GCC intensifies efforts to expand Yemen relief operations

Updated 05 August 2017
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GCC intensifies efforts to expand Yemen relief operations

RIYADH: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) said it has intensified efforts to expand relief operations in Yemen, ensure delivery of aid and address humanitarian concerns.
The move follows a meeting in Riyadh on Thursday of the GCC coordination office for humanitarian assistance and relief to Yemen, where 19 million people are in need of aid.
The meeting reviewed the GCC’s relief and humanitarian work, while discussing necessary steps to combat disease, malnourishment and starvation in Yemen, as well as implementing new projects in various sectors.
Abdul Raqib Fatah, minister of local administration and chairman of the Yemeni Relief Committee, briefed attendees on operations carried out by GCC countries and progress made in terms of aid and relief supplies throughout Yemen.
The GCC’s intensive efforts have contributed to a decline in the number of cholera cases, he said.
The meeting in Riyadh also discussed aid-delivery plans, threats posed by Houthi militias, and rebel violence and violations that have caused a humanitarian disaster, he added.
Fatah denounced “the international community’s silence” over the Houthis’ persistent interception and obstruction of aid convoys, and the threat they pose to humanitarian efforts.
Dr. Ibrahim Al-Qayid, founding member of the Riyadh-based National Society for Human Rights, said: “The massive aid and relief operation in Yemen led by the Kingdom deserves all commendations.”
He added that the Houthis and forces loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh “don’t care about the deplorable situation in Yemen.”
The Houthis “are committing human rights violations and killing their own people,” Al-Qayid said.
He urged all UN organizations to firmly condemn the parties responsible for obstructing humanitarian efforts.
“Despite all these handicaps, the GCC as a bloc has intensified its relief efforts, while Saudi Arabia ranks top in terms of carrying out aid and relief operations in Yemen,” Al-Qayid said.


Riyadh bird market closed after duck found with avian flu

Updated 39 min 33 sec ago
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Riyadh bird market closed after duck found with avian flu

  • Azizia Bird Market shutdown after duck was found to be carrying H5N8 avian flu
  • Bird and poultry keepers warned not to go to Azizia bird market until clearance work has been completed on the site

JEDDAH: Azizia Bird Market in Riyadh has been closed after a duck was found to be carrying H5N8 avian flu during ongoing inspections of poultry markets in the Kingdom, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture announced on Friday.
Ministry spokesman Dr. Abdullah Abalkhail told Arab News that action was taken immediately after the bird was found to be infected.
Ducks carry the virus, but do not display symptoms of the infection.
As well as closing the market, the authorities have prevented the movement of birds in the market, and followed directions from Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz, Acting Governor of Riyadh Region, to dispose of the birds safely and efficiently.
A contingency plan for dealing with cases of bird flu was applied by the Ministry’s branch in Riyadh, in cooperation with the security authorities, Riyadh Municipality, Riyadh Health Affairs Directorate, and the Ministry of Finance.
Abalkhail stressed that the Ministry, in cooperation with the relevant government sectors, has managed to stop the disease from spreading.
To date, there have been no human cases of H5N8 in the Kingdom. The last case of avian flu was recorded in the Kingdom on April 17 this year.
Abalkhail warned bird and poultry keepers not to go to Azizia bird market until clearance work has been completed on the site in order to protect their birds from infection.
Avian flu spreads rapidly among birds. He urged the public to report any suspected cases by calling the emergency number 8002470000.