UNDP recognizes UNVs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Written by: Nouf Alduweesh

December 12, 2023
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UNDP Senior Management joins UNVs to celebrate International United Nations Volunteers Day. (L-R) Asim Salah (Senior Programme Associate), Abdulrahman Alsuwelim (UNV: Youth Development Delegate), Hessah Almuqati (UNV: Programme Assistant), Margaret Jones Williams (Deputy Resident Representative) , Sufyan Diab (UNV: Monitoring and Evaluation Officer), Moudhi Alhamidi (UNV: Programme Assistant), Reema Aljardan (UNV: Programme Assistant), Nahid Hussein (Resident Representative), Shuhra Almarri (UNV: Procurement Assistant), Abdulrahman Alghamdi (Programme Analyst).  


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Saudi Arabia celebrated International United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Day, acknowledging the crucial role played by UN Volunteers (UNVs) in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Kingdom. UNVs remain integral to UNDP's capacities and global contributions, making up 15% of UNDP's workforce in the Arab States, with 450 UN Volunteers supporting program implementation in fourteen UNDP Country Offices. On International Volunteer Day, we shine a spotlight on the efforts of UN Volunteers serving with the UNDP Country Office in Riyadh.
Amid Saudi Arabia's economic prosperity and progress across various socio-economic domains, notable improvements have been achieved in human development indicators, including the standard of living, health and education services, and environmental conditions. The partnership between UNDP and Saudi Arabia spans vital sectors, addressing the needs of Saudi society by enhancing the local capacity of government institutions, supporting policymaking, and facilitating reporting. The UNDP provides technical assistance to assist KSA departments in their reform processes.

The United Nations Volunteer Programme creates opportunities for both young men and women to engage in initiatives aligned with SDGs 2030 and Saudi Vision 2030. Recognizing the significance of young Saudis, who constitute 36.7% of the total population (According to General Authority for Statistics International Youth Day Report 2020), the UNDP country office in Riyadh deploys UNVs across all portfolios to support Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030.
UN Volunteers in the UNDP Saudi Arabia Office play a crucial role in the success of government projects aligned with various SDGs. For instance, on SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), Rawan Albaqami collaborates with Riyadh Region Municipality, Nouf Alduweesh supports The Royal Commission for Makkah City and Holy Sites, and Reema Aljardan provides overall program support. 
Contributing to SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), volunteers like Hessah Almuqati, Dalia Elsharabaty, and Moudhi Alhamidi support various government entities, including the Ministry of Economy and Planning, General Authority for Statistics, General Authority for Survey and Geospatial Information, Nazaha, Saudi Health Council, and more. On SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being), Abdulrahman Alsuwelim works with the Saudi Food and Drug Authority. 

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Additionally, Shuhra Almarri is supporting Procurement, and Sufyan Diab is serving as a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer. Amal Alotaibi and Khawlah Alotaibi are collaborating with UNDP host agency in Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During International Volunteer Day celebrations UNVs expressed how glad they’re to serve alongside such dedicated individuals, embodying the transformative power of volunteerism. Stating: “Together, we strive to build a better, more sustainable future for Saudi Arabia and beyond”.
All these transformative projects align seamlessly with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and UNDPs Country Programme Document 2023-2027. UNDP aims to strengthen social engagement and workplace involvement, adhering to sustainable development principles that harmonize economic growth with social progress and environmental preservation. Prioritizing the empowerment of young individuals and providing opportunities remains a key focus for UNDP.