Somalis have paid rich tributes to Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz for his contribution in aiding the poor grappling a hunger crisis in the east African country.
The Saudi Crown Prince died in Geneva on Saturday and was buried on Sunday in the holy city of Mecca, his funeral having been attended by world leaders, including Somali President Sheikh Ahmed and a number of his cabinet ministers.
Somalis have praised the late prince and Saudi government for the relief provided to them in food aid and humanitarian assistance.
Last year, Saudi Arabia contributed approximately $50 million in humanitarian assistance towards a food program and $10 million to the Somali health ministry for medicines.
Prince Nayef also ordered assistance and revamping of Mogadishu’s only hospital after reading a newspaper report about its deteriorating condition.
Dr. Shafii Jamaali, a pediatrician working at the hospital Banadir, offered his condolences and said that the Crown Prince’s medical assistance proved to be a valuable one.
Somali Minister of Water, Minerals & Energy, Abd al-Qadir, expressed his appreciation for Prince Nayef’s assistance from the period of the collapse of the regime, and not just after the war.
“I remember how Prince Nayef ordered the construction of 40 artesian wells in Somalia during the days of Siad Barre in the 1980s.”
Relief officials in Somalia agree that Saudi assistance was different from others.
Saeeed Sheikh Abdi, the executive manager of Happiness for Relief and Local Development organization, said that while other countries’ aid pushed prices up in Somalia because it was bought from local markets, Saudi assistance was large and sent from abroad.