The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has inaugurated a project to develop Camaguey’s water treatment plant in the city of Camagüey, Republic of Cuba. Financed by the SFD with a contribution of $40 million, the project will develop and replace existing systems to provide clean, safe water for more than 300,000 residents of Camagüey and neighboring cities.
The project will also meet the sixth United Nation Sustainable Development Goal (SDG): ‘To ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.’
The inauguration ceremony was attended by His Excellency Mr. Faisal bin Falah Al-Harbi, the Ambassador of the Kingdom to the Republic of Cuba, Mrs. Carmenn Hernandez Requejo, Vice-Governor of Camagüey. Mr. Bladimir Matos Maya, the Vice-President of the National Institute of Water Resources (INRH), and a number of officials in Camagüey.
Mrs. Requejo, Vice-Governor of Camagüey, thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through the SFD, for its commitment to sustainable infrastructure projects in Cuba. She said the development of the water treatment plant would have a positive impact on the quality of life in the city, providing access to safe drinking water to more than 300,000 beneficiaries and enhancing sustainable food security. In addition to preventing the spread of diseases and epidemics caused by unclean water.
His Excellency Mr. Faisal bin Falah Al-Harbi, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Republic of Cuba delivered a speech in which he commended the Saudi-Cuban relations, and the role that the Saudi Government undertakes, through the Fund, in supporting sustainable development that achieves the aspirations of peoples towards a prosperous future. His Excellency also stressed that the Kingdom's contributions to development take an inclusive approach. In addition to working with international organizations, the Kingdom also provides support to many countries around the world, without political, ethnic, or religious discrimination.
Dr. Saud Alshammari, Head of SFD delegation to Cuba said: "This is a significant infrastructure project. By optimizing and developing the existing water treatment plant, we will increase efficiency and ensure the accessibility and sustainable management of water in Camagüey, in line with the 6th UN SDG”.
“This project provides access to safe and clean water, and meeting the city’s needs for these services, as the project is part of a comprehensive program for the city of Camagüey to be implemented in several phases, and this project is the first phase of it.”
As part of the visit to the Republic of Cuba the SFD delegation also held meetings with Mr. Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, Deputy Prime Minister of Cuba and other Cuban officials in order to follow up on projects funded by the Kingdom through the SFD.
The delegation visits included SFD funded projects in Camagüey, such as the development of the water treatment plant in the city of Cardenas, which provides safe, clean water to 130,000 people; a project to revitalize Old Havana which will raise living standards through the provision of new housing, access to clean water, improved sanitation, electricity, and communication services, as well as redeveloping social centers, and public facilities.
SFD’s delegation concluded its program with a visit to the King Salman Mosque in Havana, which was built to enhance the cultural and social ties.
During the last years, SFD financed seven projects in the Republic of Cuba across the health, water, and infrastructure sectors, with a total value of US$ 139.3 million, in addition to a grant valued at US$ 9.3 million through SFD to build the King Salman Mosque in Havana.
SFD has also provided support to the Cuban economy in recent years through the Saudi Export Support Program. In 2016 it signed an agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment for US$ 50 million over eight years, to import plastics, metals, and agricultural materials and equipment.