Kingdom distributes 30,000 food baskets in Yemen’s Hodeidah

Saudi Arabia gives direct and indirect aid to those suffering from the current crisis in Yemen. Aid is both in the form of material help as well as training in such areas as education.
Updated 23 October 2016

Kingdom distributes 30,000 food baskets in Yemen’s Hodeidah

RIYADH: The King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid (KSRelief) on Friday distributed 30,000 food baskets to needy families in all governorates of Hodeidah in Yemen.
An estimated 180,000 people are expected to benefit from this relief, bringing the total number of beneficiaries from such aid programs until October to 400,000 as a result of joint efforts from local and international partners.
The head of KSRelief and adviser at the royal court, Abdulllah Al-Rabeeah, said in a statement that the center is implementing many projects in coordination with the United Nations and the World Food Program for food emergency aid in 16 Yemeni governorates including in Al-Mahwiet, Omran, Albaidaa, Jouf, Aal Daleh, the capital’s municipality, Marib, Abb, Taiz, Hija, Rima, Ibn, Sanaa, Thamaar, and Lahj. The project is to distribute 134,000 food baskets by the end of October benefiting 938,000 people.
Al-Rabeeah added that the center is continuing with the distribution of food baskets and tents for those that are displaced in Jouf, Mareb and Hadrmout. Items for distribution include 21,700 food baskets, 1,064 tents and 17,710 blankets. The beneficiaries to date total 130,200.
KSRelief gives direct and indirect aid to those suffering from the present crises. Aid is either for relief and/or humanitarian purposes, and in such areas as education.
The teachers training program enables Yemenis to operate educational programs include e-teaching and long-distance teaching as 500 teachers are being trained on these educational technologies being implemented for the first time to meet teacher shortages.
Education and lessons are being recorded and will be aired on television. Most educational curricula have been made digital at all school levels with e-platforms to be aired to students with additional psychological support messages by Yemeni experts.
Al-Rabeeah also said the center is coordinating this program with the Yemeni orphan’s establishment as a local partner, and for indirect support, it is cooperating with 2,000 programs with the UNFPA in protecting women and children.
In addition, the center is working with different UN organizations to help farmers in growing crops and using fertilizer, agricultural implements, pesticides, vaccines and medicines in farming and animal husbandry.
He said it is supporting civil society organizations through the UNDP through training those unemployed, supporting small projects, and supervising psychological support through civil society organizations, where 313,000 have so far benefited.
Also hostels, rehabilitation and training centers have been set up in different Yemeni governorates with help in paying rents, helping those in need for livelihood and small projects at $31 million.
He added that the medical, environmental and water projects currently carried out in Yemen are continuing. So far, these involved treating 3,601 patients for injuries, which means that there are 150 injured people treated and cared for each month.
Al-Rabeeah said the projects of treating Yemenis in Sudan and Jordan are also continuing, with relatives accompanying patients. He added these are in addition to those injured who are treated inside Yemen in private hospitals, which stand at 1,800, and that coordination is continuing with their partners.
He stressed the fact that the medical, environmental and water projects are continuing according to need, and with local and international partners in line with world standards.
He added that the center still wants to operate the Saudi Hospital in Jija that will serve 270,000 patients, and to operate the Al-Salam Hospital in Saada to serve more than 356,332 patients with helping the Al-Jamhouri Hospital, Al-Thawara Hospital, Kuwaiti Hospital and the University Hospital, all in Sanaa. This is in addition to helping the central clinic in Sanaa, the Military Hospital and providing power and oxygen.
Al-Rabeeah said KSRelief is implementing food and medical aid program interventions for boys and girls below the age of five, pregnant women and those breastfeeding through UNICEF with the number of beneficiaries till now standing at 270,0000, in all of Yemen. The project for emergency aid (public, health, pharmaceuticals, medical apparatuses and oxygen) is being conducted with WHO with 750,0000 beneficiaries so far.
He said the Marib Public Hospital is being supported with beneficiaries standing at 74,480, as is the Al-Jamhouri Hospital in Aden, that serves 57,666. Two projects are being implemented for these hospitals to provide the necessary medical cadres and this will begin implementation on Nov. 5, in coordination with the stated partners in Aden, Hadramout, Marib, Saada and Taiz.
A project to establish a prosthetic center in Marib to serve all Yemenis is also being implemented.
As to supporting environmental sanitation, Al-Rabeeah said the center is implementing a project to support water services, and sterilization and sanitation from Medical Corps International to serve around 7,869,356 beneficiaries in Sanaa, Aden, Taiz, Lahj and Marib. He said the project to provide wheelchairs to 371 health facilities has been completed. This was in coordination with the Yemeni Ministry of Health, with the support of 97 public and private health facilities, clinics, and labs through WHO, but financed by the center.
The head of the center said this comes about through the orders of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to help the Yemeni people.

