WFP welcomes funding from KSrelief to combat malnutrition in Sudan and South Sudan

The agreements were formalized during a pledging conference for the Sudan crisis in Paris. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 16 April 2024
Follow

WFP welcomes funding from KSrelief to combat malnutrition in Sudan and South Sudan

  • The funding will benefit over 35,000 children and pregnant or breastfeeding mothers affected by conflict, economic instability, and climate-related disasters

RIYADH: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has signed two agreements worth a total of US$1.4 million with Saudi Arabia.

These agreements aim to provide treatment and prevention measures for malnutrition in Sudan and South Sudan.

The funding will benefit over 35,000 children and pregnant or breastfeeding mothers affected by conflict, economic instability, and climate-related disasters. Specifically, it will aid nearly 29,000 individuals in Sudan and close to 6,000 individuals in South Sudan.

Michael Dunford, WFP's Regional Director for the East Africa region, emphasized the importance of this funding, especially given the dire situation unfolding in Sudan, which is on the brink of becoming one of the world's largest hunger crises. He stressed the urgency of addressing malnutrition to prevent needless deaths and mitigate the long-term consequences of childhood malnutrition.

The agreements were formalized during a pledging conference for the Sudan crisis in Paris, where WFP's Executive Director, Cindy McCain, and Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Royal Court Advisor and Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief), signed the documents.

Dr. Abdullah Al Moallem, Director of KSRelief's Health and Environmental Aid Department, reaffirmed their commitment to supporting vulnerable populations in Sudan and South Sudan. He highlighted the importance of these projects in providing emergency nutritional aid to children and pregnant or lactating women, which will ultimately contribute to combating famine and malnutrition in both countries.

In Sudan, nearly 4.9 million children under five and pregnant or breastfeeding women face acute malnutrition—a 22% increase from the previous year. South Sudan is also grappling with high malnutrition rates, with approximately 1.6 million children and 870,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women expected to be malnourished this year.


Saudi Arabia launches 1,000 Qur’an memorization sessions for Hajj season

Updated 15 min 24 sec ago
Follow

Saudi Arabia launches 1,000 Qur’an memorization sessions for Hajj season

  • Qualified Saudi teachers will lead these efforts to enrich the experience of pilgrims

RIYADH: Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency of Religious Affairs at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, has approved the launch of 1,000 sessions dedicated to Hajj pilgrims memorizing the Qur’an, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

This initiative aligns with the presidency’s plans for this year’s Hajj season to disseminate the morals of the Qur’an and its moderate message globally. Qualified Saudi teachers, who have memorized the holy book, will lead these efforts to enrich the experience of pilgrims.

Al-Sudais said that this initiative reflected the Kingdom’s leadership’s commitment to teaching, memorizing, interpreting and enhancing understanding of the Qur’an. He said that the sessions in the Two Holy Mosques were designed to provide educational and pedagogical content, as well as methodological approaches to spreading the Qur’an’s message and guidance.

The Presidency of Religious Affairs also aims to broaden the scope of education within these Qur’anic sessions, incorporating recitations and holidays related to the Prophet Muhammad.
 


Saudi Arabia leads offers to help Iran after crash of helicopter carrying President Raisi

Video footage shows Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi (L) with an unidentified memeber of his delegation on board a helicopter.
Updated 4 sec ago
Follow

Saudi Arabia leads offers to help Iran after crash of helicopter carrying President Raisi

  • The Foreign Ministry said the Kingdom was following reports about the crash with “great concern” 
  • Qatar said it is ready to provide “all forms of support” for Iran’s search efforts after the helicopter crash

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia expressed its support for Iran and said it was ready to provide any assistance required after a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi crashed on Sunday.

The Foreign Ministry said the Kingdom was following reports about the crash with “great concern.” 

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government said in a statement it had instructed its interior ministry, the Red Crescent and other relevant bodies to offer help to neighboring Iran in the search mission.

Iranian search and rescue teams were scouring a fog-shrouded mountainside after the helicopter carrying the president and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian went missing in an “accident” on Sunday, state media said.

Fears grew for Raisi after contact was lost with the helicopter carrying him in East Azerbaijan province, reports said.

Raisi was visiting the province where he inaugurated a dam project together with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, on the border between the two countries.

“Today, after bidding a friendly farewell to the (visiting) President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, we were profoundly troubled by the news of a helicopter carrying the top delegation crash-landing in Iran,” Aliyev said.

“Our prayers to Allah Almighty are with President Ebrahim Raisi and the accompanying delegation. As a neighbor, friend, and brotherly country, the Republic of Azerbaijan stands ready to offer any assistance needed,” he added.

Qatar said it is ready to provide “all forms of support” for Iran’s search efforts after the helicopter crash.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said it was following developments in Sunday’s Iran helicopter accident with sadness and hoping for the president’s wellbeing, adding that action had been taken to provide all kinds of support to search and rescue activities.

The European Union said it had activated its “rapid response mapping service” to help Iran search for the helicopter.


Hajj media center launched for local, international journalists at Jeddah airport

Updated 19 May 2024
Follow

Hajj media center launched for local, international journalists at Jeddah airport

  • 24/7 operated center offers journalists shared workspaces and real-time updates during the Hajj season

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Transport and Logistic Services launched the media center for the 2024 Hajj season on Sunday at the Hajj and Umrah terminals at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.

The center aims to support and assist more than 1,300 journalists from 16 countries during the arrival and departure of pilgrims via the airport throughout the Hajj season.

Operating 24/7, the center offers journalists shared workspaces and real-time updates, enhancing media efficiency during the Hajj season. This is complemented by the Makkah Route Initiative led by the Ministry of Interior in a dedicated pavilion, alongside the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and the General Authority of Media Regulation.

