RIYADH (RAHNUMA): The Saudi Fund for Development has launched a pioneering $9.2 million project to develop a renewable-energy electricity grid in the Azraq camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.
The funding is in the form of a grant from the Kingdom, in cooperation and coordination with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said Sultan Al-Murshed, the fund’s CEO.
The project, the first of its kind in the world in the field of renewable energy, aims to provide free, clean power to more than 54,000 refugees, delivering electricity to more than 10,000 shelters by connecting all camp facilities to the grid.
“We have a long relationship with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees that extends back more than 10 years, during which we were able to jointly provide support to a large number of refugees around the world,” Al-Murshed said.
“Through the fund, Saudi Arabia has contributed $300 million to support Syrian refugees and host governments, and has implemented 17 projects, worth $78 million, in cooperation with the High Commissioner.”
He added that the fund’s support for residents of the Azraq camp is not limited to the energy project, but also includes $3 million in financial assistance to provide health care that will benefit more than 37,000 refugees.
Mamoun Mohsen, UNHCR’s senior regional external relations officer, thanked the Kingdom and the fund for the support. He praised “the fund’s role in developing this important project that will provide electricity to tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who live in harsh environments in the camp, where the development of the electricity grid has improved their daily lives.”
The Saudi ambassador to Jordan, Naif bin Bandar Al-Sudairi, said: “This specific project to develop the Azraq refugee camp’s network reflects the great efforts made by the Saudi government, led by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in supporting Syrian refugees and the communities hosting them, through the strategy of the work of the fund, which is one of the largest and most important active entities in providing sustainable development assistance and achieving stability and prosperity for many developing countries by providing social and economic support.”
The Saudi Fund for Development has a long history of support for humanitarian issues, as a major partner of the UN’s international humanitarian relief efforts. Through the fund, the Kingdom has contributed about $1 billion to support 14 international organizations working under the umbrella of the UN.
Senior Jordanian officials and UNHCR representatives attended the inauguration ceremony for the project at the Azraq camp.