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DiplomaticQuarter: Boosting international relations is the goal of new football tournament in Riyadh

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JEDDAH: The Coordinating Council to follow up the joint financial contribution provided by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to support and fund the UN Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) for 2018 held its second meeting at the headquarters of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) in Riyadh.

The meeting was attended by Ahmed Al-Baiz, deputy supervisor of KSRelief operations; Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Shamsi, UAE assistant minister of Foreign affairs and international cooperation for international development affairs; Stephen Anderson, World Food Programme (WFP) regional director; Abdul Majid Al-Yahiya, WFP representative in the GCC; Ahmed Mohsen, senior regional external relations officer at UNHCR; Jayne Mbakaya, OCHA field coordination officer; and Izumi Conway, WFP representative.

A conference call was also made during the meeting with Liz Grande, UN humanitarian coordinator in Yemen; Dr. Nuevo Zaghari, World Health Organization (WHO) representative in Yemen; and other UN representatives.

The meeting discussed the updates and developments of the 2018 UN Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan.

Al-Baiz said the meeting came to follow up and evaluate the achievements of the projects and programs of the Saudi-Emirati grant that reached $930 million, provided in response to the largest appeal by Yemeni humanitarian agencies.

Al-Yahiya expressed his happiness about his first visit to the KSRelief office, and praised the cooperation between the Kingdom and the WFP. In 2008, the Kingdom donated $500 million, the biggest donation that has ever been made at the time to the program by a country.

He added that the Kingdom supports WFP operations around the world, especially in Yemen, Syria, Bangladesh and southern Sudan.

Al-Yahiya said the meeting aimed to coordinate and discuss the humanitarian status in Yemen and the support means of the Kingdom, the UAE and UN organizations in Yemen. About $440 million out of the $930 million donation of the Kingdom was allocated for the center.

Anderson thanked the Kingdom for its support for UN organizations, especially the WFP, which has helped 9 million people this year. This support is important, especially to Yemen, he said.

Anderson said that food security is a priority for the Yemeni people. More than 18 million people have no idea when their next meal will be and 8.4 million people suffer from chronic starvation.

The Saudi-Emirati joint support meant “we were able to help people even during the natural disasters in Yemen,” he said.

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