Kingdom on alert after warning of heavy rains

Updated 26 April 2013
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Kingdom on alert after warning of heavy rains

All government agencies are on alert for an expected cold front and heavy rain over several areas in the Kingdom from tomorrow until Wednesday.
Citizens and residents have been warned to take every precaution over the next few days.
Prince Mohammad bin Naif, minister of interior, ordered all government departments to prepare resources, personnel and equipment for the expected climatic changes.
Abdullah Thabet Al-Arabi Al-Harathi, spokesman of the Civil Defense, said the prince is following events closely and ordered heads of defense committees to prepare emergency plans across the Kingdom.
Equipment and units are being mobilized in populated areas where heavy rain is expected.
Civil Defense committees and various ministries are coordinating joint action to ensure public safety.
Village committees have been placed on standby, he said.
He said the Civil Defense’s special center at its headquarters is on 24-hour alert and is in touch with the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) to monitor the situation.
Al-Harathi said citizens have to be careful over the next few days and should monitor the bulletins of the Civil Defense.
He praised the media for highlighting the situation.
Hussain Al-Qahtani, spokesman of the PME, told Arab News that there would be considerable moisture in the air around the southern and western parts of Riyadh province starting from tomorrow until Wednesday.
He said a cold front is coming from the Arabian Sea, Red Sea and Africa, which mights cause heavy rains.
The phenomenon is called Al-Baydha (Arabic for white).
It was given this name in the hope that rainfall would raise water levels in valleys to help farmers.
Similar weather conditions occurred in 1981, 1982 and 1983 when the largest valleys in the Kingdom filled with water.


Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

Updated 26 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.