G20 pledges to unite against coronavirus pandemic after Saudi Arabia leads extraordinary summit

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Updated 26 March 2020

G20 pledges to unite against coronavirus pandemic after Saudi Arabia leads extraordinary summit

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia's King Salman is leading  a extraordinary meeting of the Group of 20 leaders (G20) where all delegates are putting social distancing to the extreme in a virtual conference, with all delegates dialling in from around the world. 

The meeting will discuss steps how on to combat the coronavirus pandemic that has forced three billion people into lockdown and claimed more than 21,000 lives and crippled global economies.

(All times are GMT)

16:00 -  Britain pledged on Thursday to contribute 210 million pounds ($253 million) to the international coalition to find a vaccine against coronavirus following a virtual summit of G20 leaders.

"My call to every G20 country and to governments around the world is to step up and help us defeat this virus," Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement. 

15:30 – The World Bank president, David Malpass said after the G20 summit eneded that his board is finalizing a package of coronavirus relief valued at up to $160 billion over the next 15 months.

"The goals are to shorten the time to recovery; create conditions for growth; support small and medium enterprises; and help protect the poor and vulnerable," Malpass said,

15:20 –  Earlier, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged G20 countries to remove trade barriers in an effort to spur a global recovery after the economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Xi urged G20 members to cut tariffs, remove barriers and facilitate the unfettered flow of trade" during his remarks at the emergency online summit, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

15:15 – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged in an open letter that the G20 act quickly to prevent irrecoverable damage to the airline industry that has been shaken by the coronavirus crisis.

"The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic around the globe and the resulting government-mandated border closings and travel restrictions have led to the destruction of air travel demand," IATA Chief Executive Alexandre de Juniac wrote in the letter.

15:10  – South African President Ramaphosa calls on richer countries to support the continent's economies via stimulus packages to mitigate the devastation caused by the coronavirus.

15:00 – Russian President Vladimir Putin says G20 countries need a common plan to support their economies and suggest creating a special fund under IMF control to fight coronavirus.

14:50 – The full text of the final statement can be read here:

14:35 –G20 leaders have released a final statement after their virtual summit in which they said: 

* G20 nations to inject $5 trillion into global economy

* G20 will do whatever it takes to overcome coronavirus pandemic

* G20 is committed to presenting a united front against coronavirus

* G20 leaders are committed to restoring confidence, preserving financial stability, reviving growth and recovering stronger

* G20 leaders  are committed to protect lives, safeguard jobs and income

14:00 - World leaders connected via video in a show of unity for the meeting chaired by King Salman on Thursday, some of which can be seen below. READ KING SALMAN'S ADDRESS IN FULL HERE.

13:40 – Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the G20 extraordinary summit sent a message of solidarity to the world from Riyadh that we must work together to prevail over the coronavirus pandemic.

12:25 – King Salman told delegates in his opening speech that they all needed to take firm measures against the coronavirus crisis.

He offered his “sincere condolences” to those countries where people have died, and wished a speedy recovery to those who had the infection.

He added that the world was looking on the leaders of the Group of 20 nations to help combat coronavirus, which is crippling the world’s economy.

He said that the World Health Organisation had Saudi Arabia’s full support in its fight against coronavirus and will aid cooperation in developing a vaccine

09:00 - A message is shared online from King Salman calling for the leaders to unite in the fight against coronavirus.


Al-Jouf governor reviews region’s goods and prices monitoring efforts

Updated 28 March 2020

Al-Jouf governor reviews region’s goods and prices monitoring efforts

SAKAKA: Al-Jouf Gov. Prince Faisal bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz reviewed the efforts exerted by the region’s Ministry of Commerce branch, in its visits and field examination tours of the region’s cities and provinces, and in the way it is dealing with reports submitted by residents.

Prince Faisal was briefed about the situation during a meeting he held through video conferencing call with the director general of the region’s Ministry of Commerce branch, Sami Al-Ruwaili, with the participation of the region’s undersecretary, Hussain Al-Sultan.

“Under the supervision of Prince Faisal, the branch doubled its efforts in the past month as it conducted 1,100 tours, received 470 reports and issued 160 tickets, while some of the tours took place in coordination with the municipality and the region’s Health Ministry branch,” Al-Ruwaili said.

“The prices of around 140 commodities in all of the region’s commercial and food stores are electronically checked on a daily basis in the morning and at night. We are also monitoring the stocks and availability of food in the region and contacting the merchants to facilitate food provision,” he added.

“The Kingdom has the largest food stock in the Middle East. This fact was confirmed by the Ministry of Commerce through the provision of products, goods and the great capacity of the Kingdom’s largest factories. Such measures were made possible thanks to the support of the government of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Prince Faisal noted, commending the citizens for their awareness and cooperation with the relevant authorities.