Saudi Food & Drug Authority and UNDP Scale-up Partnership to New Frontiers
September 19, 2023
The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) and UNDP agreed to scale up their partnership to new frontiers. The SFDA CEO, His Excellency Dr. Hisham Saad Aljadhey, and UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Nahid Hussein signed the new collaboration project for 2024-2026 for USD 13.3 million. The new project will help implement the SFDA Fourth Strategic Plan to adopt advanced and modern biotechnology in the drug, food, and medical device sectors. The project will also help share and transfer SFDA expertise and regulatory excellence to other countries.
Saudi Food and Drug Authority is the leading regional regulatory authority for food, drugs, and medical devices in addition to related research and communication with a professional, excellent track record of services that contribute to the protection of public health and acquisition of advanced health technologies, products, and services for the population of Saudi Arabia.
Following a series of strategic planning cycles from the first strategy between 2007-2011, the second strategy 2012-2016, and the third strategy 2018-2022, SFDA is renewing its partnership with UNDP to implement the fourth strategy for 2023-2026. This project aims to upgrade the partnership to a strategic level, including knowledge transfer, south-south collaboration, and global and regional collaboration.
On the basis of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), the UNDP Country Programme Document (CPD) 2023-2027, and the SFDA Fourth strategic plan, the project aims to achieve the following objectives:
1- Support SFDA to embrace and adopt biotechnology in the drug, food, and medical device sectors, including digital infrastructure and ecosystem protocols development.
2- Scale up the use of artificial intelligence and big data across SFDA areas of work, including improving the decision-making and clearance of goods at the points of entry.
3- Align the work of SFDA with the National Strategy for Industry and the Saudi Initiative for Global supply chains.
4- Develop and implement a comprehensive, multi-channel, and multi-audience communication plan that will help communicate the work of SFDA internally and externally.
The regional component of the project is aiming to achieve the following objectives:
1- Assess and map the existing capacities and gaps in regulatory frameworks, institutions, and systems in 3 project countries (to be selected).
2- Comprehensive and cascaded capacity building of regulatory institutions in the project countries.
3- Contribute to the regional and global platforms for health technology assessment and preparedness.
4- Strengthening communication and public engagement capacities and implementing communication campaigns in the 3 project countries and;
5- Build capacities in post-market pharmacovigilance through digital solutions.