Report calls for urgent action to tackle hunger crisis in E. Africa

Today, nearly half a million people across parts of Somalia and Ethiopia are facing famine-like conditions. In Kenya, 3.5 million people are suffering from extreme hunger. (Save the Children)
Today, nearly half a million people across parts of Somalia and Ethiopia are facing famine-like conditions. In Kenya, 3.5 million people are suffering from extreme hunger. (Save the Children)
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Updated 22 May 2022

Report calls for urgent action to tackle hunger crisis in E. Africa

Today, nearly half a million people across parts of Somalia and Ethiopia are facing famine-like conditions. (Save the Children)

One person is likely dying of hunger every 48 seconds in drought-ravaged Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, according to estimates by Oxfam and Save the Children in a report published on Wednesday in partnership with the Jameel Observatory, highlighting the world’s repeated failure to stave off preventable disasters.
More than a decade since the delayed response to the 2011 famine that killed more than 260,000 people in Somalia — half of them  children under five — the world is once again failing to avert catastrophic hunger in East Africa. Today, nearly half a million people across parts of Somalia and Ethiopia are facing famine-like conditions. In Kenya, 3.5 million people are suffering from extreme hunger. Urgent appeals are woefully funded, as other crises, including the war in Ukraine, are worsening the region’s escalating hunger crisis.

Donors, development agencies, governments and the private sector must work together with affected communities to prepare and respond to risks, rather than wait for crises to spiral out of control.

Dr. Guyo Roba, Head of the Jameel Observatory

The number of people experiencing extreme hunger in the three countries has more than doubled since last year — from over 10 million to more than 23 million today. This is against a backdrop of crippling debt that more than tripled in under a decade — from $20.7 billion in 2012 to $65.3 billion by 2020 — sucking these countries’ resources from public services and social protection.
The report, Dangerous Delay 2: The Cost of Inaction, examines the changes in the humanitarian aid system since 2011. It finds that despite an improved response to the 2017 East Africa drought when widespread famine was averted, the national and global responses have largely remained too slow and too limited to prevent a repeat today.
“Despite worsening warning signs over time, world leaders have responded woefully — too late and still too little — leaving millions of people facing catastrophic hunger. Starvation is a political failure,” said Gabriella Bucher, Oxfam International’s executive director.
Entrenched bureaucracies and self-serving political choices continue to curtail a unified global response, despite improved warning systems and efforts by local NGOs, the report finds.
The report sheds light on the continued failure of donors and aid agencies to prioritize local organizations at the forefront of the crisis response, which slowed down the response further, even when they were ready to act.
Save the Children’s regional spokesperson for East and Southern Africa Shako Kijala said: “We’re seeing horrific numbers of severe malnutrition with 5.7 million children currently acutely malnourished, including more than 1.7 million who are severely acutely malnourished. And with the UN warning that more than 350,000 could die in Somalia if we do not act, the clock is ticking and every minute that passes is a minute too close to starvation and possible death of a child. How can we live with that if we let it happen again?”
Dr. Guyo Roba, head of the Jameel Observatory, said: “Donors, development agencies, governments and the private sector must work together with affected communities to prepare and respond to risks, rather than wait for crises to spiral out of control.”
Oxfam, Save the Children and the Jameel Observatory are calling for urgent action to tackle the catastrophic hunger crisis in East Africa. To help save lives now, G7 and Western leaders must immediately inject money to meet the $4.4 billion UN appeal for Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, and ensure the funding is flexible enough to be used where it is most needed.
Donors must guarantee that at least 25 percent of funds go to local responders at the heart of response. Moreover, governments of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia must scale up social protection to help people cope with multiple shocks.
They should invest at least 10 percent of their budgets in agriculture, with a particular focus on smallholder and female farmers, as they had agreed in the African Union Malabo Declaration of 2014.

