Saudi G20 presidency calls for increased contributions to COVID-19 global fight

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Updated 24 April 2020

Saudi G20 presidency calls for increased contributions to COVID-19 global fight

  • Global Preparedness Monitoring Board has set a target of $8 billion
  • Some $1.9 billion had been donated so far by various entities

RIYADH: The Saudi presidency of the Group of 20 major economies on Thursday called for more urgent donations to fund the emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to develop needed vaccines.

In a press statement, the G20 presidency urged countries, international organizations, the private sector, philanthropic institutions, and individuals to contribute and close the funding gap. 

"COVID-19 is taking lives, separating families and threatening our economy. To fight it, funding is required immediately for emergency response, diagnostics, treatment, and the development, manufacturing, and deployment of necessary vaccines," said the statement posted on the G20 site, www.g20.org. 

Some $1.9 billion had been donated so far, way below the $8 billion target set by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board.

Saudi Arabia, the holder of the G20 Presidency for 2020, pledged US$500 million.

“Global challenges demand global solutions and this is our time to stand and support the race for a vaccine and other therapeutic measures to combat COVID-19,” Saudi G20 Sherpa Fahad Almubarak said.
 


Notice setting date for Saudi international flights ‘is bogus’

Updated 12 August 2020

Notice setting date for Saudi international flights ‘is bogus’

  • Aviation chiefs issue official denial after fake circular says passengers can fly to and from Kingdom from October

RIYADH: A fake circular suggesting Saudi Arabia will resume international flights in October has been condemned as “completely baseless and fabricated” by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).
Rumors that international flights will shortly return have been circulating on social media in recent weeks without any official statement from GACA.
On Tuesday, the authority denied announcing the resumption of international flights and said information being circulated was fabricated.
Saudi Arabia suspended international flights from March 15 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Since domestic flights restarted on May 31, rumors have been circulating regarding the return of international flights. On Monday, the bogus GACA circular was shared on various social media platforms suggesting flights into and out of Saudi Arabia would resume in October. It sparked a flurry of speculation.
The circular, titled “No flights till October 2020,” said: “An employee of the GACA has stated in a recent interview that all international flights to and from the Kingdom are to remain suspended till the month of October.” Quoting a GACA official, the circular said that the decision was subject to the number of coronavirus cases, which must “come down to three digits.”
GACA official spokesman Ibrahim bin Abdullah Alrwosa told Arab News the circular “is completely baseless and fabricated.”
He shared a tweet from the authority’s public relations department describing the circular as incorrect.
The civil aviation authority has previously said there is no specific date for the resumption of international flights, he added.
All international flights remain suspended until further notice.
However, exceptions have been made for humanitarian assistance and emergency cases, medical evacuation flights and repatriation of stranded citizens and expatriates wanting to return home.