United Nations and Saudi Arabia launch cooperation for food and drug safety

May 21, 2012

  The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) was  established in 1424H (2003) as an independent body to ensure safety of food and drug products in the Kingdom, reporting directly to the President of the Council of Ministers. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the lead agency in the UN for country level development cooperation, with over $5billion of activities each year in over 177 countries. UNDP started its presence in Saudi Arabia in 1966 and has supported capacity development projects in areas such as public administration, youth empowerment, energy and environment and economic diversification.  

In recent years, SFDA and UNDP have commenced cooperation in the area of capacity development for food and drug safety, meant to develop capacities of this new institutional system in the Kingdom, integrate global best practices and aligning with global standards. In March 2012, H. E. Dr. Mohammed AL Kanhal Acting Executive President of SFDA and Dr. Kishan Khoday, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in the Kingdom, signed a new long-term cooperation project on Capacity Development for Food & Drug Safety meant to help the Kingdom achieve the goals of the SFDA Second Strategic Plan (2012-16). 


As noted by Dr. Khoday during the signing of the new project, “many challenges remain in order for Saudi Arabia to sustain its development trajectory. Ensuring the safety of food, drug and medical devices in the Kingdom is a high priority.”  the new project focuses among other things on UNDP technical assistance to SFDA for: institutional and human resource development, expanded use of information technology, enhanced enforcement and communication systems, and improved risk management systems. The project will provide advisory services, specialized experts, and administrative support to achieving SFDA important mandate in the Kingdom. The results will be enhanced capacities in the Kingdom for policy setting, advocacy, and implementation capacity in the safety of food, drugs and medical devices.


On the ground in 177 countries and territories, UNDP offers global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. Each year UNDP invests resources and global expertise in countries around world to support effective governance towards goals of sustainable human development. For more information on UNDP visit www.undp.org or www.undp.org.sa The main goal of SFDA is to regulate, oversee, and control food, drug, medical devices, as well as to set mandatory standard specifications thereof, whether they are imported or locally manufactured. For more information on SFDA please visit http://www.sfda.gov.sa.

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