Saudi charitable efforts increase amid rising coronavirus cases 

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Authorities in Tabuk are carrying out a relief drive in partnership with the private sectors to help the needy people in the ongoing global health crisis. (SPA)
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Authorities in Tabuk are carrying out a relief drive in partnership with the private sectors to help the needy people in the ongoing global health crisis. (SPA)
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Authorities in Tabuk are carrying out a relief drive in partnership with the private sectors to help the needy people in the ongoing global health crisis. (SPA)
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Updated 05 April 2020

Saudi charitable efforts increase amid rising coronavirus cases 

  • Individuals are taking it upon themselves to help with virus control by providing services and goods free of charge

RIYADH: Charities, nonprofit organizations and businesses in Saudi Arabia are providing financial aid, distributing medical supplies and raising awareness in the country in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Kingdom is taking several measures to control the spread of the virus. Efforts to help people during the pandemic have emerged from civil society, as well as the country’s private sector.
Riyadh’s Ensan Charity Organization for Orphan Care has set up a website (https://store.ensan.org.sa/) where people can make donations online. In addition to the normal donation options that are available throughout the year, there is now an opportunity to purchase a “protective basket” which contains sanitizers, gloves and masks.
The Princess Seetah bint Abdul Aziz Award for Excellence in Social Work has dedicated its eighth session to “social work in the face of crises and risks” in reaction to the pandemic.
In Jeddah, preventive measures have been put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at the Albir Society and ensure the safety of its beneficiaries. It is launching an online platform to further support families and the society’s chairman, Dr. Suhail bin Hassan Qadi, said 20 preventive measures had been implemented across centers and orphanages to fight the pandemic.
The Kingdom’s private sector is also contributing to the fight against coronavirus through donations to the Ministry of Health’s Health Endowment Fund. These will be used to provide the medical devices required to address the pandemic. ​
On Friday, the Samba Financial Group announced it was donating SR16.5 million ($4.4 million) to the fund. Riyad Bank is giving SR17 million, and Al Ahli Bank is donating SR33 million.
Other companies have also joined in, such as the ​Bupa Arabian Company. The insurance giant has provided $20 million to the fund to fight the spread of the virus. The Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries & Medical Appliances Corporation has given SR11 million.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Banks donate millions of dollars to fight virus spread.

• Charities, individuals offer care packages.

Not all contributions are financial. In light of school and college closures, leaving low-income students unable to access online lectures and exams, Jarir Bookstore said it would donate 10,000 laptops through official charity societies endorsed by the Ministry of Human Resources.
Individuals are also taking it upon themselves to help with virus control by providing services and goods free of charge.
Maryam Bint Hamad Al-Mutairi, a resident of Unaizah who owns a taxicab business, is delivering medicine to people in Unaizah for free. She has distributed care packages consisting of masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer, and has been honored Qassim Gov. Prince Faisal Bin Mishaal.
Al-Mutairi told local media that everything she did was and would remain free of charge, and that she had no intention of exploiting the high demand for delivery services.
“It’s not the time to be thinking of profits,” she said. “We have all benefited from the great bounty of our country, and it’s time to give back even a small part of what this country has given to us. There will be time enough to think of profit when all this is over.”


Saudi-backed electric car breaks through 500 miles range barrier

Updated 12 August 2020

Saudi-backed electric car breaks through 500 miles range barrier

  • Lucid Motors announced independent range verification of 517 miles on a single charge for its forthcoming Lucid Air all-electric sedan

 

LONDON:A Saudi-backed electric vehicle has broken through the 500 mile range barrier from a single charge.
Lucid Motors, in which Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is a major investor, on Wednesday announced independent range verification of 517 miles on a single charge for its forthcoming Lucid Air all-electric sedan.
The results confirm that the Lucid Air is the longest range electric vehicle to date, the car maker said in a statement.
So-called “range anxiety,” where drivers fear being stranded without power in their cars, is a major factor for electric vehicle manufacturers in convincing people to make the switch from traditional gasoline-fueled vehicles.
“Range and efficiency are widely recognized as the most relevant proof points by which EV technical prowess is measured,” said Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson. “A few years ago we revealed our alpha prototypes of the Lucid Air and promised over 400 miles range; a reflection of our technology at that time. In the intervening period we have achieved a series of technological breakthroughs, culminating in an unsurpassed degree of energy efficiency.”
The PIF agreed a $1 billion investment deal with Lucid Motors two years ago to develop the car at a factory in Arizona.
The production version of the Lucid Air will debut in an online event on Sept. 9, 2020. In addition to the vehicle’s final interior and exterior designs, new details about production specifications, available configurations, and pricing information will also be shared.
Customer deliveries of the Lucid Air, which will be produced at Lucid’s new factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, will begin in early 2021.