New UK-Saudi partnership to boost livelihoods in world’s poorest countries

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth greets Mohammed bin Salman during a private audience at Buckingham Palace in London on March 7, 2018. (Reuters)

The UK and Saudi Arabia are building a new long-term partnership to improve livelihoods, boost economic development and create vital infrastructure to support some of the world’s poorest people in drought and conflict-stricken countries.

According to a statement released by UK’s Department for International Development, this includes a commitment to work together in East Africa, which will in turn strengthen global prosperity.

“The partnership – announced during the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia’s visit to the UK – is the first of its kind between the Department for International Development and the Saudi Fund for Development,” said the statement.

“It will see British development experts working closer with Saudi counterparts, including in the Horn and East of Africa where both countries are already helping to lift people out of poverty,” it said.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “Global Britain is rightly recognized as an international leader when it comes to helping the most vulnerable, saving lives and tackling global challenges”.

The Saudi Fund

The Saudi Fund has a long record of investing in successful development projects around the world. We are sharing the best of British expertise, and our collective efforts will help create jobs and livelihoods to support the poorest people to stand on their own two feet.

This, in turn, will help to boost global prosperity which is in all our interests, Mordaunt is quoted to have said in the statement. By building critical infrastructure for some of the world’s poorest whose lives are threatened by drought, disease and conflict, together we can make a bigger difference and ensure that everyday tasks like collecting drinking water are made much easier, it said.

Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R) and Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (L) with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (C) at Clarence House in central London on March 7, 2018. (AFP)

Today both countries signed the Joint Cooperation Memorandum recognizing the collaboration between DFID and KS Relief to strengthen both countries’ humanitarian efforts.During the meeting, the UK noted that it was encouraged by the easing of restrictions into Yemen to ensure vital food and other supplies get through Hodeidah and Saleef ports to those in need.

The UK recognizes Saudi Arabia’s legitimate security concerns and will continue to provide support to prevent illegal arms smuggling into Yemen. The UK statement said that there is no excuse to prevent humanitarian and commercial supplies from reaching those in need.

This builds on the International Development Secretary’s visit to Saudi Arabia in December, where she called on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to restore and maintain full access for humanitarian and commercial imports and find a peaceful solution to stop Yemen falling into famine.

Last Update: Thursday, 8 March 2018 KSA 10:14 - GMT 07:14

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