King Salman inaugurates Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum

Arif Qureshi/Riyadh

Riyadh: There was consensus among the participants of 80 United Nations, international, regional and national organizations at the 1st Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum that humanitarian work is a global responsibility and all we need a global togetherness to save the humanity specially in the conflicts zones. Humanitarian aid requires combine efforts of donors and implementers as we face challenges that require reconsidering the current policies and procedures being implemented in the humanitarian field. Bringing together professionals and key decision-makers from across the international humanitarian community, the two-day forum was attended by high level global representatives from the United Nations, international and national NGOs, Human rights activists and Journalists from across the globe.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud inaugurated the first Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum organized by the King Salman Humanitarian and Relief Centre (KSrelief). Upon his arrival at the venue, the King was received by Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh, Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Governor of Riyadh, Advisor-Royal Court and Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and a number of officials.

In his opening remarks Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Advisor – Royal Court and Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, said we founded the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre On 13 May 2015, and within a short period of time, we built strong partnerships with 120 United Nations agencies and have been able to help human suffering communities in 40 countries across 4 continents, through 341 humanitarian aid and relief projects. KSrelief reflects the humanitarian dimension of this generous country and its leadership, providing aid without ulterior motives in partnership with United Nations agencies and other international and national NGOs. These partnerships are integral to promoting the value of humanitarian work and stressing the Kingdom’s leading role in this regard, in alignment with the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision.

Dr. Al Rabeeah “We should work together to create new initiatives, in cooperation with donors to shift beneficiary communities to be productive. In order to increase the effect and impact of humanitarian aid, and to utilize technology in logistics.” The number of beneficiary countries who received assistance from the Kingdom is around one hundred countries, and has increased its foreign aid to be 0.7% of its GNI exceeding the internationally agreed target, Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah added.

Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always extended a helping hand across the world, Historically, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has taken on a pioneering humanitarian role in serving the international community around the world. The Kingdom realizes the significance of its role in alleviating human suffering and ensuring that all people are given the opportunity to live healthy, dignified lives”.

United Nations Secretary General Mr. Antonio Guterres through a recorded message thanked the Kingdom for organizing Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum. He said, “As needs increase more than ever, we must do more to assist afflicted people and ensure the protection of civilians. The crises in Syria, Iraq, Libya and occupied Palestinian territories have caused a great deal of suffering. Humanitarian workers face many obstacles to reach the needy, including threats to their lives.”

Mr Sultan Al shamsi, assistant Minister of Foreign affairs and International cooperation for international development affairs of UAE shared the role of women participating in different parts of life in UAE, he said as UAE has been on the forefront of having women in the Humanitarian system, we expect same form our brothers in Saudi Arabia that women here will also play a leading role to relief, development and humanitarian aid activities.

Minister of State for international development foreign office and MP for NE Bedfordshire Mr Alistair Burt said that the UK welcomes this initiative by Saudi Arabia, permitting global leaders to discuss a range of humanitarian demands. Mr Pierre Krähenbühl Commissioner-General the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said that the Palestinians under occupation are not only victims facing hopelessness from undelivered promises but at the same time International community failed to assist them.

President of the Turkish Red Crescent Dr. Kerem Kınık aslo shared his views on the Humanitarian working, financing and areas of operations in the 1st Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum. The forum brings together professionals and key decision-makers in the humanitarian community, including representatives from over 150 nations, heads of state and hundreds of civil society as well as non-governmental organizations.

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