Cholera epidemic figures in Yemen were exaggerated, says KSRelief

Dr. Samer A. Aljetaily speaks at the press conference in Riyadh on Monday. (AN photo)
Updated 09 January 2018
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Cholera epidemic figures in Yemen were exaggerated, says KSRelief

RIYADH: The King Salman Center for Humanitarian Aid and Relief (KSRelief), which has launched rapid response efforts to contain the cholera outbreak in strife-torn Yemen, said Monday that the extent of the epidemic was exaggerated by a section of media and international organizations.
Addressing a news conference here, KSRelief spokesman Dr. Samer A. Aljetaily told reporters that the cholera outbreak in Yemen had been blown out of proportion by the media.
Speaking to Arab News, Aljetaily said: “I think there is a misconception about the terminology and the definition of the epidemic used in reports. Unfortunately some of the organizations talked about suspected cases as if they are confirmed cases, and there is a big difference between the two.”
He said that some other infections, too, were reported as cholera, which was inappropriate. “There is no criteria for description of the cholera cases inside Yemen. We thought of this actually after consulting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading national public health institute of the United States, that there is manipulation of the data. The data is inaccurate, so the number was exaggerated and the issue blown out of proportion by a section of the media,” he said.
“Some organizations like to draw a very dark picture of what is happening in Yemen,” he underlined. He said a possible reason for exaggerating facts and figures was that “there are some well-known organizations which are against the war, and they have a mission to stop this war to restore the legitimate government in Yemen.”
He added that some organizations want to convey that there is extraordinary humanitarian crisis in Yemen without acknowledging that the rebel militias are not ready to come to the negotiation table for peace.
Earlier, speaking to reporters about the humanitarian work done by KSRelief since its formation in 2015, Aljetaily said the total number of projects worldwide for the center stands at 308 with 119 partners at the value of $967,595,831, while the total number of projects in Yemen stands at 175, implemented in association with 77 partners at the cost of $821,793,142.
During this period, he said, the center provided 7,590 people with relief assistance by air, 2,749 by sea and 880 by the land route; 364,695 people were evacuated from Yemen and they were of 85 nationalities.
On relief works blocked or hampered by Houthi militias during the period, he said 65 relief ships were blocked at Hodeida and Mileif ports, while 567 relief-loaded trucks were stopped from providing assistance to distressed people.
Moreover, 363 relief trucks were confiscated by the Houthis, who also looted 6,315 food baskets meant for civilians, he added.
Commenting on child-related assistance and projects, he said KSRelief implemented 116 projects from 2015 to September 2017 at the cost of $262.5 million. In the first half of 2017, the Houthi militias recruited 568 Yemeni children under the age of 18, and more than 8,000 children since 2015, he said.
KSRelief launched the third phase of its Yemeni children rehabilitation program for those recruited by the Houthis, he said, adding that the program aims to help them integrate into the Yemeni community. Some 2,000 children are targeted in this program, he added.
On health projects, he said KSRelief has funded its maternity and children project in eight Yemeni provinces through 68 centers.


The ‘hanging villages’ atop Assiri mountains bare marks of early civilization

Updated 12 November 2018
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The ‘hanging villages’ atop Assiri mountains bare marks of early civilization

  • The region opens a new window for visitors seeking tourism in this area, given its attractive nature, between high mountain lands, covered in Juniper trees

JEDDAH: In the northern region of Assir, 180km away from its capital Abha, the dark mountains overlooking the Wadi Khat did not pose a challenge for ancient human civilization that had settled, during a period in time, on its highest tops.
These civilizations created villages on the top of mountains that were full of life.
The Saudi Press Agency, during a tour of the region, has reached these villages after it launched a trip from Abha toward the touristic coastal route linking the city and Taif, crossing to the destination via “Tela” between the highlands of Sarra and Tihama.
The region opens a new window for visitors seeking tourism in this area, given its attractive nature, between high mountain lands, covered in Juniper trees, steep slopes and various agricultural terraces.
Amid the crossing, foggy weather, and nearly touching the clouds atop these mountains, the distance shrinks between the turns and slopes, to reveal the corners of this historic location, creating a clear panoramic picture of the region’s landscapes.
The details also include the efforts of the Saudi leadership in constructing roads and tunnels, building bridges and paving roads to serve the residents of the area.
A group of residents joined SPA on its trip to the so-called “hanging villages”, riding a 4x4 vehicle to be able to truly appreciate the destination; a village called Al-Sumaid.
An old resident of the village said he is looking forward to road and pavement construction in the area, in order to reach the old village, as well as maintenance efforts from rain and torrential rains, in line with the Saudi leadership’s vision to develop tourism.
Resident Abdul Rahman Al-Sumadi also spoke to SPA about the ancient village, which includes many old houses, palaces and castles that standstill on top of the mountains. The buildings embrace many archaeological artifacts and rock inscriptions that confirm its ancient history.
The agricultural terraces surrounding the village were a source of living for inhabitants of the region at the time, as well as raising goats and cows.