Thousands of volunteers in Riyadh help plant trees in shape of map of Saudi Arabia

Thousands of volunteers in Riyadh help plant trees in shape of map of Saudi Arabia
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Riyadh residents take part in a tree-planting project as part of the Greener Home initiative launched to celebrate the 91st Saudi National Day. (@Riyadh_Green)
Thousands of volunteers in Riyadh help plant trees in shape of map of Saudi Arabia
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Riyadh residents take part in a tree-planting project as part of the Greener Home initiative launched to celebrate the 91st Saudi National Day. (@Riyadh_Green)
Thousands of volunteers in Riyadh help plant trees in shape of map of Saudi Arabia
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Riyadh residents take part in a tree-planting project as part of the Greener Home initiative launched to celebrate the 91st Saudi National Day. (@Riyadh_Green)
Thousands of volunteers in Riyadh help plant trees in shape of map of Saudi Arabia
4 / 4
Riyadh residents take part in a tree-planting project as part of the Greener Home initiative launched to celebrate the 91st Saudi National Day. (@Riyadh_Green)
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Updated 28 September 2021

Thousands of volunteers in Riyadh help plant trees in shape of map of Saudi Arabia

Thousands of volunteers in Riyadh help plant trees in shape of map of Saudi Arabia
  • The completed project, covering 170,000 square meters is expected to be one of the biggest afforested maps in the world

RIYADH: Thousands of Riyadh residents turned out to take part in a tree-planting project as part of the Khadra Ya Darna (Greener Home) initiative launched to celebrate the 91st Saudi National Day on Sept. 23.

The trees are being planted close to King Khalid International Airport in the shape of the map of Saudi Arabia, which will be visible from the air to travelers as they fly in. It will cover an area of 170,000 square meters, which organizers say will make it one of the biggest afforested maps in the world, and an important city landmark.

The project is part of a wider Green Riyadh initiative and its director, Abdul Aziz Al-Moqbel, is delighted that so many local people volunteered to help.

“We were happy with the huge participation of young and old from all over Riyadh to support this national initiative on the 91st National Day,” he said. “We want everybody to be part of Green Riyadh, which is an environmental and sustainable initiative that will make the inhabitants of Riyadh proud of their city’s present and future.”

He added that the initiative aims to increase the share of green space in the city from the current 1.5 percent to 9.1 percent by 2030 in an effort to improve air quality, reduce temperatures, and protect the environment and biodiversity.

The participation of local people in Green Riyadh is considered one the most important elements of the project, which aims to plant 7.5 million trees in the city and is considered one of the biggest urban afforestation projects in the world.

It is one of the main projects launched in the capital by King Salman, based on initiatives introduced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, chairman of the board of directors of the Royal Commission for Riyadh, to help achieve the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030 to enhance and develop Riyadh so that it ranks in economic terms as one of the top 10 cities in the world.


Saudi airports allowed to operate at full capacity

Saudi airports allowed to operate at full capacity
Updated 5 sec ago

Saudi airports allowed to operate at full capacity

Saudi airports allowed to operate at full capacity
  • All of passengers’ immunization status would continue to be verified using the ‘Tawakklna’ application

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation authority has allowed airports in the Kingdom to operate at full capacity.
In a circular issued on Sunday to all airlines operating in the Kingdom’s airports, which includes private aviation, the General Authority of Civil Aviation said that the “entire capacity of the Kingdom’s airports will be used to operate domestic and international flights.”
All of passengers’ immunization status would continue to be verified using the ‘Tawakklna’ application, which was launched last year to monitor the vaccination condition of residents and citizens.
The Kingdom eased restrictions more than 18 months since the coronavirus pandemic started, and has done away with mandatory social distancing at social gatherings or in public settings including transport, restaurants and cinemas, among others.
The wearing of face masks outdoors was also no longer mandatory except for specific locations, including the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. Visits to the two mosques have also been restored to full capacity.
Fans would also be allowed to access to sports stadiums and facilities after the venues have been allowed to operate at full capacity, provided visitors have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The decision would be subject to periodic review according, the Kingdom’s sports ministry said in statement.


Saudi health ministry to give COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for groups most at-risk

Saudi health ministry to give COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for groups most at-risk
Updated 8 min 1 sec ago

Saudi health ministry to give COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for groups most at-risk

Saudi health ministry to give COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for groups most at-risk

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s health ministry said Sunday it has started giving booster shots of the coronavirus vaccine to age groups that are most at-risk. 

