KSRelief chief highlights Saudi aid efforts
:: Saudi Arabia has extended aid to disaster-affected people irrespective of their religion, race or color, said Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, adviser at the Royal Court and general supervisor of the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid (KSRelief).
Addressing a symposium at the UN headquarters in New York titled “Partners for a sustainable peace in Yemen,” he said Saudi development assistance stood at 1.9 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014, compared to the UN-approved rate of 0.70 percent.
Besides hosting Yemeni and Syrian refugees, the Kingdom supported 231 projects in 38 countries at a cost of $761.9 million, he said.
The countries include Yemen, Syria, Myanmar, Somalia, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Tajikistan, Iraq, Palestine and Ethiopia, he added.
The Kingdom responded to an urgent call by the UN in April 2015 and paid the full commitment of $274 million, Al-Rabeeah said.
It also paid $150 million at a donor conference for Yemen in Geneva on April 25, 2017, he added.
This year up to Aug. 10, the Kingdom provided $221.7 million to support anti-cholera programs in Yemen, and $66.7 million in response to a call from the World Health Organization (WHO) for additional funds to combat the disease in that country, he said.
Touching on KSRelief’s key achievements in Yemen, he said 4.3 million Yemenis have received assistance, and 2.5 million receive monthly assistance from the World Food Program (WFP) financed by the center.
From April 2015 to August 2017, Saudi assistance to Yemen stood at $8.27 billion, while that provided by KSRelief stood at $911.9 million.
Assistance to Yemenis in the Kingdom reached $1.13 billion, while development assistance to Yemen reached $2.9 billion. The Kingdom also provided $1 billion to support Yemen’s central bank, he said.
Al-Rabeeah explored challenges faced by KSRelief in Yemen, including poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition among children.
He also touched on the looting of relief aid by the Houthis in Yemen, and their attacks on relief workers affiliated with the UN and other aid agencies.
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