NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia has reaffirmed its support for the UN’s Addis Ababa Action Agenda for sustainable development, at the UN Economic and Social Council’s Forum on Financing for Development in New York.
The country’s assistant minister for international financial affairs, Abdul Aziz Al-Rasheed, stressed the importance of collective action to reduce the gap between developed and developing countries across various fields, focusing specifically on energy and infrastructure, and stated that the Kingdom remained a major international development donor, and was committed to increasing its role in the future.
The Saudi government is thought to have provided in excess of $116 billion to 95 developing countries since the agenda was agreed at a summit in the Ethiopian capital in 2015.
Al-Rasheed said: “The Saudi Fund for Development is considered one of the most important channels of foreign aid,” adding that it was responsible for 688 loans to finance 656 projects across the developing world, in transport, communications, social infrastructure, agriculture, energy, industry and mining.
He indicated that the Kingdom would also continue to play its role in stabilizing international energy markets, as part of the Saudi Vision 2030 program to move away from fossil fuel toward a more sustainable and diverse local, and by extension, global economy, sharing its technological advances with other nations.
Bringing sustainability, he said, was crucial for developing economies less able to rely on natural resources, and that it was the Kingdom’s duty to continue the important work of enhancing access to clean energy for the world’s least developed communities.