KSRelief chief: Saudi Arabia largest donor to Sudan with $1.2bn aid

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KSRelief General Supervisor Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah attends the high-level roundtable meeting on Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan in London. (SPA)
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KSRelief General Supervisor Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah attends the high-level roundtable meeting on Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan in London. (SPA)
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Updated 19 January 2020

KSRelief chief: Saudi Arabia largest donor to Sudan with $1.2bn aid

  • Kingdom one of the key supporters of African nation, given historic ties

LONDON: The general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) said the Kingdom had been one of the largest donors to Sudan, with a total amount of donations exceeding $1.2 billion until 2019, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah stressed that the strong historical ties between Saudi Arabia and Sudan made support for the country and people essential.
This came during Al-Rabeeah’s participation in the high-level roundtable meeting in London on the international response to the humanitarian situation in Sudan, co-hosted by the UK, Sweden, and the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Al-Rabeeah said: “The Kingdom appreciates the efforts of the UK, Sweden, and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock in organizing this meeting.”
He wished everyone success in establishing funding to meet the humanitarian needs of the Sudanese people, and support social protection and economic reforms to overcome the challenges of the transitional period.

HIGHLIGHT

KSRelief’s 2020 plan includes implementing several medical campaigns in Sudan, two of which are anti-blindness campaigns at a cost of $750,000 and two for heart surgery and catheters at a cost of $1.5 million, and for urinary tract surgery at a cost of $1.5 million.

“As the Kingdom is aware of the economic, humanitarian, climatic, and health challenges facing the people of Sudan, it has partnered with the UAE by announcing on April 21, 2019, a package of joint aid worth $3 billion, $500 million of which deposited in the Central Bank of Sudan to support the economy and the currency. Saudi Arabia also increased its investments in Sudan’s private sector,” he added.
Al-Rabeeah pointed out that KSRelief’s 2020 plan includes implementing several medical campaigns in Sudan, two of which are anti-blindness campaigns at a cost of $750,000 and two for heart surgery and catheterizations at a cost of $1.5 million, and for urinary tract surgery at a cost of $1.5 million. The Kingdom was also keen to support Sudan in the economic field to achieve political stability.
Al-Rabeeah said that Saudi Arabia supported international efforts to hold a donor conference for Sudan in 2020, aimed at reaching the largest amount of funding to help the people of Sudan.


US denies banning dates from Saudi Arabia

Updated 21 min 48 sec ago

US denies banning dates from Saudi Arabia

  • There has been no FDA ban on dates from Saudi Arabia, the administration told Arab News

RIYADH: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has denied that it banned the import of dates from Saudi Arabia, following media reports that it had done so earlier this week.

“There has been no FDA ban on dates from Saudi Arabia,” the administration told Arab News. The Saudi National Center for Palms & Dates (NCPD) also denied the reports.

The NCPD pointed out that reports published mentioned the finding of pesticide residues in date samples from a Saudi company dating back to 2009.

In a statement on Sunday, the NCPD said that the US FDA published on its website a list of all the companies “classified by country” which did not meet US standards.

It added that the FDA required companies to update their information with it as and when that changed.

Bashar Al-Quraya, deputy chairman of the Dates Committee of Al-Qassim Chamber of Commerce, told Arab News that the information did not come from reliable sources. “We did not see any real official statements,” he said.

The center stressed that they work with the relevant authorities to raise the level of date safety in general for products sold in local or export markets.

“Saudi Arabia is considered number one in date quality,” Al-Quraya said, adding that when they export dates to Germany and the UK, the entry procedures go very smoothly. “There are no problems and the procedures are very simple and clear.”

Al-Quraya also pointed out that for the last two months of growth before harvesting the crop, no pesticides are sprayed on Saudi dates, and the exported fruits are subjected to tests before shipping.

“The rumors did not affect the market. I am now at the food fair in Dubai, there is a great demand for Saudi dates from European countries,” he said.

“If there was a problem with our dates the news should come from the UK or Germany, as the number of dates we export (there) are much bigger than what we export to the US,” he added.