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
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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.


Major projects, investments worth over $685bn unveiled on Saudi National Day

A photo taken on July 5, 2018, shows Bader al-Ajmi, 38,(L) owner of "One Way Burger" serving customers from his truck at a main street in the capital Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 3 min 30 sec ago
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Major projects, investments worth over $685bn unveiled on Saudi National Day

  • The private sector’s contribution to the GDP at constant prices doubled to around SR1236.6 million in 2017

JEDDAH: A major economic boost in the form of 10 major projects and investments exceeding SR685 billion ($183 billion) were unveiled as celebrations of the 88th Saudi National Day got under way.
The Council of Saudi Chambers released a report focusing on great economic achievements in 2017.
These projects reflect the Kingdom’s vision under the wise leadership of King Salman and that of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to provide a brighter future through diversifying sources of national income, tackling environmental challenges and increasing investment and prosperity.
The report summarized the most important events and economic developments in the Kingdom over the past year. These include the lifting of the ban on women driving in June, and the establishment of the General Authority for Cyber Security, in addition to the numerous royal decrees providing financial support to Saudis.
It also noted the important decisions related to the Saudi business sector. These include the launch of a private sector incentive program with a value of SR72 billion, the privatization of 10 government sectors and the establishment of the General Authority for Real Estate. The private sector is still showing a strong performance as an efficient partner in the inclusive development process and in the achievement of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision, the report noted, as it contributes 39 percent to the Saudi gross domestic product (GDP).
The private sector’s contribution to the GDP at constant prices doubled to around SR1236.6 million in 2017. There has been increased contribution to GDP from non-oil private sector streams.
The private sector also witnessed an increase in the number of workers, in its capital, in the number of shares on the Saudi market, in the cumulative number of establishments operating in the Kingdom, and in non-oil exports.
Continued growth of the private sector was attributed by the report to the Saudi government’s support. This support comes through initiatives such as the removal of obstacles to financial development, improvements to the working environment and policies adopted to boost investment.
It also reviewed the private sector’s efforts to support diversification of the economy and lower unemployment rates.
The importance of the measures taken to prioritize the employment of qualified Saudi workers over the employment of expatriates in the private sector were stressed, as well as the sector’s role in providing education and health services.