 


Alta Real Estate Development announces new Dubai high-rise

Alta Real Estate Development announces new Dubai high-rise
Updated 28 January 2023

Alta Real Estate Development announces new Dubai high-rise

Alta Real Estate Development announces new Dubai high-rise

Alta Real Estate Development has announced its newest high-rise tower, AIRE Dubai. Located in the heart of downtown, the building is set to become a landmark within the iconic Dubai skyline.

With design by internationally known Miami-based Arquitectonica and interiors by Australian studio McKimm, AIRE Dubai claims wellness is the new luxury. The spaces are designed for people living in them, well-rooted in how we flow and behave as individuals and as a family. 

“These are homes of equilibrium, a sanctuary of calm, high above the energy of one of the world’s most exciting cities,” a statement said.

Extensive amenities also bring wellness to the forefront, starting with a large hotel-style pool, state-of-the art gym, yoga and Pilates rooms, indoor spa, ice bath, saunas and golf simulator. There is even an entire indoor running track with lush green meditation hubs wrapping around the 57th floor.

“We have considered an extensive array of amenities, spacious layouts, generous ceiling heights, and an abundance of light. We want everyone who steps into the building to truly feel the ‘AIRE’ around them,” said Abdulla Al-Tayer, managing director of Alta Real Estate.

AIRE offers a range of two-, three- and four-bedroom single-level residences, duplexes, a triplex and full-floor penthouses. All share a design-forward aesthetic that is minimal, elegant and carefully composed to capture both natural light and sweeping views of the city, sea and Burj Khalifa

As a boutique, family-run developer, Alta is committed to delivering one-of-a-kind projects that are meant to not only add value to the existing real estate market, but also set an entirely new way of living in the city. 

“We focus on one development at a time, which allows for unmatched attention to detail, uncompromised delivery schedule and tight-knit partnerships with international consultants and brands,” the company said.

“We are creating a new community with AIRE. It is extraordinarily global, multicultural, healthy, balanced and creative.”


New SABB service eases transactions to worldwide HSBC accounts

New SABB service eases transactions to worldwide HSBC accounts
Updated 28 January 2023

New SABB service eases transactions to worldwide HSBC accounts

New SABB service eases transactions to worldwide HSBC accounts

SABB has announced the launch of a new international payments service for its customers, a first phase of new services resulting from the memorandum of understanding signed between SABB and HSBC in 2022. The MoU focuses on cooperation and development of new foreign exchange and payment capabilities in Saudi Arabia.

SABB customers can view the balances of their HSBC accounts in 17 countries and transfer funds instantly to their linked accounts, through the SABBNet and SABBMobile e-banking platforms.

“Our customers, both Saudis and expatriates, asked SABB to offer the best foreign exchange and remittance services, and as the Kingdom’s most international bank, we worked closely with HSBC to help customers manage their worldwide finances seamlessly,” said SABB Managing Director and CEO Tony Cripps.

“HSBC and SABB jointly announced in 2022 that we would work together to bring the next generation of payment capabilities to the Kingdom, and today’s launch shows the significant progress we are making for customers,” said HSBC Chief Executive Officer of Wealth and Personal Banking Nuno Matos.

SABB’s Global View and Global Transfer service comes as foreign currency transactions continue to grow in the Kingdom with customers increasingly seeking easier ways to manage their money, whether in Saudi Arabia, or beyond.

“The relationship between SABB and HSBC is important, and our first implementation of the Global View and Global Transfer service is unrivaled in the Kingdom. This helps expand our ability to support customers to manage their international wealth and make money transfers even easier, highlighting our strategy to grow our wealth management services,” said Bandar Al-Ghashyan, SABB’s chief retail banking and wealth management officer.

“This initial launch allows instant movement of money between international linked accounts, and uses innovative technology and payment methods to improve customer experience and reduce the time taken for funds to arrive to a few seconds,” Al-Ghashyan added.

Evolution of digital and wealth capabilities is a focus of SABB’s five-year strategy, and this new service aligns with other activities undertaken by the bank that were recognized by Global Finance, which named SABB the best private bank in Saudi Arabia in 2023, and International Business Magazine, which awarded it the “Best Bank for Wealth Management 2022” award.

