IOM and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Partner on Tsunami Assistance
IOM's Director General, Brunson McKinley, begins a two-day visit to
Saudi Arabia tomorrow, the first such official visit by an IOM
director general to the country.
During his stay, McKinley will meet various members of the Saudi
royal family and government. A key part of his visit will be the
signing of an agreement with Saudi Charity Campaign for the Relief
of the Earthquake and Tsunami Victims in East Asia. The agreement
will allow for the building of 500 new homes by IOM in Sri Lanka's
southern district of Ampara, one of several badly affected by the
2004 tsunami that killed more than 35,000 people in the
The US$10.3 million donation to IOM by the Saudi Campaign will
also cover the building of a public hospital, two separate schools
for boys and girls, a mosque, a bus station, shopping facilities, a
hall and a sports playground which will provide critical services
to the families living in the 500 homes.
When completed, the town built on land provided by the Sri
Lankan government will be known as The Exemplary City.
The agreement represents the first official funding for IOM
operations by Saudi Arabia.
"The partnership between IOM and the Saudi Campaign will make a
big difference to the lives of thousands of tsunami victims in Sri
Lanka. It is also a very important step in our relations with Saudi
Arabia, a very supportive country to humanitarian causes
worldwide," said McKinley.
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