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UN aid chief lauds Saudi Arabia's humanitarian role

Stephen O’Brien recognized Saudi Arabia’s global contribution to humanitarian aid during a visit to Riyadh

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Stephen O’Brien, undersecretary of the UN Secretary General for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, stressed that the establishment of King Salman Humanitarian and Aid Center in 2015 has been a continuation of the Kingdom’s philanthropy to the international community and its efforts to support people in need.

He pointed out that his meeting with Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, advisor at the Royal Court and General Supervisor of King Salman Humanitarian and Aid Center, dealt with ways of enhancing cooperation and coordination between the two sides.

During a press conference held here at the UN headquarters at the diplomatic district in Riyadh, O’Brien thanked King Salman and the Saudi government and people for the warm hospitality during his second visit to Saudi Arabia, hailing the Kingdom’s support to the people in need.

“I have had the pleasure to meet key officials of the Kingdom and conveyed my great appreciation of the strong and growing partnership that we in the UN have with the Kingdom as we carry out humanitarian work both in the region and the world,” he added.

“It is critical that we together, collectively, do our best to help families and communities in urgent need through respecting core humanitarian principles and values. I am encouraged by the willingness of the authorities in the Kingdom to work closely with the UN and our humanitarian partners to improve and facilitate the humanitarian action in the MENA region and beyond,” the Emergency Relief Coordinator said.

He confirmed that “we agreed that the utmost must be done to save and protect lives in Yemen in accordance with the international humanitarian law in addition to facilitation of humanitarian aid access”.

This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on Oct. 6, 2016.