Climate Change is real. This is what the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) is doing about it. 

Ambitious targets. Initiatives worth billions of dollars with major focus on emerging nations

Aman Ali

2021-10-28 3 min read

His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed Bin Salman had announced that the Gulf state would invest more than $180bn to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2060.

This is in line with the Saudi Green Initiative program which has set some ambitious targets of reducing carbon emissions by more than 4% of global contributions, Planting 10 Billion Trees across Saudi Arabia, and raising protected areas to more than 30% of the total land area. 

However, it doesn’t just end there. Developing nations require our help too and that’s exactly where the Saudi Development Fund (SDF) comes in. The Middle East Green Initiative recently took place 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 (SDF) is already leading the way in advancing sustainable and eco-friendly energy initiatives in emerging nations.

Few Highlights

Projects by the Saudi Development Fund (SDF) in 9 Asian and African Countries produce 42,000 megawatts of sustainable and clean energy including nations like Pakistan and Nepal.

The fund has also established over 8,800 water facilities in 18 African Countries using Solar Energy to pump water to 4.5 million people.
11 hydroelectric dams converting hydropower into a saucer of clean energy have been supported by SDF

The Main Goal

Though Saudi Arabia has announced its intentions to net zero emissions by 2060, a lot of these projects are also in line with their Vision 2030 framework reducing Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil and diversifying its economy. The idea is to place more emphasis on health, education, infrastructure, recreation, and tourism ensuring everything is done sustainably and it doesn’t end there. These initiatives are also aimed at achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) identified in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Saudi Fund for Development CEO Sultan Bin Abdul Ruhman Al-Murshad highlighted how SFD is already a front-line partner of the enhanced Saudi Green Initiative. He further noted that 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.

Beyond Borders

Some of SFD’s sustainable projects include the Saudi Program for Well Drilling and Rural Development in Africa which has been funded by Saudi Arabia through SFD aimed at reducing the impact of droughts in 18 African nations.

SFD has also supported afforestation and greening projects in developing countries including the Greening Eritrea Project which seeks increased production of 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, to increase afforestation and agricultural production.

54,000 Syrian Refugees have benefitted through a clean power grid project funded by the government of Saudi Arabia at the Azraq camp in Jordan.

Making a difference

The Saudi Development Fund (SDF) is one of the largest contributors to sustainable development aid. Not limiting it to just financial assistance but supporting projects through technical expertise in ensuring stability, prosperity, and socio-economic support to developing nations.

Since its inception in 1975, the SFD has financed over 694 development projects in 84 countries valued at just under SAR 70 Billion. This is all in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals and the Saudi Green Initiative.

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