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| 22 October, 2017

Saudi Arabia top global donor for humanitarian, developmental programs

Image used for illustrative purpose 
Members of a donation committee count money during a donation campaign to support Palestinians in Gaza in Riyadh

Image used for illustrative purpose Members of a donation committee count money during a donation campaign to support Palestinians in Gaza in Riyadh

REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed

Kingdom gives high priority to issues of food security, rural agricultural development and migration by developing and implementing strategic initiatives within the framework of the National Transformation Program

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia, which has extended SR54 billion ($14.4 billion) in humanitarian and developmental assistance to more than 80 countries in a year, ranks as the top donor among nations giving aid and assistance globally.

“This represents a gross national income ratio of 1.9 percent, the highest achieved by any country,” said Abu Baker Mohammed, representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN, on Wednesday.

Mohammed, who was speaking on the occasion of World Food Day, appreciated “the huge efforts, significant grants and humanitarian assistance that the Saudi government provides to the hungry, poor, and refugees worldwide.”

He pointed out that the Kingdom gives high priority to issues of food security, rural agricultural development and migration by developing and implementing strategic initiatives within the framework of the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020.

“The FAO is proud of its fruitful cooperation with the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and the strategic partnership in providing technical and advisory support to implement the initiatives of the ministry,” said Mohammed.

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The FAO celebrates World Food Day each year to commemorate the founding of the organization in 1945. It is celebrated as an opportunity to show global commitment to the Sustainable Development Goal to achieve “Zero Hunger” by 2030.

Mohammed said that global figures show an ever-increasing number of people have been forced to emigrate due to conflicts, hunger, poverty and climate change.

“These factors affect the availability of the needed resources for a decent life … there are about 244 million migrants, while 763 million migrants are within their own countries,” he noted.

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