Arab coalition continues humanitarian aid to Yemen

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A displaced Yemeni child sits on boxes and sacks of Saudi-provided humanitarian food aid at a camp in Yemen's northeastern province of Marib on January 26, 2018. (AFP / ABDULLAH AL-QADRY)
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Workers unload humanitarian aid packages from a Saudi air force cargo plane, at an airfield in Yemen’s central province of Marib, on Sunday. (AFP)
Updated 30 January 2018
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Arab coalition continues humanitarian aid to Yemen

RIYADH: More than 19 ships are at Yemeni ports carrying humanitarian aid for the Yemeni people, said Col. Turki Al-Maliki, spokesman for the Saudi-led Arab coalition, on Monday.
In addition, 12 aid flights have been sent to Yemen’s port city of Aden within a week to relieve the people’s suffering, he said.
“Yemeni people have a right to humanitarian aid and this right should not be disrupted,” Al-Maliki emphasized.
The colonel then conveyed a message from a Yemeni child who was abducted and taken into the custody of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia, and forced to be trained as a soldier. He was 13 years old and had given the message personally to Al-Maliki, warning others like him.
During the past week, many Houthis tried to cross the border and enter Saudi Arabia through various means, one of them being camouflage.
“Ninety-one ballistic missiles have been fired at Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the coalition,” Al-Maliki said. “While the Houthis are laying landmines, the coalition is rebuilding infrastructure.”
Last week, the foreign ministers of the coalition members announced a $1.5 billion humanitarian aid package for Yemen.
“The coalition will coordinate ... $1.5 billion in new humanitarian aid funding for distribution across UN agencies and international relief organizations,” the coalition announced in a statement.
The aid package is in addition to the $2 billion Saudi cash injection to Yemen’s central bank.
The estimated number of Yemeni people in need of humanitarian help is close to 21 million, 10 million of whom are in dire need.
Since 2015 the Kingdom has delivered $8.1 billion in humanitarian assistance as well as $2 billion in development aid.


FII delegates pay tribute to Khashoggi, say ‘terrible act not part of our DNA’

Updated 23 October 2018
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FII delegates pay tribute to Khashoggi, say ‘terrible act not part of our DNA’

RIYADH: Speakers at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh did not shy away from addressing what could otherwise have been the elephant in the room: The death of Jamal Khashoggi.
Numerous speakers had pulled out of the event over the death of the Saudi journalist in the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Khashoggi’s death was the result of a “rogue operation” by people acting beyond the scope of Saudi authorities, Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Sunday.
Many speakers due to attend the FII — mostly those from Western organizations — had pulled out due to allegations the Saudi government was complicit in Khashoggi’s death.
But speakers at the FII on Tuesday tackled the issue head-on, calling the death “abhorrent” and promising justice. 
“These are difficult days for us in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We are going through a crisis, of sorts, resulting from the very regrettable and abhorrent incident that took place in Turkey,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told the audience.
“Nobody in the Kingdom can justify it or explain it. From the leadership on down, we are very upset about what has happened,” he added. 
“The king has made it clear that there will be an investigation, justice and retribution to those responsible.”
The prominent Saudi business executive Lubna Olayan also remarked on the case, saying that the “terrible acts reported in recent weeks are alien to our culture and DNA.” 
Al-Falih said that, despite the ongoing “crisis” due to the case, the ambitious reforms that Saudi Arabia is undertaking would continue. 
“The Kingdom is in the midst of a historic transformation of unprecedented proportions, and the train has moved, and it has moved deliberately toward a transformation journey that will not be stopped,” he said. 
“Those partners who are here with us today, to continue their journey with us are certainly going to look back and find out how the lessons have been learned from the incident, but at the same time how committed the Kingdom is to its partners who stay the course.”