KSRelief signs six accords worth $3 million to help displaced Yemenis

KSRelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, right, and Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jabir, speak during a press conference in Riyadh on Tuesday. (AN photo)
Updated 21 February 2018
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KSRelief signs six accords worth $3 million to help displaced Yemenis

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) signed six agreements worth $3 million with various organizations in Riyadh on Tuesday to help Yemenis displaced and injured by Houthi rebel actions.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, the supervisor general of the center and adviser to the royal court, signed the agreements in the presence of Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jabir, who is also the executive director of the Comprehensive Humanitarian Operations of the Support Center in Yemen.
Dr. Al-Rabeeah told Arab News that the agreements were for six projects to help Yemenis affected by rebel atrocities. The programs, he said, would include the third and fourth phase of the rehabilitation projects, renewal of contracts with the operations centers in Maarib in Yemen and also treatment of patients in two hospitals in Yemen and two in the Kingdom.
According to a statement, the total number of injured Yemenis has reached 4,423, with 800 currently in need of medical treatment.
Some of the injured need artificial limbs and some need treatment for their eyes, which will be carried out by Al-Magrabi hospitals in the Kingdom.
Some 80 child soldiers are being rehabilitated at various centers and the total cost of the rehabilitation program has reached about $209,350.
KSRelief has targeted areas such as Maarib province, Al-Jouf, Imran, Sanaa, and Dimaar for the rehabilitation of child soldiers rescued from the Houthi rebels.
According to Al-Rabeeah, these child soldiers are being helped to reintegrate into society and lead a normal life. An awareness campaign is being carried out among the Yemeni people and the parents of these children to treat them with understanding and guide them back to society.
Yemen ambassador Al-Jabir told Arab News that the assistance provided by the center was not only in supplying foods, medicines and clothes to distressed Yemenis. He said that Iran-backed Houthi rebels had destroyed the peaceful life of Yemenis in their homeland.
There are some 2 million Yemenis working in the Kingdom and they send more than $10 million to their families in Yemen. The Kingdom, he said, had opened certain points, including an airbridge, to enable organizations to transport relief goods, whether government-controlled or Houthi-controlled goods, to reach people in need.
To boost the economy of Yemen, the envoy said that the Kingdom has funded its Central Bank with $2 billion and another $1.5 billion has been given to UN organizations to help distressed Yemenis.


Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

The end of the driving ban is expected to help bring an economic windfall for Saudi women. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 June 2018
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Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

  • The historic move is a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Saudi Arabia, says businesswoman
  • A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market

The end of the driving ban will boost women’s financial power and allow them to play a bigger role in economic and social diversification in line with Vision 2030, prominent businesswomen said on Friday.

Hind Khalid Al-Zahid was the first Saudi woman designated as an executive director — for Dammam Airport Company — and also heads the Businesswomen Center at the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

She sees the historic move as a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Kingdom.

“Women being allowed to drive is very important; of course this will help a lot in sustainable development as the lifting of the ban on women driving came as a wonderful opportunity to increase women’s participation in the workforce,” she told Arab News on Friday, ahead of the end of the ban on Sunday.

She added that women in the job market are under-represented; they make up to 22 percent of the national workforce of about six million according to official estimates. Lifting the ban will help to take women’s representation in the workforce to 30 percent by 2030, she said.

“This is not just the right thing to do for women’s emancipation, but also an essential step in economic and social development as part of the reforms,” she said.

She said that there were different obstacles in increasing women’s participation in the workforce and other productive activities, and the driving ban was one of them. It was a strategic issue that needed to be addressed on a priority basis. With the issue resolved, it would help immensely in giving Saudi women better representation as they would help to diversify the Saudi economy and society.

She said that women could contribute hugely to the workforce and labor market as half of Saudi human resources were female, and unless allowed to excel in different sectors it would not be possible to do better, mainly because of restricted mobility.

A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market.

Nouf Ibrahim, a businesswoman in Riyadh, said: “It will surely boost female economic participation and help increase women’s representation in the workforce immensely. It will also help to reduce the overall national unemployment rate as most of the unemployed are women and many of them are eligible as university graduates.”

She echoed the opinion that the move would help to bring an economic windfall for Saudi women, making it easier for them to work and do business, and thus play a bigger and better role that would help economic and social diversification in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

“Being able to drive from Sunday onwards after the ban is lifted will be a wonderful experience. Earlier we were dependent on a male family member and house driver to take us to workplace, to the shopping center, school or other required places for some work, now we can drive and that will allow active participation in productive work,” Sulafa Hakami, a Saudi woman working as the digital communication manager with an American MNC in Riyadh, told Arab News.

“Saudi women can now share effectively the bigger and better responsibilities,” she said.