, which preserves around 75 percent of the destination’s islands for conservation and designates nine islands as sites of significant ecological value, required several redesigns to avoid potential disruption to endangered species native to the area.
Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach clean-up program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject