KSrelief, UNDP call for joint action to address humanitarian, development crises

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s aid agency KSrelief and the UN Development Programme recently organized a high-level roundtable discussion titled “The Humanitarian, Development, and Peace Nexus: From Theory to Practice with the Compass Towards 2030” on the sidelines of the 78th UN General Assembly in New York City.

Participating in the discussion, which was moderated by Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Arab States Abdallah Al-Dardari, were KSrelief’s Supervisor-General Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, and International Committee of the Red Cross President Mirjana Spoljaric Egger.

Al-Rabeeah said that KSrelief was committed to providing humanitarian assistance to help alleviate suffering across the world, and ensure recovery and development that can lead to sustainable peace.

He added that if all these elements can be brought together, “we can hope to save lives at the onset of a crisis and also improve the lives of generations to come.”

KSrelief, he added, would keep expanding its partnership with the UNDP through projects in Yemen and Somalia.

Steiner said that the collective results of humanitarian, development and peace-building support in countries with protracted crises are essential to keep them on the right track to achieve the promise of prosperity for the world, as envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

At the close of the roundtable discussion, KSrelief and the UNDP called for an integrated approach that links humanitarian, development and peace-building actors to face increasing humanitarian emergencies and development crises.

Earlier, the KSrelief chief participated in a high-level meeting on bridging the humanitarian funding gap with Martin Griffiths, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator.

The session was organized by Saudi Arabia, Sweden and the EU, in the presence of representatives from several countries and humanitarian organizations, on the sidelines of the UN assembly.

Al-Rabeeah said that humanitarian efforts must be combined to expand the scope of donor countries, bodies and individuals, and raise the level of coordination and impact of humanitarian aid.

He noted that Saudi Arabia holds annually the “Gift of Dates” campaign in partnership with the World Food Programme costing over $136 million, which benefits 72 countries around the world.

Al-Rabeeah said KSrelief has supported the global response to the COVID-19 crisis by providing vaccines, medical devices, medicines and care units.

Al-Rabeeah also attended a session on the Rohingya crisis with Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikha Hasina Wajid.

He stressed that Saudi Arabia has been a firm supporter of the international community’s stand vis-a-vis the Rohingya, to ensure they live in peace and dignity. He said that the Kingdom has hosted 260,000 Rohingya refugees, providing healthcare, employment and education at a cost of $2.25 billion.

He added that Saudi Arabia has also been supporting Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and other countries over the past few years through 43 projects costing $186 million, for emergency relief, education, shelter and health.

In addition, he said KSrelief carried out 25 other projects costing more than $26 million.

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