Philanthropic KSA Never Lets Down Less Fortunate
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Philanthropic KSA never lets down less fortunate

The Kingdom has an age-old tradition of extending a helping hand to the needy and less fortunate.
Victims of poverty, internal strife and natural disasters in any part of the world can be assured of the help in cash and kind from Saudis.
A Saudi cargo plane loaded with 70 tons of food arrived in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Thursday. More aid is to follow within the week, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.
The aid is to help the displaced people in Yemen. “Yemen is facing a new wave of internal displacement as tens of thousands of civilians flee tribal clashes in the north and renewed fighting between government troops and militant groups in the south,” a report of the United Nation’s refugee agency UNHCR said earlier this month.
This aid provided by the Kingdom is the latest in the billions of riyals worth of Saudi humanitarian aid for millions of people suffering from natural calamities, wars, famine and hunger the world over.
Saudi Arabia’s contributions have far exceeded those of any traditional donors such as the members of Organization of Economic Cooperation’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC).
Following a cyclone in Bangladesh in 2007, which killed more than 3,000 and left millions homeless, the Kingdom gave Bangladesh $158 million for humanitarian purposes compared to $20 million from the United States.
Following the Haiti earthquake in 2010, the Kingdom made $50 million available to the Emergency Response Fund, a pooled funding mechanism set up by the United Nations. Saudi Arabia pledged to Pakistan shortly after a flood in 2010 aid worth $220 million – surpassing the pledges of all European donors put together ($209 million.)
The International Civil Defense Organization awarded Saudi Arabia its Gold Medal in recognition of the large-scale participation of the Kingdom in rescue operations during the aftermath of the flood in Pakistan. The Kingdom had set up two 200-bed field hospitals to help the flood victims. Each hospital had an operation room, laboratory, pharmacy, intensive care unit and X-ray room.
In 2008, Saudi Arabia provided $500 million in cash to the World Food Program, the largest contribution in the program’s history.
The Kingdom has also been the leader in assisting countries in the Arab and Muslim world for development apart from humanitarian aid. Between 1975 and 2005, total Saudi aid to developing countries amounted to $90 billion, accounting for 3.7 percent of its annual gross domestic product (GDP), far higher than the UN’s target of 0.7 percent of GDP for development assistance and four times the average achieved by OECD-DAC countries. Saudi Arabia also helps finance many key regional development funds and instruments.
Saudi Arabia is one of the largest providers of aid to the Palestinian people. Between 2002 and 2007, Saudi Arabia has given more than $480 million in monetary support to the Palestinian Authority, and has supported Palestinian refugees by contributing to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
The Saudi government announced a $60 million aid package to the drought and famine-stricken population in Somalia in July 2011.
The Saudi High Commission for Aid to Bosnia, the charity organization founded in 1993 by Defense Minister Prince Salman, had contributed $600 million in aid to Bosnian Muslims impoverished by the civil war in the former Yugoslavia.
The inter-ethnic conflict between Bosnia’s Croats, Muslims and Serbs claimed some 100,000 lives and forced some 2.2 million people, or half its population, to flee their homes

Young Saudis in India to narrow cultural divide

Participants of the Saudi-Indian Youth Forum discuss a wide-range of issues during the trip currently under way in India.
HYDERABAD – The Undersecretary of Foreign Ministry for Economic and Cultural Affairs, Ambassador Dr. Yousef Bin Trad Al-Sadoun, has commended 26-member Saudi delegation representing various academic levels and Kingdom’s regions for their participation in Saudi-Indian Youth Forum currently in progress in India.

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), he said, “The Forum comes within the framework of the initiative of King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, for dialogue between followers of religions, cultures, and civilizations, to spread peace and love among peoples in the world, which is the real message of our Islamic religion that calls for love, mercy and kindness toward all people.”
Al-Sadoun noted that the King’s initiative for dialogue between religions and cultures leads to build a common understanding to achieve rapprochement between cultures with respect for their privacy, and tolerance among different cultures and beliefs to ensure peaceful coexistence among all human beings.
Earlier, Indian Ambassador to the Kingdom Hamid Ali Rao said that the Saudi-Indian Youth Forum, currently underway in India, is aimed at promoting better understanding, fostering enduring friendship and exchanging experiences and information between the youth in the two countries, according to the ambassador.
“This visit is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in coordination with the Indian Foreign Ministry within the framework of the initiative of King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, for dialogue between the followers of cultures, civilizations and religions,” the Saudi Press Agency quoted the Indian ambassador as saying. Ambassador Rao welcomed the visit of the delegation of Saudi youth to his country where he said they will interact with their Indian counterparts
. The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs has initiated the program to promote youth relations between Saudi Arabia and India, he said.
The delegation is part of the Saudi-Indian Youth Forum, whose members will become acquainted with Indian youth who have contributed towards the development and progress of their country. “The theme of the visit – Computer and Information Technology and its usage in Economic and Social Welfare Areas – is relevant to the present times,” the Indian ambassador said. He added that the Saudi delegation will visit three premier Indian cities, namely Hyderabad, Bengaluru (formerly known as Bangalore) and New Delhi where its members will tour IT and communication facilities, academic and technological institutions, research centers and places of cultural and historical importance.
The ambassador said that he wished the Saudi delegation a grand success and the most memorable visit to India. — SG/SPA __