The ministry mentioned that more than 21 million people in the kingdom have already received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

It also noted that the total number of vaccine jabs that had be given so far exceeds 44 million does. 


Confronting crimes against humanity is route to justice, Saudi official tells UN committee meeting

Confronting crimes against humanity is route to justice, Saudi official tells UN committee meeting
Updated 17 October 2021

Confronting crimes against humanity is route to justice, Saudi official tells UN committee meeting

Confronting crimes against humanity is route to justice, Saudi official tells UN committee meeting
  • Mission also reaffirms Kingdom's commitment to help fight illicil financial flow

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia has reiterated that confronting crimes against humanity and combating impunity from punishment is a noble objective to achieve justice and the rule of law because such crimes are among the most dangerous crimes for the international community.

This came during a speech delivered by Nidaa Abu Ali, head of the legal committee in the Kingdom’s permanent delegation at the UN, at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

Abu Ali stressed the need to implement the principle of accountability and put an end to the impunity from punishment of the perpetrators of these crimes. She stressed the Kingdom’s support for justice following the international agreements signed within the framework of the UN Charter and international law.

Regarding draft articles related to crimes against humanity, she said the Kingdom stresses the need to avoid developing new definitions that might cause confusion in interpreting these terms.

In addition, she stressed the importance of unifying the definitions stated in the relevant draft convention such as slavery, torture and forced disappearance of persons, following the relevant international conventions.

Reem Al-Omair, chairperson of the Economic and Financial Committee at the Kingdom’s permanent delegation at the UN, affirmed Saudi Arabia’s commitment to international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and promote good practices regarding the recovery of financial assets.

Speaking in a general discussion of macroeconomic policies, she said that the programs and initiatives of the Saudi Vision 2030 contributed to enhancing transparency, developing policies and procedures and filling gaps to contain corruption.

Al-Omair said the Kingdom is keen to harness its potential and resources in the service of humanitarian issues in cooperation with the UN, its agencies and organizations and the international community.

Saudi Arabia has reiterated that confronting crimes against humanity and combating impunity from punishment is a noble objective to achieve justice and the rule of law because such crimes are among the most dangerous crimes for the international community.

This came during a speech delivered by Nidaa Abu Ali, head of the legal committee in the Kingdom’s permanent delegation at the UN, at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly. Abu Ali stressed the need to implement the principle of accountability and put an end to the impunity from punishment of the perpetrators of these crimes. She stressed the Kingdom’s support for justice following the international agreements signed within the framework of the UN Charter and international law.

Regarding draft articles related to crimes against humanity, she said the Kingdom stresses the need to avoid developing new definitions that might cause confusion in interpreting these terms.

In addition, she stressed the importance of unifying the definitions stated in the relevant draft convention such as slavery, torture and forced disappearance of persons, following the relevant international conventions.

Reem Al-Omair, chairperson of the Economic and Financial Committee at the Kingdom’s permanent delegation at the UN, affirmed Saudi Arabia’s commitment to international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and promote good practices regarding the recovery of financial assets.

Speaking in a general discussion of macroeconomic policies, she said that the programs and initiatives of the Saudi Vision 2030 contributed to enhancing transparency, developing policies and procedures and filling gaps to contain corruption.

Al-Omair said the Kingdom is keen to harness its potential and resources in the service of humanitarian issues in cooperation with the UN, its agencies and organizations and the international community.


Who’s Who: Fahad Al-Jalajel, Saudi Arabia’s new health minister

Who’s Who: Fahad Al-Jalajel, Saudi Arabia’s new health minister
Updated 17 October 2021

Who’s Who: Fahad Al-Jalajel, Saudi Arabia’s new health minister

Who’s Who: Fahad Al-Jalajel, Saudi Arabia’s new health minister

Fahad Al-Jalajel has been appointed Saudi Arabia’s health minister following a royal decree issued on Friday. He replaces Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabia, who has been appointed minister of Hajj and Umrah.

Al-Jalajel was previously deputy health minister and had been in this role since 2016. He has been a member of the board of directors at the Saudi Red Crescent Authority since May 2017 and a member of the board of directors at the Saudi Food and Drug Authority since July that same year.

He is a member of the executive council of the country’s medical cities, was a council member at the Saudi General Authority for Competition from 2011 to 2018, and a member of the board of directors at Saudia from 2015 to 2017.