HSBC’s origins in Saudi Arabia date back to 1950 and it has been the largest shareholder in SABB since it was formed in 1978, today holding a 31 percent stake. Through this partnership, SABB customers have unique access to HSBC’s international network that covers 64 countries and territories worldwide and around 90 percent of global trade and capital flows.


Mobily renews partnership with 2023 CORE Diriyah E-Prix

Mobily renews partnership with 2023 CORE Diriyah E-Prix
Updated 28 January 2023

Mobily renews partnership with 2023 CORE Diriyah E-Prix

Mobily renews partnership with 2023 CORE Diriyah E-Prix

Etihad Etisalat, popularly known as Mobily, renewed its partnership to sponsor the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship Season 9 of the 2023 CORE Diriyah E-Prix, which took place on Jan. 27-28. The event was organized by local promoter CBX, Ministry of Sport and the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation. The partnership agreement follows the great success of Season 8 of the event, for which Mobily was the local partner.

The agreement was signed by Princess Nouf bint Khalid Al-Saud, director general of marketing at the Ministry of Sports; Nora Al-Shiha, SVP, corporate brand and communications, Mobily; alongside Carlo Boutagy, founder and CEO, CBX, and Formula E’s event director Nacho Calcedo, plus a number of senior representatives of all concerned parties.

“This partnership reflects Mobily’s commitment to supporting sustainability as part of its broader corporate strategy via enhancing sustainability initiatives adopted by the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship,” a statement said.

The sports scene in the Kingdom has seen substantial achievements and milestones, including the hosting of several world-class events, thanks to the unlimited support of its wise leadership.

“We are delighted to welcome Mobily back as a partner for the 2023 CORE Diriyah E-Prix, which represents one of the key international events in Saudi Arabia,” said Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal, chairman of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation.

“Mobily is one of the largest technology companies in the Kingdom, and with technology at the heart of Formula E, the ongoing partnership truly brings together two organizations with the same values.”

Mai Al-Helabi, general manager of events at the Ministry of Sports, said: “Having Mobily support the 2023 CORE Diriyah E-Prix is a great addition to the partnership roster for this year’s event that was part of Diriyah Season — a series of events across a variety of sports showcasing what the region has to offer.”

“Mobily seeks to consolidate sustainability across all its business sectors, as well as to empower the community to adopt sustainability standards, and have solid environmental awareness in all aspects of life, which is reflected in the various leading solutions and services Mobily offers to its customers,” said Al-Shiha.

She said that Mobily also inked an agreement with Ericsson to recycle expired and discarded electronic devices in ways that contribute to preserving the environment. It also inaugurated the first renewable energy-powered telecom tower as part of Mobily’s program for renewable and sustainable energy.

Alberto Longo, co-founder and chief championship officer, Formula E, said: “We are excited to welcome Mobily’s return as a local partner for the 2023 CORE Diriyah E-Prix. The race weekend is a highlight of the Formula E calendar and Mobily played a key role in bringing the event to life for the thousands of motorsport fans who were there to witness the Middle East debut of the all-new GEN3 race car.”


LuLu Group celebrates Indo-Saudi ties with festival

The festival was inaugurated at the LuLu Hypermarket Murabba branch by chief guest Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan,Indian Ambassador to KSA
The festival was inaugurated at the LuLu Hypermarket Murabba branch by chief guest Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan,Indian Ambassador to KSA
Updated 25 January 2023

LuLu Group celebrates Indo-Saudi ties with festival

The festival was inaugurated at the LuLu Hypermarket Murabba branch by chief guest Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan,Indian Ambassador to KSA
  • 12,700 Indian products and more — from popular FMCG products, Lulu Pvt label’s products, Indian fruits and vegetables to household goods and garments. — are on offer for shoppers this Indian Republic Day.

