The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has donated assorted food items worth 1.1 million dollars for distribution to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Borno, Yobe and Zamfara States.
Speaking at the flag-off of the distribution to beneficiaries in Maiduguri on Tuesday, the Saudi Deputy Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Ibraheem Alghamedi, said the gesture by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre was part of measures to strengthen relationship between the two countries.
“I would like to use this opportunity to, first affirm the friendship and cordial relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Indeed, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is interested in enhancing these relations in all fields.
“The Kingdom offers aid to countries, including Nigeria, without any discrimination on the basis of religion or ethnicity or group,” Alghamedi said.
He noted that in 2018 the Kingdom offered similar aids worth 10 million dollars in North East while in 2019 it carried medical interventions in Oyo and Nasarawa States.
According to the ambassador, in 2021 the kingdom will conduct 12 medical campaigns mostly in combatting blindness and its causes.
“This phase of the medical campaign is planned for Kano and Bauchi States, and targets 50,000 beneficiaries..
“The subsequent phase will be looking into specialised surgeries. The South-South and South-East geopolitical zones will be in-view in terms of this phase.
“The Kingdom has also donated medical equipment in kind, worth one million dollars, to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in order to help combat COVID-19.
“Some of the equipment has just arrived and the remaining is on its way,” the ambassador said.
Receiving the items, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, lauded the Kingdom for the gesture and assured that staff of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) would handle the distribution to beneficiaries.
Farouq, who was represented by the Senior Special Adviser to the President on NGO and Disaster Management, Mr Musa Bungudu, said each beneficiary would get 59.8 kilogrammes basket of food items comprising rice, beans, tomato paste, salt, masa products, maggi cubes and vegetable oil.
In her speech on behalf of Borno Government, the Director General of Borno SEMA, Hajiya Yabawa Kolo, commended Saudi Arabia for its sustained support to the state.
Kolo said the support at this period of Ramadan was timely and assured judicious distribution of the items to the IDPs.
Some of the IDPs, Fatima Hassan, Falmata Bukar, Ali Musa and Mustafa Alimami, who benefited from the gesture, said it came as a big relief to them and their families, particularly at this period of Ramadan.