Saudi Crown Prince takes Pakistan bond ‘to new level’

Updated 18 February 2019

Saudi Crown Prince takes Pakistan bond ‘to new level’

  • Asseri said Saudi Arabia has deferred payments on oil worth billions of US dollars from time to time in order to ease pressure on the Pakistan economy
  • Pakistan’s relatively young population is also hoping for a stronger relationship with the Kingdom

RIYADH: A major transformation is underway in Saudi Arabia’s economic relationship with Pakistan, according to Dr. Ali Awadh Asseri, a former ambassador to Islamabad.

In a wide-ranging interview with Arab News, the former envoy said greater interaction between business and the private sectors in both countries will take the historical bond “to a new level.” 

Asseri, who spent nine years in Islamabad and was the second-longest serving Saudi ambassador to the country, said: “We know that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have always enjoyed an incomparable level of understanding and friendship based on religion, culture and values. There is a historical bond between the two countries. 

“I have no doubt that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is taking a cohesive approach to strengthen the relationship and take it to another level.” 

Asseri said that while Saudi Arabia and Pakistan cooperated closely on security matters, bilateral trade between the countries remained limited to about $4 billion. 

“We need to ... encourage the private sectors to interact more. We can help Pakistan’s industry and we need to become more involved in the trade sector. There are advanced industries and firms in Pakistan, and they have raw materials — it’s a good environment for investors.”

Asseri said Saudi Arabia has deferred payments on oil worth billions of US dollars from time to time in order to ease pressure on the Pakistan economy. The Kingdom is also making billion-dollar direct investments in the country in line with the China-Pakistan economic corridor. 

“I am happy to see a major transformation underway in Saudi-Pakistani economic relationships with our leadership and government deciding to invest in the economic development of Pakistan,” he said. 

The former ambassador said frequent official visits between the two countries were important. 

“I came back recently from Pakistan, and the vibe of the media, government and people was so optimistic. Pakistanis were excited about the crown prince’s visit. People hope it will bring great opportunities for the economy as well as strengthening the political and social ties between the two countries,” he said.

Asseri said Saudi Arabia and Pakistan had faced many challenges together in recent decades.

In 2001, during Asseri’s first year as Saudi ambassador in Pakistan, the 9/11 attacks on New York led to greater cooperation between Islamabad and Riyadh in dealing with terrorism.

The Kingdom had been closely involved with Pakistan since its independence, he said. “King Abdul Aziz sent King Saud and Prince Faisal to Pakistan at that time. So if we go back through history, we can see that this relationship is truly unique.” 

Asseri also highlighted the ties between the two countries on humanitarian issues, security and military issues, saying: “Pakistan has suffered serious security and humanitarian consequences of the decades-long war in Afghanistan, besides housing millions of Afghan refugees.

“Together Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have worked for peace in Afghanistan and will do whatever it takes to achieve this long-desired goal.”

Asseri said Pakistanis were quick to show their appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s assistance in the past regardless of the change in Pakistani leadership over the years. 

“The relationship is unique because it is between people. Such a relationship (will) keep growing with every generation.

“When Pakistan was in a difficult position in 2005 after a devastating earthquake, Saudi Arabia went out of its way to provide the support it needed. Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz and eight ministers visited Balochistan. Field hospitals were created with Saudi doctors treating people and performing surgery there.” 

Pakistan also has a deep loyalty to Saudi Arabia, Asseri said. “Pakistan has military expertise, and through cooperation between the two countries, it helped the Saudi military during its development.” 

“The Kingdom’s recent appointment of a Saudi commercial attache in Pakistan will also bolster the economic links between the two countries,” he said. 

“There are good minds in Pakistan and good products that could be manufactured in Saudi Arabia.”

Asseri said he is also optimistic that Saudi plans to build a major oil refinery in Gwadar will help create an “economic hub.” 

The former envoy said the Saudi crown prince’s visit to Pakistan will add to the relationship between the countries. 

Pakistan’s relatively young population is also hoping for a stronger relationship with the Kingdom. 

“Young Pakistanis who are advanced in the IT and industrial sectors are looking forward to helping and cooperating with Saudi Arabia, and sharing their experiences and knowledge,” he said.