Donors seek to raise $2.4 billion for Yemen

Saudi ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Said Al-Jaber addresses the media in the southern Yemeni port of Aden upon his arrival to oversee an aid delivery of fuel from Saudi Arabia on October 29, 2018. (AFP)
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Updated 02 June 2020

Donors seek to raise $2.4 billion for Yemen

  • Event to gather global organizations, top aid officials

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is the first Arab country to host the High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen. The virtual pledging event takes place on Tuesday in partnership with the UN, gathering global donors and high-profile officials.

“This conference is being held for the first time in an Arab country to support another neighboring Arab country, as such conferences were held at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva,” Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jaber told Arab News.
He added: “It is a confirmation of the Kingdom’s interest in the brotherly Yemeni people, and the alleviation of its suffering caused by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia. It will witness the announcement of financial pledges to meet the requirements for the United Nation’s humanitarian response plan.”
Yemeni Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr. Shaya’e bin Mohsen Al-Zindani told Arab News that Yemen was passing through a critical phase. In addition to the Iranian-backed Houthi militia and uncertain global economy, he said, Yemen is faced with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
“Yemeni government institutions are understaffed with meager resources,” the Yemeni envoy said.
The UN said that the aim is to raise $2.4 billion to pay for the world’s biggest aid operation, which includes medical, food and shelter assistance.
“All these reasons make the conference a pressing need. We heavily rely on the conference to lift Yemen out of this political and humanitarian situation,” said Al-Zindani.
“The Kingdom has played a praiseworthy role in Yemen for decades and has always stood by Yemen in harsh and cruel circumstances. It has supported Yemen all the way,” the ambassador stressed.

HIGHLIGHTS

• This is the first virtual pledging event of its kind to be held on this scale.

• Saudi Arabia hopes to attract significant pledges to finance the humanitarian response plan to bring relief to the estimated 24.3 million people in Yemen.

This is the first virtual pledging event of its kind to be held on this scale, and will be attended by high-profile Saudi and UN officials.
“We expect (the event) to achieve a high-level international presence from foreign ministers and heads of international organizations with generous support for the international plan,” Al-Jaber said.
The list of attendees includes Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) and Mark Lowcock, undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
“Yemen has been the No.1 humanitarian priority for Saudi Arabia and KSRelief,” said Al-Rabeeah.


Saudi body to help UN devise policies for sustainable living

Updated 13 August 2020

Saudi body to help UN devise policies for sustainable living

  • Saudi Green Building Forum granted accreditation as an observer to UNEP governing body

RIYADH: A professional association from Saudi Arabia will play a key policymaking role at a UN governing body addressing the importance of environmental needs.
Following careful assessment and consideration of the commitments and engagements of the Saudi Green Building Forum (SGBF), the nonprofit organization has been granted accreditation as an observer at the governing body of the UN Environment Program (UNEP). SGBF will play a role as an observer at all public meetings and sessions of the UNEP and its subsidiary organs.
Speaking to Arab News, Faisal Al-Fadl, founder of the nonprofit organization, said that the forum’s mission has been developing for the past 10 years and this accreditation was considered an important step in strengthening the role of Saudi civil society institutions, locally and internationally. This was in line with Vision 2030, which has not only played an integral role in the NGO’s mission but also paved the way for the Kingdom’s people to go the extra mile in building an advanced and resilient society.
SGBF was initiated in 2010 and established in 2014. In 2017, it became the first professional body from Saudi Arabia in consultative status with the UN.
“The Saudi Forum was an advocacy group with an honest voice to bridge the gap; through UNEP we now have the tools to become the policymakers,” Al-Fadl said. It is a challenge that the group founder says will be met by providing communities with the proper tools to implement commitments.
As the observing body on the environmental framework at the UNEP, SGBF’s role will include promoting its concepts and goals to be reflected within the community of change. For change to happen, people of a community at a grassroots level who have committed to the preservation of moral codes of conduct are key to changing mentality and behavior to guarantee a future for the next generations, Al-Fadl said.
“As an open platform, our role is being the honest voice of bridging the gap. Economic and social progress accompanied by environmental degradation and pandemics are endangering the very systems on which our future development and our survival depends,” he said.
SGBF represents the Kingdom and its call to communities, stakeholders, and policymakers to build on the principles of volunteering, advocacy and sustainable development.
For the NGO, their next step is increasing the engagement of civil society, finding solutions to the problem of volunteer integration in societies, and to prioritize and address social challenges for women, youth and the elderly, calling on member states to increase their role in building and developing practices that minimize the negative impact on the planet.
Al-Fadl added that protecting the planet and building resilience was not easy. Without bolstering local action, including volunteers to accelerate the implementation, it would be a long time until goals were met and result seen, he said.
“UN member countries have the responsibility in confronting the human crisis of inestimable proportions, which impose its heaviest tolls on the supply chain for those marginalized and
most vulnerable in cities and communities around the world,” Al-Fadl said.