17 August 2022

By Al-Qalam Reporter

The deputy minister in the Department of Social Development last week officially launched the King Salman Aid and Relief Centre’s Food Assistance project that will see thousands of needy families in South Africa given sizable food aid.

The deputy minister, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, thanked the King and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the generous gesture at a time when South Africa has been hardest hit by the economic slowdown, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sultan al Angari, the ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to South Africa represented the King Salman Aid and Relief Centre at the event.

The relief project which is being supervised by the embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will see 15,000 needy families benefiting from food parcels across Gauteng, North-West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

The minister cited a passage from Islamic teachings: “You can’t thank the Almighty, if you can’t express gratitude to those around you.”

She thanked the King and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the generous gesture, at a time when South Africa has been hardest hit by the economic slowdown, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The deputy minister recalled the experience she had when she had visited Riyadh. She called it a beautiful place and also commended the efforts of the kingdom in improving the welfare of the physically-challenged, an area in which her department shared policy expertise with the counterparts in Riyadh.

“Back in 2012 when we visited, we were ahead in policies and programmes for persons with disabilities. Today, somehow, the kingdom has overtaken us in the field.

Bogopane-Zulu said she admired the commitment of Muslims towards charity and humanitarian causes.

Meanwhile, Sultan al Angari enumerated the many projects the centre has implemented since founding in 2015 – to the tune of close to U$ 5 billion in the fields of health, nutrition, emergency response and infrastructure, in nearly 60 countries across the globe.

“This campaign reflects the keenness of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to cement its relationship with the friendly people and government of South Africa,” said Al Angari.

Expressing gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the deputy president of Al Bayaan Islamic Council said: “This contribution will totally make a huge difference and we are extremely grateful. We have no doubt that the 15,000 beneficiary families will be overjoyed by this gesture of goodwill and generosity.”

Al Bayaan Islamic Council is the implementing partner of the project. Collaborating with the council in the distribution of the food parcels are Jamiatul Ulama South Africa, Awqaf Foundation of South Africa, Gauteng Muslim Shura Council, and the CIT/Fordsburg Muslim Youth Organisation. All these organisations were represented at the event which was also attended by some of the beneficiary families.

Ms Bogopane-Zulu hailed the role of the implementing partners as they are the ones that package and deliver the parcels to beneficiaries in a manner that preserves their dignity.

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