Saudi Arabia backs UN’s coronavirus response plan with $100mln

Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries “to extend a hand of aid and coordination”

  
Saudi employees wear a protective maskes as they sort out boxes at the warehouse of Naqel Company Express, after the announcement of the easing of lockdown measures amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia June 9, 2020.

Saudi employees wear a protective maskes as they sort out boxes at the warehouse of Naqel Company Express, after the announcement of the easing of lockdown measures amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia June 9, 2020.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia said Friday it was donating $100 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) and toward a number of projects in support of a United Nations response plan to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement was made by the Kingdom’s permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, during a virtual event with UN Secretary-General Ant?nio Guterres, Saudi Press Agency reported.

“The International Response Plan to coronavirus pandemic, the WHO and other UN agencies will benefit from this Saudi donation,” Al-Mouallimi tweeted following the meeting.

Earlier, Al-Mouallimi said that “this support comes within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s international efforts in support of the response to combating the coronavirus, and awareness of the importance of cooperation, solidarity and collective and international action to foster a transparent, robust, coordinated and wide-ranging global response.”

He said the Kingdom was carrying out “the role it has been entrusted with toward multilateralism, collective and international action in order to confront the COVID-19 pandemic,” adding that Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries “to extend a hand of aid and coordination” with countries affected by the spread of the virus.

Al-Mouallimi said that the Kingdom is working to enable the UN to lead international action to intensify global efforts to combat coronavirus, and to enhance support for developing countries and the most vulnerable regions in fighting this pandemic.

In particular, he mentioned assisting refugees, raising the standards of living among the world’s poorest groups, developing fragile economies, mediating an end to conflicts, and building more harmonious relationships between nations.

Guterres thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the Kingdom’s generous and continuous support to the organization, saying that Saudi Arabia worked in partnership with the UN to support security, stability and prosperity in all parts of the world, especially in Yemen.

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