Ambassador Abdulaziz Al-Rukban has been named special envoy for the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), the first Saudi to be so honored. WFP has opened an office in Riyadh; previously, the regional presence was in Dubai.
Saudi Arabia has supported the WFP for over 25 years in its mission to alleviate poverty, donating a total of more than U.S. $500 million. It is estimated that 800 million people benefit from WFP, and 60 percent of them are Muslim. One recent project has been to care for 200,000 families in Palestine, half in Gaza and half in the West Bank, under the auspices of the committee headed by Minister of Interior Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz.