Saudi Arabia to set aside $800m in loans to back projects in world's poorest countries

Announcement was made during fifth UN Conference held in Doha

Saudi minister Faisal Al Ibrahim, fifth from right, front row, said the kingdom will work with international partners for the benefit of humanity. SPA
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Saudi Arabia will set aside $800 million in loans to finance projects in the world's poorest countries.

The announcement was made by Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal Al Ibrahim at the fifth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries on Wednesday.

The conference, which began on Sunday, is scheduled to end on Thursday in Doha.

“Despite the developmental and social progress made over the past 50 years, the fundamental challenges facing the least developed countries have become more complex and urgent, especially in light of their increasing vulnerability after the Covid-19 pandemic,” Mr Al Ibrahim was quoted by SPA as saying.

“Through Saudi Vision 2030, the kingdom has projects and initiatives that contribute to achieving economic prosperity, social well-being and environmental protection for all, in line with the Sustainable Development Agenda.”

He said the kingdom would spare no effort to work with international partners for the benefit of humanity.

Mr Al Ibrahim said that he was looking forward to action in fulfilling the Doha Work Programme.

The programme was agreed on this week to build resilience to future shocks, eradicate extreme poverty, strengthen labour markets and improve prospects in the world’s poorest countries over the next eight years.

A delegation from the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) took part in discussions at the conference.

The delegation was led by KSrelief assistant supervisor general for planning and development Dr Aqeel Al Ghamdi, who participated in a round-table discussion with the theme “investing in people in least developed countries to leave no one behind”.

Saudi Arabia's Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal Al Ibrahim speaks at the UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries, in Doha. SPA

KSrelief organised an event on global partnerships in foreign aid on the sidelines of the conference, with the Saudi Fund for Development and the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Programme for Yemen taking part.

It also participated in a round-table session whose theme was “sustainable recovery from the pandemic and building the resilience of least developed countries against future shocks”.

Dr Al Ghamdi presented a briefing on the relief and humanitarian aid provided by Saudi Arabia to Yemen, its response to Covid-19 and support for international efforts to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic.

He also highlighted the kingdom's provision of aid to countries with vulnerable health systems.

Updated: March 09, 2023, 7:26 AM