RIYADH, 26 February, 2014 – UNICEF has commended the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Saudi National Relief Committees for their ongoing collaboration, generosity and shared commitment to children at an event in Riyadh, attended by HRH Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, and other high level dignitaries and key members of the humanitarian and business communities across the Kingdom.
Hosted by the Saudi National Relief Committees, the event aimed to raise further awareness of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria which has devastated the lives and childhood of millions of children inside of Syria and across the sub-region and puts an entire generation at risk.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Ibrahim El-Ziq, UNICEF Gulf Area Representative, provided an overview of the long-standing partnership with the Saudi National Relief Committees under the guidance of the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. He highlighted the multitude of humanitarian and relief projects implemented as a result in countries such as Afghanistan, to eradicate polio, Somalia to tackle malnutrition, in Lebanon and Palestine to rehabilitate and reconstruct education and health centres, in earth-quake ridden Pakistan and more recently in the ongoing emergency situation in Syria.
The crisis in Syria is today the world’s largest humanitarian emergency. In the past three years, UNICEF and its partners have managed to reach millions of children and their families, both in Syria and its neighbouring countries, with life-saving assistance centered around four principle interventions: education, immunization, child protection and psychosocial support, water and sanitation.
However an entire generation of Syrian children continues to be shaped by violence, displacement, and a persistent lack of opportunity – and could be lost forever, with profound long-term consequences for Syria, the region, and beyond.
Dr. El-Ziq concluded: “We hope that this will pave the way for many more fruitful partnerships to come for the children of Syria, who need us now the more than ever, but also for the children of the world.”