LuLu Group is celebrating all things India this week as it launched “India Utsav,” a celebration of Indian commercial ties with the Kingdom and festival of India’s popular cuisine, to coincide with the 74th Republic Day of India, which falls on Jan. 26.

The festival was inaugurated at the LuLu Hypermarket Murabba branch, Riyadh Avenue Mall by chief guest Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan, Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. The ambassador was welcomed by Shehim Mohammed, director — LuLu Saudi Hypermarkets, and senior officials of LuLu.

More than 12,700 Indian items are gracing the aisles of LuLu across Saudi Arabia — from popular FMCG products, Lulu Pvt label’s products, Indian fruits and vegetables to household goods and garments. Moreover, LuLu is putting a spotlight on a huge range of hot foods freshly prepared in store for the entire promotion, from biryanis to curries, popular street foods, traditional sweets and many more delicacies.
Indian Ambassador Khan praised the role of Lulu Group and its retail operations in promoting Indian essence worldwide. “The LuLu Group’s promotion of Indo-Saudi commerce and cultural links has brought pride and honor to India as well as to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and underscores the warm and friendly ties between both countries,” he said. “In Saudi Arabia, the group has initiated several far-sighted expansion projects and created employment opportunities for Indian and Saudi nationals. All this positions it to play a leading role in the Kingdom’s bright future,” he added.

LuLu, which has a strong Indian network of food processing and logistics centers for exporting bulk products to the Middle Eastern countries, has flown in many exclusive Indian products for this shopping festival, which showcases a wide range of food products, agri-produce range with fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as meat and seafood. To complete the Indian culture experience, trendy high-street fashion as well as a curated collection of designer wear for festivals and weddings have been made available.

Speaking at the inauguration, Mohammed said: “The LuLu Group International is at the forefront of India-GCC trade and in 2022, we exported nearly $185 million worth of Indian products to the GCC. In 2022, LuLu Saudi alone imported nearly $58 million worth of Indian products. With our network of food sourcing and logistics centers across India, food processing units and LuLu’s own-label food products as well as a cohort of skilled fashion buyers who help our garments and clothing department to stay ahead of the trend, we are well-prepared to treat our shoppers with truly festive ‘Utsav’ shopping.”

India Utsav will run until Jan. 30 and features a promotion on India’s best regional cuisines and super deals on all Indian products and fashion wear across LuLu Hypermarkets in the Kingdom and online on its shopping website and mobile app. 
 


Arabian Automobiles transforms customer experience

Arabian Automobiles transforms customer experience
Updated 24 January 2023

Arabian Automobiles transforms customer experience

Arabian Automobiles transforms customer experience

Arabian Automobiles, the flagship company of the AW Rostamani Group and the exclusive dealer for Nissan in Dubai, Sharjah and the northern emirates, is using cutting-edge digital technologies to improve services, increase levels of customer interaction, and alter the customer journey for car owners.

To ensure exceptional customer service and happiness, Arabian Automobiles employed digital best practices to measure customer satisfaction across a variety of touchpoints. The company issued a survey that addressed the overall purchase or service journeys, the handover experience, the quality and efficiency of the service, and the transparency of information. 

Arabian Automobiles continuously innovates based on customer feedback. One such innovation is [email protected], which lets customers shop, configure and compare their desired Nissan model against the full lineup and find out more about available offers, prices, financing, leasing and warranty options. It also grants them more flexibility in selecting the right maintenance service packages that best suit their needs.

Nissan Service, which was introduced earlier this year and adds an innovative integrated after-sales customer experience across online and offline channels, is intended to enhance the customer journey. With convenient digitized options for customers, such as online booking, express service, and pickup/drop-off services to speed up the process, Nissan Service covers various touchpoints during the customer journey, including transparent pricing models and the use of genuine Nissan parts.

Arabian Automobiles is currently the holder of Nissan Motor Company’s “Global Nissan After-sales Award” and is the only Nissan distributor to have won the award for a total of 21 times with 10 consecutive wins between 2007 and 2016.