RIYADH: Experts from 80 countries will attend a major Saudi conference next month aimed at tackling some of the world’s biggest humanitarian challenges.
Almost 1,300 delegates are expected at the Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum, being held from March 1 to 2, to discuss action plans and improve knowledge exchange.
The event, being hosted under the patronage of King Salman and which will be attended by Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar, will bring together specialists and senior decision-makers from the international humanitarian community.
Aqeel Al-Ghamdi, assistant supervisor general director for planning and development at the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) and chairman of the forum’s supervisory committee, said the gathering would introduce practical and effective measures that considered the changing needs on the ground.
Forum participants will include representatives of 228 external and 156 internal bodies, 21 international and 46 governmental organizations, as well as officials and heads of international humanitarian agencies, civil society institutions, NGOs, the private sector, 11 universities and specialized research groups. There will also be 61 speakers.
In its bid to improve levels of service to victims of armed conflicts and natural disasters, the conference will tackle humanitarian issues and global trends through five main panel discussions, two media sessions and one volunteers meeting.
The panels will focus on humanitarian and development work, poverty and long-term migration challenges, displaced women and children, bridging the gap between theory and practice, and health emergencies.
On the sidelines of the forum, an exhibition will be held for humanitarian NGOs, international and UN organizations to showcase their work.
Another exhibition for humanitarian art will highlight the concept of humanitarianism in all aspects of society through paintings, sculptures, photography and digital art.
The forum’s recommendations will be presented in a comprehensive report, to be coordinated by specialists in Saudi Arabia and the UN, which will provide participants with the principles to be adopted and used in the field.
Saudi Arabia has been ranked a global fifth, and first in the Arab world, for its provision of humanitarian aid.
According to figures published by the UN Financial Tracking Service platform, the Kingdom contributed $1,281,625,265 (SR4,808,021,026 or 5.5 percent) toward the total amount of international spending on relief programs.
In Yemen, the Kingdom’s 2019 share of international humanitarian aid funding for the war-torn country amounted to $216 billion (31.3 percent).