Al-Jalajel was a member of the board of directors at the Saudi Grains Authority from 2013 to 2017 and a member of the board of directors at the Human Resources Development Fund from 2011 to 2016.

He was a member of the board of directors at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (now the Ministry of Investment) from 2014 to 2016 and a member of the board of directors at the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization from 2012 to 2016.

Al-Jalajel was deputy minister for consumer protection at the Ministry of Commerce and Investment from 2011 to 2016 and was also chief information officer and ministerial advisor there.

He was a member of the Riyadh Regional Council from 2010 to 2012 and a member of the board of directors at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage from 2010 to 2012.

He was a member of the Saudi Energy Efficiency Program, a member of the board of directors at the Jeddah Urban Development Company, and an IT director at SAGIA.

He has a master’s degree in computer and information sciences from St. Joseph’s University in the US. He completed an executive program at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from King Saud University.


Food security major objective of Saudi Vision 2030

Food security major objective of Saudi Vision 2030
Updated 17 October 2021

Food security major objective of Saudi Vision 2030

Food security major objective of Saudi Vision 2030
  • Eta’am food bank in KSA has given 100,464 food baskets to 82,653 needy families in Saudi Arabia as of Nov. 30, 2020

RIYADH: Food waste is one of the main issues threatening food security. Several studies have shown that the Kingdom wastes an average of 200-500 kg of food per capita. One of the key objectives of Vision 2030 is thus to implement food security strategies by preventing food waste.

World Food Day is celebrated annually and worldwide on Oct. 16 to commemorate the founding of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in 1945, which aims to eradicate hunger across the world.

In November 1979, a Hungarian Delegation led by former Hungarian Agriculture Minister Dr. Pal Romany suggested celebrating the day worldwide. It has since been observed every year in more than 150 countries, raising awareness on the issues behind poverty and hunger.

This year’s theme is “Safe food now for a healthy tomorrow.”

Saudi Arabia’s arid lands and scarce water sources limit it from supporting mass-scale agriculture. Other efforts must therefore be made to ensure food security, including scaling up the food system, improving food safety, reducing food waste, lowering food costs, addressing poverty, and promoting healthy dietary patterns, said Mohammed Shamsul Ola, an associate professor at the department of biochemistry, King Saud University, and an associate editor of Saudi Journal of Biological Science and Frontiers in Ophthalmology.

In Saudi Arabia as well as worldwide, approximately a third of food is wasted. This results in considerable economic loss and is detrimental to global food security, he added. 

The Saudi Grains Organization in 2019 reported that almost 33 percent of total food is lost or wasted, which equates to a value of SR12,980 million ($3.5 million) per annum. Most of this waste occurs at the retailer and consumer levels.

The Kingdom’s traditions of hospitality, festivals, and celebrations imply large serving quantities of food that are ultimately not eaten due to poorly planned meals in households and at social events in hotels and restaurants. Ola explained that consumers often order large quantities of food at restaurants but do not finish them. The leftovers end up in the trash.

“Given the global hunger crisis, wasting food is a waste of natural resources that hurts the ecosystem and biodiversity. Consumers should buy food according to a meal plan, adopt better storage methods, and recycle leftover foods. They must ask for a reduced portion of food in restaurants. Doing so, customers can play a vital part in reducing food waste, allowing food to be used for meals rather than ending up in landfills,” said the professor. 

He underlined that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and other government agencies have made significant efforts to reduce food waste by fostering awareness and passing legislation prohibiting food waste, which has resulted in the establishment of various food charity groups and food banks to assist people in need.

Thousands of food banks have been formed worldwide to help those in need, including Eta’am in Saudi Arabia, which has successfully given 100,464 food baskets to 82,653 needy families in the Kingdom as of Nov. 30, 2020.

Winnow Solutions has also aided in the reduction of food waste in Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

The Savola World Program, in collaboration with Saudi Grains Organization and the Saudi Food Bank, has established many online awareness-raising activities, including Eta’am, to minimize food and household waste. In Saudi Arabia, there are roughly 40 food banks that provide door-to-door food collection and distribution services.

Saudi citizens are also taking significant steps to reduce waste and make food available to the poor, including placing large refrigerators in front of their homes and inviting neighbors to donate food.

“World Food Day is celebrated to highlight issues related to global food security and nutrition. According to the FAO, more than 720 million people were hungry in 2020,” Ola told Arab News.

“On this occasion of World Food Day, it is of paramount importance to increase awareness of the worldwide hunger crisis and the reasons behind it and to find solutions to address those issues.”