World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus met today at WHO Headquarters with H.E. Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Supervisor General of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) and H.E. Ambassador Abdulmohsen Majed Bin Khothaila Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations and International Organizations in Geneva to discuss opportunities to strengthen the organizations’ collaboration on humanitarian crises.
Dr Al Rabeeah and Dr Tedros agreed on the need to ramp response to cholera outbreaks in the Eastern-Mediterranean region. Dr. Tedros thanked KSrelief for its long-standing assistance to WHO to maintain essential health services in Yemen.
Dr Tedros received an invitation to attend the 3rd Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum on 20-21 February 2023. WHO will support and actively participate in this important humanitarian platform, as health will be an essential element of Forum discussions.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was WHO’s 10th largest donor in 2020-21. Dr Al Rabeeah and Dr Tedros explored ways to expand KSrelief’s support to the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies (CFE). In 2022, the CFE has released US$ 85 million for 34 emergencies around the world, enabling WHO’s work on: Ebola outbreaks in Uganda and DRC; the Ukraine conflict; Pakistan floods; food insecurity crises in the Sahel and Greater Horn of Africa; and the global Mpox (monkeypox) outbreak.
Since 2016, WHO and KSrelief have collaborated on multiple health projects in emergency settings for a total cost of just over US$ 300 million.
Dr Al Rabeeah and Dr Tedros are committed to continue working together to expand this partnership in order to respond together effectively to humanitarian crises and towards a healthier, safer, more equitable world.