It also caters to local and international media outlets, including news agencies, television channels, journalists, correspondents and photographers.

Saleh Al-Zuaid, official spokesman for the Ministry of Transport, told Arab News: “The importance of the center lies in providing a place for journalists, offering multiple studios, shared workspaces, showcasing comprehensive digital transportation technologies and delivering media messages in five languages: Arabic, English, French, Urdu and Persian.”

Al-Zuaid discussed the technological advancements that will revolutionize transportation and logistics systems for pilgrims. Last year, 19 technologies were introduced to enhance the pilgrim experience, with plans to implement 32 more this year.

Notable innovations include road-cooling technology, virtual glasses for bus inspections and automatic monitoring technology, which significantly reduce bus inspection time. The implementation of these technologies aims to improve efficiency, safety and comfort for pilgrims during their journey.

Al-Zuaid said: “There are technologies we will announce for feasibility study for implementation in the coming years, some of which were launched last year and achieved high success, and will be implemented this year as well, such as the automatic monitoring technology, which reduced the bus inspection time from 60 seconds to 6 seconds, as well as the road-cooling technology implemented last year which contributed to reducing street temperatures by 12 degrees Celsius.”

Other important technologies include the luggage-free Hajj initiative, which facilitates the departure of pilgrims, to be implemented this year at King Abdulaziz International Airport and Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah.

The Ministry of Transport is exploring innovative initiatives to further enhance the pilgrimage experience, such as the rubberized sidewalk initiative, the taxi app for convenient transportation, and the use of self-driving vehicles for order delivery among the new projects set to be introduced.

These initiatives focus on improving pilgrims’ overall well-being, reducing logistical challenges and enhancing accessibility to essential services.
 


Deal signed to advance Saudi cultural preservation, scientific research

Updated 19 May 2024
Follow

Deal signed to advance Saudi cultural preservation, scientific research

  • MoUs aim to preserve endowment libraries and valuable manuscripts

RIYADH: The King Fahd National Library and King Abdulaziz Complex for Endowment Libraries signed a deal covering scientific programs, studies, research and cultural exchange on Sunday.

Prince Khalid bin Talal bin Badr Al-Saud, secretary-general of the library, and Fahd Al-Wahbi, secretary-general of the complex, signed the three-year memorandum of understanding covering the cooperation.

The deal aims to foster ties between the library and complex by supporting scientific research to preserve endowment libraries and valuable manuscripts, developing professional skills and enhancing the role of both parties in realizing the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The two parties, which have a mutual interest in preserving culture through technology, will enhance the safeguarding of heritage, including manuscripts.
 


Saudi students secure 114 awards at global science, tech contests

Updated 19 May 2024
Follow

Saudi students secure 114 awards at global science, tech contests

  • Minister praises students’ excellence, reaffirms Kingdom’s commitment to education and innovation

RIYADH: Saudi Education Minister Yousef Al-Benyan extended congratulations to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman following the achievements of Saudi students at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair 2024 and International Inventions, Innovations, Technology Competition and Exhibition 2024.

In a significant national triumph, male and female students from the Kingdom excelled in the ISEF 2024 and ITEX 2024, winning a total of 114 medals. The ISEF 2024 event was held May 10-17 in Los Angeles, US, while ITEX 2024 was held May 16-17 in Malaysia.

The outstanding performance of the students reflects the attention given to education under the Saudi leadership in pursuit of global excellence, the minister said.

“This achievement reflects the efforts made to reach global championship platforms and represent the Kingdom in the best manner possible. It also demonstrates to the world the level we plan and aspire to achieve, with national efforts and distinguished partners,” Al-Benyan said.

The minister also extended his thanks and congratulations to the students and their families, teachers, and education partners who contributed to motivating them and enhancing their capabilities.

These include the King Abdulaziz and his Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity, Tuwaiq Academy, and Misk Schools, the minister said.

At ISEF 2024, Saudi students won 27 awards, including nine individual and 18 grand awards. Notable winners include Hamad Al-Husseini and Abeer Al-Yousef, who secured second-place awards in the energy and chemistry categories, respectively. Elias Khan, Sulaiman Al-Misnad, Latifa Al-Ghannam, Turki Al-Dalami, Tahani Ahmed, and Laila Zawawi won six third-place awards across various categories.

The team also won 10 fourth-place awards, with students such as Nasser Al-Suwayyan, Lana Al-Mazrouei, Yara Al-Qadi, Yara Al-Bakri, Shahad Al-Mutlaq, Asma Al-Qaseer, Areej Al-Qarni, Lana Al-Fheed, Layan Al-Maliki, and Tamara Radi excelling in fields ranging from biomedical engineering to plant sciences.

In addition, the Kingdom’s students garnered 87 gold and silver medals and major individual prizes across 48 projects at ITEX 2024 in Malaysia. Among the major prize winners were Lamia Al-Otaibi, Mohammed Abu Ghandar, and Al-Sadeem Al-Odaibi.

Gold medals were awarded to several students from various institutions, including Lamia Al-Otaibi, Sadeem Al-Odaibi, Mohammed Abu Ghandar, and others from the Eastern Province, Makkah, Riyadh, Qassim, Madinah, Jazan, and the Royal Commission in Jubail. Additional gold medalists included students from Tuwaiq Academy and Misk Schools.

Silver medals at ITEX 2024 were awarded to students from the Riyadh, Makkah, and Eastern Province education departments, as well as the Royal Commission in Jubail and the Tuwaiq Academy. Maryam Al-Muhaish, Lamia Al-Otaibi, Ghad Al-Sheikh, Manal Al-Askari, Sadeem bin Tuwaim, and several others from the Tuwaiq Academy won individual awards.