Saudi Arabia launches ‘Gifts of Dates’ program for 2023

Shared by Omar A. Mandia
Assistant Hajj Attaché, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Published in SAUDI GAZETTE, March 12, 2023

RIYADH — Advisor at the Royal Court and General Supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, inaugurated Sunday the Kingdom’s “Gifts of Dates” programs for the year 2023, in Riyadh.

During the inauguration ceremony, Dr. Al-Rabeeah said that the Kingdom, under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Salman, always seeks to support humanitarian efforts

He cited the holding of the 3rd Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum, which was sponsored by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Crown Prince that the Kingdom be present with the participation of several Saudi authorities to help the earthquake victims in Syria and Turkiye, and the Global Humanitarian Overview, which was launched in Riyadh.

Dr. Al-Rabeeah added that the Kingdom, during the past few years, has been leading the first five countries in the volume of humanitarian aid at the international level per United Nations sources, adding that last year Saudi Arabia came to the forefront of international development aid.

He expressed happiness to launch the Kingdom’s “Gifts of Dates” program for the year 2023, to achieve a significant leap this year by reaching 72 countries around the world, with the gift of dates weighing more than 19,000 tons, of which 4,000 tons will be provided through the strategic partner, the World Food Program (WFP), at a total cost of SR136 million, benefiting 14 million people annually.

He concluded by extending his appreciation to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Salman, and the World Food Program, as well as other partners who work side by side with the Center in this program.

These include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, and the National Center for Palms and Dates.

Meanwhile, UNWFP representative Mohammed Al-Ghunaim said that the Kingdom embraces more than 31 million palm trees that produce approximately 1.5 million tons of dates annually, and Saudi Arabia ranks second globally in the production of dates, adding that dates represent a wonderful symbol of hospitality in the Saudi society.

Al-Ghunaim emphasized that the Kingdom is characterized by a noble human sense towards the needy around the world, pointing out that the program has been delivering and distributing 4,000 tons annually since 2002, which has yielded results, bringing the total of the Saudi generous gift project so far to 84,000 tons that have been delivered to 130 international stations. — SPA