The government’s performance in facing wasting food in Saudi Arabia has failed in spite of mounting warnings about it for years.
The scarcity of food is exacerbated in the Kingdom at a time when the poor of the Kingdom are not finding their day to day expenses as the Saudi regime is ignoring these priority living issues.
Food waste is one of the problems facing Saudi, which is at the forefront of food-wasting countries, while many citizens, expatriates are poor in the country in addition to neighboring countries.
Although this problem is widespread in various countries of the world, and over the past few years has topped the agenda of the concerns of the United Nations, the frightening figures coming from Saudi Arabia confirm the magnitude of this disaster despite it is not new.
According to studies and figures published by government and international institutions in September 2018, the Kingdom is wasting what is worth about$ 13.3 billion annually.
“Waste of food” is defined as food that is lost, wasted, or disposed of, although it is often suitable for human consumption.
Earlier statistics announced by Khiyrat Association for Saving Food an, which fight against the phenomenon of wasting food in the Kingdom, revealed that the Saudi is wasted daily about eight million meals.
“The amount of food consumed per capita in the Kingdom is estimated at 250 kg per year, the highest in the world,” explained the illustrations published by the association, noting that “90 percent of the food at concerts does not benefit.”
Another study, published in February 2018 on food waste in the Arab world, suggests that the volume of wasted food at an average wedding in Mecca is enough to feed 250 hungry people.
The Economist Intelligence Unit recently published a new statistic published by the BBC in May last year that said that the percentage of waste per Saudi citizen per year rose to 472 kg per year, which is three times the rate in Europe and America North.
A study published in 1992 by Saudi researcher Ahmed Al-Shushan revealed that between 24 and 32 percent of the food served in public hospitals in Saudi Arabia is wasted.
According to the head of Khiyrat association, Noura al-Ajmi, eight million meals are wasted daily in homes in the Kingdom worth 70 million riyals, which is saturated with the people of Riyadh.
The Kingdom ranked first in consumption of cereals, where the individual consumes 158 kg per capita per year, while consumption in the world is 145 kg per capita.
According to the Economist, the consumption of vegetables in the Kingdom per capita is the lowest in the world, where the individual consumes 90 kilograms per year, while the world’s 137 kg per capita.
According to the Department of General Statistics and Information, the percentage of domestic agricultural output and food imports compared to losses and waste is about 30 percent. The value of local agricultural output with food imports is 116.113 billion riyals per year, and the value of loss and waste is 49.833 billion riyals per year.
The statistics show that 40.5 percent of the Saudi population suffers from blood pressure, while 33.3 percent of the world’s population suffers from the same disease, noting that 20 percent of the family income in the Kingdom goes for food.
According to statistics published by Saudi Food Bank, the company retained the lost meals, amounted to about three million and two hundred thousand meals, in the cities Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Habil and Qatif only.
The company pointed out that these figures were only during 2017, without disclosing the funds that were assigned to those meals.
Meanwhile, the Ikram, association to save food Makkah revealed that the food collected during the month of Shawwal was 49 tons, with an estimated value exceeding 886 thousand riyals (about a quarter of a million US dollars).
Studies say that more than 72% of fresh meat was wasted in the Kingdom because it was not used or eaten at parties and events.
A report by the Organization for Justice and Development for the Middle East and North Africa revealed last September that there were about 5 million Saudi citizens living below the poverty line, suffering from poverty and the spread of slums and squatter houses.
The report added that the spread of poverty in the Kingdom, the result of the cost of the war led by Saudi Arabia on Yemen, which amounted to the latest estimates about $ 1.5 billion, in addition to the decline in oil prices.
The United Nations, on January 2017, expressed “shock” at the level of poverty in some areas of Saudi Arabia. The UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, during his visit to the Kingdom, he encountered difficult living conditions, adding: I think it will shock Saudi citizens.”