RIYADH – The Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Ertharin Cousin, concluded a two-day visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, her first to the Gulf region since she assumed her position in April.
During her meeting with HRH Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, who serves as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Cousin expressed her gratitude and appreciation for King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, for the generosity and the long-standing partnership between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and WFP in fighting hunger around the world.
“Our partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has helped save millions of lives worldwide across decades of collaboration,” said Ertharin Cousin. “The Kingdom has been extremely generous to WFP with a historic pledge of US$500 million to feed the millions of people affected by the food crisis that hit the world in 2008.”
WFP honoured King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, in 2009, for his generous support of the agency’s work with its highest award by naming him “Champion in the Battle Against Hunger.”
“We can always count on the generosity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – the Kingdom of Humanity -- when we are struggling with resources to meet the immediate food needs of the hungry poor,” said Cousin.
Cousin also met with HE Fahd Bin Abdulrahman Bin Sulaiman Balghunaim, Minister of Agriculture, and discussed with him shared interests in WFP’s response to emergencies in the region and especially Yemen, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory.
"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia values the partnership that we have with WFP and we will continue to work together collaboratively so no child goes hungry across the globe," said HE Fahd Bin Abdulrahman Bin Sulaiman Balghunaim, Minister of Agriculture.
Cousin briefed senior government officials, including the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs; the Vice Minister of Finance; HRH Prince Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, President and Founder, Arab Gulf Programme for Development; and HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman, Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation on the food security situation in the region and WFP operations worldwide.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributes over 4,000 metric tons of dates to WFP annually, in addition to responding to emergency funding appeals in troubled spots around the world. WFP has received over US$1 billion from the Kingdom to fight hunger since WFP’s establishment in the early 1960s.
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