Prince Saud Al-Faisal statement at the Donors’ Conference for the Republic of Somalia

September 23, 2011

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

Your Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Peace be with you and the mercy and blessings of God,

I would like to begin by conveying to you the greetings of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, and his best wishes for a successful outcome to this important conference on an issue that currently constitutes a matter of great concern and anxiety for us.

The Horn of Africa is experiencing its worst drought in 60 years which has caused a severe food crisis and famine conditions that have led to the death and displacement of thousands of its inhabitants. What Somalia, in particular, is facing as a result of that drought, coincident with the civil war that has been raging for years, is not merely a transient natural disaster with limited consequences; it is manifestly a humanitarian disaster the real victims of which are the Somali people.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The endeavour to mobilize resources to meet the grievous humanitarian consequences of that famine is actually motivated by a sense of obligation that is innate in the conscience of every noble-minded and honourable person.

The international community is being strongly urged not to confine itself solely to finding a temporary solution for the victims without seeking to formulate clearly defined plans and programmes to tackle the roots of the problem. The challenge currently facing Somalia is to ensure security, stability and reconstruction in such a way as to enable it to develop its economy and achieve sustainable growth. We are all aware that the requirements needed to this end exceed the capacities of the Somali Government and necessitate a genuine will, resolute determination and effective participation on the part of the international community.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s eagerness to participate in this conference is in keeping with its firmly established policy of supporting every effort made to assist the Somali people to overcome their plight and achieve their goal of security, stability and development. The Kingdom is among Somalia’s most generous donors and has done its utmost to express solidarity with the Somali people by providing them with every possible form of governmental and popular support, through bilateral channels as well as regional and international development funds and institutions, to a total value of 3.5 billion riyals.

In order to assist the Somali people to overcome the famine from which they are currently suffering, the Kingdom hereby announces its allocation of a further US $50 million for the procurement of foodstuffs for the Somali refugees through the World Food Programme, together with an amount of US $10 million for the provision of medicines and vaccines for those refugees and an amount of over US $50 million representing the proceeds of a popular fund-raising campaign that has been conducted.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The international community has a moral obligation and a joint interest in assisting Somalia to overcome the drought and famine from which it is suffering and the Somali people are looking to this important conference in the hope that its decisions will be commensurate with their aspirations to live free from fear and hunger.

In conclusion, I wish to express my gratitude to all those who worked so hard to prepare and organize this conference, and also to all the participants therein, and hope that its outcome will live up to our aspirations. At the same time, I wish to reaffirm the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s willingness to participate actively in every endeavour to alleviate the sufferings of the Somali people.

Peace be with you and the mercy and blessings of God.

الكلمة باللغة العربية