Saudi Arabia ‘providing relief to all in need in Yemen without discrimination’

In this Feb. 3, 2018 photo, a relief worker signals a forklift driver unloading aid carried into Yemen by the Saudi military in Marib, Yemen. (AP)
Updated 20 March 2018

Saudi Arabia ‘providing relief to all in need in Yemen without discrimination’

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) launched a fresh campaign on Monday to deliver humanitarian aid in Yemen, saying that the center provided relief without discrimination to areas under legitimate rule and those controlled by the Houthis.
“The center has continued to deliver comprehensive humanitarian aid in Yemen, as well as providing fuel to hospitals and water plants across the country within its efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance to all Yemeni people,” said Nasser Al-Nafe, a center spokesman.
He told Arab News that KSrelief had distributed 42,000 food baskets and 21,000 ready-to-eat meals in the northern province of Hajjah, currently under the control of the Houthi militias, as a part of Yemen Comprehensive Humanitarian Operations (YCHO).
He added, however, that in certain areas controlled by the Houthi militants the center was delivering humanitarian aid without its banner as “our aim is to ensure relief supply to those in need without interruption and without discrimination.”
Despite harassment, serious violations of international norms and arrests by the militias that control the area of the field team distributing food and other aid, it had been able to reach all the distressed areas, he said.
He said that during the six months of distribution, the number of beneficiaries reached 252,402, including 137,318 children and 56,205 women.
While providing humanitarian assistance, the center aims to maintain several projects including addressing malnutrition in children and pregnant and lactating mothers, as well as a water supply project.
Meanwhile, the center on Sunday launched a new campaign to distribute food aid in the liberated districts of Al-Khokha and Al-Hayes in the southern province of Hodeidah. This relief campaign aims to deliver 22,000 food baskets to the target groups in the two districts, with 11,000 food baskets per district.
Saudi Arabia signed an agreement last Thursday to deposit $2 billion in Yemen’s Central Bank under the directives of King Salman to save the Yemeni economy and currency from collapse.
The agreement was signed by Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan and Yemeni Central Bank’s Governor Mohammed bin Mansour Zammam in the Saudi capital.
Earlier, King Salman issued a directive in January to transfer $2 billion to the Central Bank of Yemen.
The deposit of the new Saudi grant has helped to curb the continued deterioration of the Yemeni currency, which recovered part of its lost value against other foreign currencies, with the banking sector predicting that the deposit would stabilize the Yemeni market.

Ronaldinho plans Saudi Arabia football academy in Jeddah

Updated 14 November 2018

Ronaldinho plans Saudi Arabia football academy in Jeddah

  • Backstage at Misk Global Forum, Brazilian football legend reveals intention to open school some time next year
  • Player offered advice for audience, speaking about the value of teamwork, learning from failure and the rewards of giving back

RIYADH: Ronaldinho plans to open a football academy in Jeddah some time next year, the Brazilian football legend revealed to Arab News backstage in an exclusive interview after his appearance at the Misk Global Forum on Wednesday.

“First of all, I want to say thank you for a warm reception and kindness which I have received from the Saudi people,” he told Arab News. “As for the kids, those who want to be a player some day, dedicate as much as you can and follow your dreams.”

Earlier, Ronaldinho appeared on stage to a chorus of cheers at the end of the day’s sessions, where he gave a talk titled the Discipline – and Fun – of Teamwork. 

”I was lucky enough to be on a team with stars,” he said of his career with European clubs Paris St-Germain, Barcelona and AC Milan, and a World Cup win in 2002 with the Brazilian national team. “We all respected each other.

“For me it was wonderful, because my history with this team and players was a beautiful one: To idolize them and later play with them and later win titles again…”

Ronaldinho said he feels grateful for his God-given talent. “Throughout my career we had a plan, and I always worked hard. God gave me the privilege to play football. It was fun, not a sacrifice.”

“I’ve always liked to have a ball around me, to have contact with the ball.”

His advice for the audience? “Prepare yourself and help your colleague or team member,” he said. “Humility is important. Try to stay humble.”

He also said to train hard, read as much as you can and don’t fear failure. “I failed a lot of times,” he said. “Football is like that. You can’t always win. You have to seek lessons from the defeats and not lose hope.” 

Now that he’s retired, Ronaldinho is more concerned with giving back. “After I stopped playing, I have soccer academies. That’s what I’m proud of, and it has given me pleasure. To give something back (as a)  thanks to football and everything it have given me.”