The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) marked a momentous occasion today with the official inauguration of the King Abdullah Campus at Azad Jammu and Kashmir University (UAJK) in Pakistan. This state-of-the-art campus, made possible by a generous $90 million grant from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through SFD, was inaugurated by Dr. Saud bin Ayed Al-Shammari, SFD’s Director General of Asia Operations, in the presence of esteemed dignitaries.
The ceremony saw the participation of H.E. Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry, the President of the State of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Professor Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman of the Higher Education Commission, and Professor Dr. Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi, Vice Chancellor of the University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, alongside other officials from both sides.
The King Abdullah Campus is a cutting-edge facility boasting 15 academic departments, administration blocks, accommodation, a library, a mosque, a state-of-the-art auditorium, and other essential amenities. It is poised to benefit over 10,000 students, faculty members, and employees, offering advanced research and educational opportunities while contributing to the sustainable socio-economic development of Pakistan.
Moreover, the campus aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG4 (Quality Education), SDG5 (Gender Equality), SDG8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), and SDG11 (Sustainable Cities and Local Communities).
H.E. Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry, President of the State of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, expressed his gratitude towards the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, emphasizing the enduring bond between Saudi Arabia and Kashmir forged during the reconstruction following the 2005 earthquake.
Dr. Saud bin Ayed Al-Shammari, SFD Director General of Asia Operations, underscored the fund’s commitment to supporting Pakistan’s sustainable development through social infrastructure projects, highlighting the fruitful partnership between SFD and Pakistan over nearly five decades.
Professor Dr. Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi, Vice Chancellor of Azad Jammu and Kashmir University, praised Saudi Arabia’s unwavering support, describing the campus as a symbol of the enduring brotherhood between Saudi Arabia and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The SFD has a rich history of supporting Pakistan’s development, having financed 16 projects in the country since 1976. These projects span various sectors, including water, health, energy, transportation, social infrastructure, and others. Additionally, Saudi Arabia provided a grant exceeding $500 million for 23 development projects to aid Pakistan’s recovery from the 2005 earthquake.
The inauguration of the King Abdullah Campus serves as a testament to the strong Saudi-Pakistani friendship and SFD’s dedication to advancing development initiatives in Pakistan and across the globe.