RIYADH — Eng. Ahmad Bin Suleiman Al-Rajihi, minister of Human Resources and Social Development and chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority for Awqaf, inaugurated on Wednesday the Community Fund to activate the contribution of endowments and the non-profit sector in mitigating the impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the Kingdom.
This came on the initiative of the Ministry and the General Authority for Awqaf, with the participation of the Health Endowment Fund, the Civil Institutions Council, the Cooperative Societies Council, and a number of endowments, donors and companies, a source at the Human Resources and Social Development Ministry said.
This Fund emanates from the social responsibility of the non-profit sector in confronting this global crisis, in addition to enhancing national crisis and disaster participation to support the government's efforts to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Fund aims to mobilize societal efforts, direct them towards societal needs and priorities at this critical stage and to finance a set of community-based initiatives and projects to support the segments of society most in need and those most affected by this pandemic, including poor people, people with disabilities, widows, divorced women, prisoners' families, elderly people, workers in the minor professions, affected workers, needy students, those in need who are coming to the Kingdom for Umrah or to visit, and others.
The Fund covers various fields, including relief, social, educational, health awareness, technical, service, housing, mosques, the Two Holy Places and others.
The capital of the Fund is SR500 million, including SR100 million from the General Authority for Awqaf; SR50 million from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, and SR50 million from the endowment and civil institutions and some companies.
The donor institutions, businesspersons and individuals will be invited to participate and achieve the target of the Fund’s capital, and to enhance community participation by the people of this generous country.
The civil associations will play a pivotal role in implementing this initiative, which will cover all regions in the Kingdom, with more focus on the areas which are most in need, and according to a clear plan and a specific timetable. This will have an impact in mitigating the effects of coronavirus in these areas.
Eng. Al-Rajihi affirmed that the non-profit sector is one of the sectors that support the development process in the Kingdom in various fields. The non-profit sector has unlimited support from the wise leadership, making a significant impact on the growth of the sector and its institutions, and activating its social role.
He also expressed his thanks to all parties that contributed to launching this initiative and providing material support to it.
Majid Bin Abdul Rahim Bin Salem Al-Ghanmi, deputy minister of Labor and Social Development, stated that the Ministry will support the efforts of civil associations in launching a package of specialized initiatives that target specific segments and will back and enable these associations to play their role in this crisis and mitigate the effect it has on the segments being targeted.
Also, he valued the General Authority for Awqaf's support and participation in the Fund’s capital with an amount of SR100 million, clarifying that this will have an impact in strengthening the role of the non-profit sector in this crisis.
Imad Bin Saleh Al-Kharashi, governor of the General Authority for Awqaf, confirmed that the Awqaf and the non-profit sector represent a giving hand for this blessed homeland.
All citizens and residents living on the land of this country are responsible for that. In addition, he stressed that the current times that the world is going through are exceptional and require community participation and adaptation from different groups and sectors to collectively stand in the face of this pandemic that has spread throughout the world.
The contribution of the General Authority for Awqaf, in establishing this Fund, is born out of its great sense of responsibility towards society and its associations and the beneficiaries of its services, and it seeks to activate the conditions of its endowers in support of the efforts made to mitigate the impact of this pandemic.
Al-Kharashi explained that the focus will be on the most affected and needy segments to maintain social cohesion, which guarantees a decent life for every individual and resident in this blessed country, noting the vital role of donors and companies that have contributed to the Fund and its capital.
This initiative is launched to support the developmental and social roles played by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development and the General Authority for Awqaf to serve the target groups, by offering support to civil associations that provide services to beneficiaries according to their areas of competence, which include more than 2,500 societies registered with the Ministry, and which cover various regions of the Kingdom.
This will achieve a wide spread and coverage of the fields and categories targeted by the Fund.