RIYADH: Supervisor General of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said that only a small number of donors fund over 80 percent of humanitarian operations around the world, calling upon other countries to help expand the donor base to meet growing needs.
Speaking at a session titled “Soaring humanitarian needs and limited resources: Engaging emerging donors and new sources of financing” at the European Humanitarian Forum, which is being held in Brussels March 20-22, Al-Rabeeah stressed the importance of expanding the donor base for global humanitarian action.
It is important to expand that base to reduce the cost for donors, Al-Rabeeah said, calling for intensified efforts on the part of countries, institutions and the private sector to finance global humanitarian action.
Al-Rabeeah recalled the generous directive of King Salman to involve the private sector in financing worldwide humanitarian work and task the center with launching campaigns in response to humanitarian crises, noting that the center supports international humanitarian action and UN institutions.
Saudi Arabia, in partnership with the World Food Programme, annually carries out a campaign worth over $136 million, gifting dates to 72 countries, Al-Rabeeah said.
KSrelief also supported the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing vaccines, medical supplies and financial support.
Al-Rabeeah noted that the Kingdom is chair of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ donor group for 2022-2023, adding that Saudi Arabia has been active in contacting donors, mobilizing their support for OCHA, and working with the group to expand the donor base and provide solutions to humanitarian problems.
At the forum in the Belgian capital, KSrelief showcased its humanitarian work in 90 countries. The center’s pavilion featured projects involving food security, health, safety, emergency relief, education and shelter for the displaced.
It also showcased KSrelief’s reach to beneficiaries through air and land bridges and its projects implemented in Yemen, including the Masam project to clear the country of mines, an initiative to rehabilitate child soldiers and the establishment of a center for prosthetics.
On the sidelines of the forum, Al-Rabeeah met with EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic.
The two officials discussed issues related to humanitarian and relief affairs, and ways to develop them, as well as the key topics touched upon in the forum.
Lenarcic commended Saudi Arabia’s active participation in the forum and the donors’ conference for people affected by the earthquake in Syria and Turkiye, highlighting KSrelief’s efforts in supporting humanitarian aid worldwide.
Haifa Al-Jedea, ambassador and head of the Saudi mission to the EU, also attended the meeting.