Ahead of the Middle East Green Initiative Summit to be held in Riyadh, and as part of Saudi Arabia’s roadmap for protecting the environment and confronting climate change under the Saudi Green Initiative, the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has already established itself as a leading player supporting clean energy initiatives in developing nations.
One of the SFD’s strategic aims is to support sustainable energy sources in line with the Kingdom’s long-term climate ambitions under Vision 2030, and as part of its global partnership aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) identified in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Commenting on the SFD’s leading role in the Saudi Green Initiative, Saudi Fund for Development CEO Sultan bin Abdul Ruhman Al-Murshad said, “Through its established track record in supporting sustainable energy initiatives in developing nations the SFD is already a front-line partner of the enhanced Saudi Green Initiative (SGI), announced at the Saudi Green Initiative Forum on Saturday, ahead of the Middle East Green Initiative Summit this week. The SGI will see the Kingdom amplify its existing climate actions beyond its borders to help other countries tackle climate change challenges, areas the SFD has been supporting and developing over the past 47 years.”
SFD's sustainable projects worldwide include the Saudi Program for Well Drilling and Rural Development in Africa. Funded by Saudi Arabia through SFD, it is one of the Kingdom’s most important programs aimed at reducing the impact of drought in 18 African nations. It provides sustainable management of water resources providing clean drinking water as well as protecting the environment and reducing desertification. The program has drilled and equipped over 8,800 water facilities using solar energy to pump water to more than 4.5 million people.
SFD has also supported afforestation and greening projects in developing countries including the Greening Eritrea Project which seeks to increase the production of agricultural crops, and the Afforestation (Mugamba - Tutsi) Project in Burundi which protects soil erosion over 10,000 hectares through a reforestation program.
The Fund's total contribution to agricultural land reclamation projects amounts to more than 170,000 hectares, with the aim of increasing afforestation and agricultural production.
Investing and developing renewable energy sources is one of the main areas in confronting climate change and reducing carbon emissions, as identified in the UN SDGs and the Saudi Green Initiative. To date the SFD has supported the construction of 11 hydropower dams producing clean hydroelectric energy including the Meroe Dam in Sudan which generates 1,250 Megawatts of electric power and the Samdini Dam in Burkina Faso which provides 2,600 megawatts of electricity.
In addition, the SFD has financed renewable energy projects in a further nine Asian and African countries which combined produce 42,000 megawatts of clean energy and has supported renewable energy projects in Pakistan and Nepal at an estimated value of SAR1.2 billion.
The Government of Saudi Arabia also funded, through SFD, a clean power grid project at Azraq camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan earlier this year. A first of its kind in the world in the field of renewable energy, the clean power grid connects around 54,000 refugees with sustainable energy.
The SFD is one of the largest contributors to sustainable development aid. It plays a key role in providing financial and technical assistance to development projects across the world. Since it was established in 1975 it has financed 694 development projects in 84 countries, valued at just under SAR70 billion. It is committed to continuing to be a leading player in supporting clean energy initiatives, along with stability, prosperity and providing socio-economic support to developing nations, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals and the Saudi Green Initiative.