25-year strategic plan aims to improve pilgrims’ service

Haj Minister Bandar Al-Hajjar said ongoing efforts to work out a 25-year strategic plan for Haj and Umrah operations reflect the top priority given by the Saudi government to extend the best possible services to the millions of pilgrims who come to the Kingdom every year to perform the various pilgrimages.
“A committee has already been constituted to prepare the strategic plan following a recommendation by the Shoura Council. The ministry recently convened the first meeting of the committee that discussed various aspects of the strategy,” he said.
Al-Hajjar, who is also chairman of the committee, made the remarks in an article that appeared in the new edition of the Haj & Umrah monthly magazine published by the ministry.
Representatives of the ministries of interior, transport, health, and municipal and rural affairs, as well as officials from the Authority for Makkah and Holy Sites Development, Authority for the Development of Madinah, and the Haj and Umrah Research Institute at Umm Al-Qura University are members of the committee.
According to Al-Hajjar, the strategic plan involves the integrated and coordinated work of all departments and agencies concerned with the Haj operation.
“The plan would contain specific visions and programs to extend the best possible services for the anticipated number of Haj and Umrah pilgrims who come to the Kingdom from all over the world within the next 25 years. It would cover all aspects regarding Haj and Umrah operations during the stipulated period,” he said.
The minister stressed the need for exerting great efforts to realize the aspirations of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to further improve the services extended to Haj and Umrah pilgrims as well as visitors to the holy cities to enable them to perform the rituals in ease and comfort.
Al-Hajjar lauded King Abdullah and other Saudi leaders for implementing a number of mega projects in Makkah, Madinah and the holy sites
Makkah Governor launches the final round of the Second Makkah Youth Forum.

Sultan Al-Dousary, director general of studies and public relations at the Makkah governorate, said a total of 800 talented students were qualified to take part in the month-long final round of the competition, which will be held in Jeddah region. As many as 300,000 intermediate and secondary school students from 11 regions of Makkah Province had participated in the preliminary round of local-level competitions. The governorate is organizing the youth forum for the second year in a row to develop the skills of Saudi youths and boost their cultural and sporting capabilities.
Al-Dousary said Prince Khaled Al-Faisal would honor sponsors and organizers of the forum during the launching ceremony on Tuesday. In the final round, there would be 20 competitions in the fields of culture, education, science, tourism, recreation and sports, he said. These included Qur’an recitation, poetry, innovation, photography, plastic arts, wall painting, football, basketball and table tennis. The competitions will be held under the supervision of panels comprising of specialists and professionals in each field.
Venues of competitions are Jeddah sports stadium, King Abdulaziz University, King Fahd Coastal City, Youth Welfare Presidency Hall, Markaz Abraq Al-Rugama, and a tent on Jeddah’s Corniche.
Al-Dosary said the forum’s main objective is to discover the talent and encourage youth to fill their free time with constructive activities. It would also help the youth from various regions of the province to meet in person and exchange their ideas. “The forum aims to realize great hopes and aspirations of the younger generation by offering them opportunities to develop their talent and capabilities in cultural, educational and sports fields. It also draws a new road map for promoting activities of youth organizations and institutions in the province,” he said.
While lauding the pioneering initiative taken by Prince Khaled Al-Faisal in this respect, Al-Dosary said that the governor was keen to spread the message of the forum through launching a page on Facebook and Twitter. “So far, more than 250,000 youths have visited the sites and shared their views and opinions. The governorate has benefited tremendously from their suggestions and opinions,” he said, adding that the governorate has plans to conduct study tours for the contestants taking part in the final round of competitions to historic regions and tourist spots in Jeddah. This would be done in coordination with the Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities (SCTA).
The governorate started preparations for the second Makkah Youth Forum well before starting the preliminary round of competitions. The governorate and other agencies involved in the event organized workshops to come up with innovative and varied programs, activities and competitions for the gathering. Abdul Aziz Al-Khodairy, undersecretary at the governorate and chairman of the executive committee, held a series of meetings with the participating government departments to ensure the success of the youth meet.
The governorate organized the first Makkah Youth Forum in April 2011, which was well attended and received tremendous support from various departments and agencies in both the government and private sectors.
Speaking on the occasion of the event, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal noted that the forum is focused on nurturing the youth’s abilities and investing in their energies and talents in several fields to become future leaders. “The forum’s objective is to engage with the youth of Makkah Province for their benefit. It will tap into youths’ energy and guide their abilities, building a strong foundation of future leaders and instill in them Saudi values and tradition,” he added.

Graduation of 4,500 Saudi Students In London

prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom, patronized here on Tuesday a graduation ceremony of the second batch of male and female students of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program for Foreign Scholarships in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
In an address at the ceremony, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf said, ‘My happiness, delight and pride today are not less than my feelings during the graduation of the first batch; as I see the number of graduates in this new batch hiked nearly eight times compared to the number of the first batch, and now this number exceeds 4,500 male and female graduates who have obtained university degrees in various disciplines.’
‘The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Program for Foreign Scholarships represents a distinguished initiative that embodies deep insight and vision of our wise leadership that considers progress of the homeland and its citizens can only be achieved through education on the basis of a delicate balance between our cultural, intellectual, and moral fundamentals, and the leaps of modern scientific, economic and social progress, and at same time, openness to the world’s cultures and civilizations’.
On his part, Cultural Attach�© at the Saudi Embassy in the United Kingdom, Dr. Ghazi bin Abdul-Wahid Al-Makki delivered a speech on behalf of the Minister of Higher Education Dr. Khalid Al-Anqari, in which he said that there is now more than 100,000 Saudi male and female students on scholarships all over the world, which confirms that Saudi wise leadership has been able to meet basic requirements of progress and prosperity in consistence with its (the country’s) urgent needs.

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