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From left: Ambassador Belal seen with Ambassador Atiyah

Saudi Arabia would like CFC to do more for alleviation of poverty

16 May 2024, The Hague.    Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Managing Director of the Common Fund for Commodities, had a very fruitful meeting with H.E. Mr. Ziad M. D. Al Atiyah, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The meeting took place at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in The Hague.

After exchange of pleasantries, Ambassador Atiyah welcomed Managing Director Ambassador Belal with warm welcome in his newly shifted location of their Chancery. Ambassador Belal provided Ambassador Atiyah with an overview of the current and potential future initiatives of the CFC. He also underscored the significance of capacity-building initiatives beyond the conventional scope of the CFC's projects, drawing lessons from the pandemic. Ambassador Belal highlighted the growing demand for CFC investments, which is outpacing the available financing resources. He emphasized the need for greater support of the member states to meet the heightened demand.

Furthermore, Ambassador Belal discussed the introduction of the Agricultural Commodity Transformation Fund (ACT), previously known as CIIF. He also shared the CFC's roadmap for poverty alleviation in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Land Locked Developed Countries (LLDCs), and beyond. Member countries were encouraged to join the ACT Fund as anchor investors and promote it to the private sector. Ambassador Atiyah assured to explore options on how the Kingdom of the Netherlands could join the Fund. 

Referring to what the Kingdom has been doing for alleviation of poverty globally, Ambassador Belal urged Ambassador Atiyah to  join the ACT Fund as an anchor investors. Ambassador Atiyah also expressed his satisfaction on the excellent professionalism and dedication of the  CFC towards reducing poverty in the developing world. He also appreciated the CFC's efforts in addressing the challenges faced by smallholders and SMEs (small and medium enterprises), acknowledging its role in mainstreaming their concerns. Ambassador Atiyah wished to see even bigger contributions of the CFC in alleviation of poverty globally. He further appreciated the CFC’s devotion to bring more income for the farmers and thereby addressing the problem of global poverty. 

As a well-known and respected philanthropic state, Saudi Arabia, can come in a greater way with her support for CFC to fight against poverty, Ambassador Belal added. In response, Ambassador Atiyah assured Ambassador Belal of his best to connect CFC with the concerned authorities in his capital to further extend the existing support and assistance. 

The meeting between the two Ambassadors concluded in a very friendly atmosphere with mutual assurances of support and a commitment to follow up on necessary actions in the coming days.

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