OIC chief praises Saudi support for Afghans

OIC chief praises Saudi support for Afghans
OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha. (AFP/File)
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Updated 02 December 2021

OIC chief praises Saudi support for Afghans

OIC chief praises Saudi support for Afghans

JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has begun coordinating with Saudi Arabia, which hosts the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, and Pakistan about organizing an extraordinary meeting of its Council of Foreign Ministers to discuss the situation in Afghanistan and help provide an appropriate humanitarian response.

OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha said he values Saudi Arabia’s initiative that called for this important meeting, within the framework of the Kingdom’s efforts to enhance Islamic solidarity and joint Islamic work. He also praised Pakistan for its readiness to host the gathering, on Dec. 17, which he said confirms the nation’s keenness to support the Afghan people and enhance regional security and peace.

He said he hopes that the outcome of the meeting will help to mitigate the suffering of the Afghan people and provide humanitarian assistance by finding appropriate mechanisms to do so in coordination with UN agencies and international financial institutions.

Taha added that the meeting comes as an extension of OIC efforts in response to the situation in Afghanistan, and affirmed that OIC members seek to help establish and support peace, security, stability and development in the country.

The OIC expressed grave concerns over the decline in the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan as a result of the influx of refugees and displaced people caused by conditions in the country and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It called on member states, Islamic financial institutions and other partners to work urgently to providing humanitarian aid in the worst-affected areas.

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  • Satellite imagery to ensure comprehensive coverage of Kingdom’s regions

JEDDAH: The Saudi General Authority for Statistics is preparing to carry out the country’s fifth housing and population census, including the use of satellite imagery to help ensure more comprehensive coverage of the Kingdom’s regions.

The census plays a key role in achieving the goals for the country’s economic and social transformation, as outlined in Vision 2030.

A preliminary estimate of the Saudi population as of mid-2020 was 35,013,414. The previous census processes took place in 1974, 1992, 2004, and 2010.

The last survey showed that the country’s population was 27,136,977, with more than 6,915,000 people in the Makkah region, the highest of the country’s 13 administrative regions.

GASTAT said it had prepared a plan for its upcoming census after a comprehensive study of the requirements of its beneficiaries from government agencies, and based on global best practices and standards for population census models used in G20 countries as well as by members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

FASTFACT

35 million

A preliminary estimate of the Saudi population as of mid-2020 was 35,013,414.

The authority said that modern technology would be used for the first time in conducting its census operations, including the use of satellite imagery to help ensure more comprehensive coverage of the Kingdom’s regions, identifying unregistered dwellings at national addresses, and developing a data collection mechanism to include digital self-enumeration, a new method of collecting data through the authority’s publicly accessible portal, as well as updating the census form to assist decision-makers, according to international best practices.

GASTAT said it was fully committed to the highest levels of privacy, confidentiality, and protection for the data of those included in the census, and any personal information related to their identities. It also undertook not to share any collected information with or disclose it to any third party.

Last September, GASTAT carried out a pilot census covering seven Saudi cities in Tabuk, AlUla, Makkah, Asir, Diriyah, Riyadh, and the Eastern Province. It was meant to test the form along with the working tools to be used in the general population and housing census.

Self-enumeration, electronically filling out questionnaires, and other statistical methods were also applied before the final census work, which is expected to begin in a few months.

GASTAT recently started working on a 40-day electronic business statistics survey, which aims to provide accurate statistical data and indicators on establishments that carry out various economic activities in Saudi Arabia.

It said the survey was done in coordination with government bodies and that the questionnaires were based on specific statistical criteria to assure accurate statistical data and indicators.

The pilot census also included the numbering of buildings, along with their components of housing units and households, in addition to counting the population and individuals in labor camps and public housing, and identifying their demographic, social, and economic characteristics, to obtain accurate and timely results.

GASTAT said it was the only official statistical reference for statistical data and information in the Kingdom.

It added that it implemented all statistical work and technical supervision of the sector, which included an ecosystem of statistical centers and units established in the administrative structures of government agencies and several private sector institutions.

Most countries conduct a comprehensive census of their population, housing, and establishments every 10 years to provide accurate and detailed data about the population and its distribution according to their place of residence, their social and economic characteristics, such as the educational level and educational qualifications obtained, the economic status of individuals, the professions practiced by workers, the type of economic sector to which they belong, and the economic activity of the entities in which they work.

 


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  • The “Absher Individuals” interactive guide was set up to offer easy access to services, providing explanations to more than 300 services

RIYADH: Absher, the interactive online platform provided by the Saudi Interior Ministry, announced that the platform served 23 million users who carried out more than 85 million operations last year. The platform’s technical support received more than 1.5 million calls over the year.

In 2021, Absher contributed to raising the quality of life of citizens, residents and visitors, facilitated access to more than 330 services and linked viewers with more than 80 government and private entities.

Moreover, 1.5 billion transactions were carried out via the “Absher Individuals” platform, with more than 50 million logins to the “Absher Business” and more than 1.3 million logins to “Absher Government.”

The platform’s operators launched 36 new services and expanded the provision of the automated responder “Masroor” to answer beneficiaries’ queries more quickly.

The “Absher Individuals” interactive guide was set up to offer easy access to services, providing explanations to more than 300 services.

One of the most prominent services launched in 2021 was the Online Plate Auction service, the digital wallet service. The platform’s portfolio contains more than 25 million digital identities.

The shift from paper to electronic transactions has saved more than 599 million sheets of papers. This shift also reduced CO2 dioxide emissions by 1.6 billion metric tons and saved more than SR17.3 billion ($5 billion).

The online Absher service was introduced to increase productivity and promote more efficient work practices within government departments, while raising customer satisfaction levels. A smartphone app was added in 2015.