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Thursday, Mar 23, 2023

Saudi Arabia, UK hold inaugural session of strategic aid dialogue

Saudi Arabia, UK hold inaugural session of strategic aid dialogue

The British capital London hosted the inaugural high-level meeting of the Saudi Arabia-UK Strategic Aid Dialogue.
The Saudi delegation, headed by the Advisor at the Royal Court and Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, included representatives from the ministries of foreign affairs and finance and the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD).

The session was attended by Saudi Ambassador Prince Khalid Bin Bandar Bin Sultan, and CEO of SFD Sultan Bin Abdurrahman Al-Marshad from the Saudi side, while the British side was represented by the Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Andrew Mitchell.

Also attending were Director General of the Humanitarian and Development at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Nick Dyer; Director General of the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, US, Canada, and the Overseas Territories Vijay Rangarajan, and UK Deputy Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Anna Walters.

During the session, Dr. Al Rabeeah expressed the center's aspiration for humanitarian cooperation with the British side to alleviate the suffering of those affected and the needy, as Saudi Arabia is a significant donor worldwide. He noted that Saudi Arabia provided $65 billion for 2,300 humanitarian projects in 167 countries between 2000 and 2023.

The supervisor general added that the development and charitable humanitarian support to countries in need amounted to $85.56 billion and that the Kingdom seeks to support global humanitarian action and boost its capabilities.

Furthermore, depending on the humanitarian need in Africa, particularly East Africa, the center is interested in working there to alleviate human suffering.

Dr. Al Rabeeah emphasized that the Kingdom believes in supporting girls' education projects, asserting that the KSrelief supports projects aimed at providing women with professional skills to enable them to support their families and improve their livelihoods.

For his part, Al-Marshad expressed his appreciation for the outstanding partnership with the UK in the development field, which has yielded essential initiatives such as Ethiopia's water and sanitation program project and the clean energy for schools project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

The CEO added that such efforts affirm the commitment of both sides to providing development assistance to countries in need. He looked forward to continuing this partnership to support the development process in developing countries and positively impact the lives of beneficiaries.

The session discussed the progress made within the framework of the British-Saudi partnership in the field of development and humanitarian assistance concerning cooperation agreements and the launch of joint humanitarian development projects.

It also highlighted the promotion of strategic dialogue and boosting cooperation on humanitarian issues and development policies of mutual interest.

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