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 program seeks ‘culture of dialogue, tolerance’

Updated 01 October 2020

Saudi program seeks ‘culture of dialogue, tolerance’

  • Islam has provided the first constitution that enhances the idea of common citizenship and freedom of religions

RIYADH: The King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) and the Interreligious Platform for Dialogue and Cooperation (IPDC) on Wednesday launched the Dialogue Program 2020 among religious leaders and organizations in the Arab world.

KAICIID secretary-general, Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muaammar, said the center aims to enhance the culture of dialogue and coexistence, and highlight the value of human diversity.

He said the center also lays the foundations of understanding and collaboration among all religions and cultures, and highlights the importance of building a diverse culture.

The center provides sustainable solutions for today’s challenges, he added.

“Serious dialogue can enhance the role of interreligious institutions, helping to promote a culture of dialogue, coexistence and tolerance in society,” he said. “The message of the center addresses all humankind and not a specific society.”

The terrorist events that ripped through the region were the result of fanaticism and hatred, he said, noting that people of all diverse and multiple backgrounds can coexist peacefully in society.

“Islam has provided the first constitution that enhances the idea of common citizenship and freedom of religions. The Document of Madinah included a comprehensive constitution that guides people of different religious backgrounds on how to live together peacefully and practice their religion freely, and, most importantly, enhance the values of coexistence, justice, security and peace among one another,” he added.

Bin Muaammar called on those who have the capability to fight the discourse of extremism, saying that dialogue can enhance “human principles and values such as mercy, respect, tolerance, peace and social solidarity.”

He also urged religious leaders and institutions, as well as policymakers, to promote such values and strengthen comprehensive citizenship.

“Those leaders and institutions can fight and confront the threats facing peaceful coexistence and tolerance, threats that are posed by extreme groups,” he said. “Religious institutions should enhance the culture of common citizenship, each in their society.”

KAICIID contributes to such efforts through its experience and collaboration with relevant institutions around the world.

The Dialogue Program 2020 promotes dialogue, common citizenship and coexistence in the Arab world through cooperation in a range of projects. It also challenges messages of hate locally, nationally and regionally.