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

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.

Saudi Arabia, UAE agree on joint program to test supply chain and security systems

Updated 11 min 54 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, UAE agree on joint program to test supply chain and security systems

  • The test is in preparation for a crisis or disaster

JEDDAH: Supply chains and security systems are to be tested in preparation for a crisis or disaster in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, one of several initiatives agreed on Saturday by a body representing both countries.

The Saudi-UAE Coordination Council held its first executive committee meeting in Abu Dhabi. 

It was chaired by Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammed bin Maziad Al-Tuwaijri from the Saudi side, and Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Gergawi from the UAE side.

Al-Tuwaijri said the meeting was a continuation of the achievements made in bilateral relations.

A joint security cooperation program was signed to test the supply chain and security systems in the major sectors during a crisis or disaster, identify the points for improvement and develop a plan to address them.

It was agreed to introduce and market the products of small traders through joint events.

A virtual e-currency project was launched, but only on a trial basis. It will be restricted to trading between some banks in the Kingdom and the UAE in order to explore and prepare for future technologies.

Al-Tuwaijri also visited the Saudi Arabian pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai, heading an official delegation from the Kingdom.

The group was received by the minister of state for international cooperation and director general of the expo, Reem bint Ebrahim Al-Hashimy.

Saudi Arabia was the first international participant to begin building its pavilion for the event.

The Kingdom and the UAE have the two largest economies in the Gulf Cooperation Council and a combined gross domestic product of around $1 trillion.

There was a Saudi-UAE Coordination Council meeting last June in Jeddah that was chaired by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and the Kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.  

The two main goals set out at that meeting were to enhance the domestic economy of both nations and counter threats to Gulf and Arab security.