Saudi Arabia develops 23 initiatives to serve, support people with disabilities

Tamader Al-Rammah, Saudi Arabia’s deputy minister of labor and social development, said the Kingdom is preparing a national strategy featuring 23 initiatives for people with disabilities. (AN File Photo)
Updated 13 June 2018
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Saudi Arabia develops 23 initiatives to serve, support people with disabilities

  • Saudi Arabia is preparing a national strategy featuring 23 initiatives for people with disabilities
  • The Ministry of Labor and Social Development will develop a national program for the diagnosis and classification of disabilities

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is preparing a national strategy featuring 23 initiatives for people with disabilities, in addition to developing a national program for the diagnosis and classification of disabilities and creating of a unified national registry and statistics database.
Tamader Al-Rammah, the deputy minister of labor and social development, told the 11th session of the UN Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) that the Kingdom has developed an initiative that promotes early intervention, expands the public schools’ integration program, provides professional training, and applies a comprehensive access program.
“This year, a commission for supporting persons with disabilities has been established to act as an umbrella and reference body for keeping track of laws, regulations and policies concerning persons with disabilities, in addition to leading the implementation of action plans, empowerment plans, raising awareness and providing support and counseling,” she said.
Al-Rammah added that the Kingdom has implemented many measures to provide social protection for persons with disabilities and encourage their full integration in society and the job market.
“In 2000, the Disability Law was established to guarantee the rights of persons with disabilities, including protection, care and rehabilitation,” she said. “In 2008, Saudi Arabia has acceded to the CRPD and its optional protocol.”
She added that the Kingdom’s vision, with its three pillars: A vibrant society, a prosperous economy and an ambitious homeland, was keen to empower people with disabilities and provide them with suitable job opportunities, an education that guarantees their independence, and all the tools they need to help them succeed.
Al-Rammah explained that many institutions support the rights of persons with disabilities and offer help.
“The ministry supervises 38 centers for comprehensive rehabilitation across the Kingdom,” she said, “There are also 44 specialized associations and 347 day-care centers to serve all age groups and disabilities.”
She added that the King Salman Award for Disability Research was introduced to promote scientific research to address disabilities and reduce their impact.
Al-Rammah also pointed out that the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020 aims to ensure the full integration of people with disabilities in the job market. This includes the establishment of the Mowaamah program, which aims to provide suitable work environments for disabled people, according to international standards, to support their economic independence and integration into society.


Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

Arab coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki speaks during a press conference in Riyadh. (AN photo by Bashir Saleh)
Updated 20 June 2018
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Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

  • The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.
  • Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels.

JEDDAH: Saudi-led coalition officials on Tuesday displayed weapons and explosives supplied by Iran to Houthi militias in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. 

The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.

Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels. The weapons were captured on the battlefield in Hodeidah and displayed at a military base in the UAE. 

“Unsurprisingly, there are advanced military components in the Houthi militias’ hands,” said Talal Al-Teneiji, an official at the UAE Foreign Ministry.

“We took time to inspect and disassemble these to figure out the source ... and we can say that these elements are military-grade materials imported from Iran to the Houthi militias.”

As the week-long offensive in Hodeidah intensified on Tuesday, coalition forces consolidated their grip on the city’s airport and there was new fighting on the main coast road leading to the city center, with Apache helicopters providing air support to the coalition. 

“We can hear the sounds of artillery, mortars and sporadic machinegun fire. The Houthis have been using tanks,” one civilian on the coastal strip said. 

“Water has been cut off to many of the areas near the corniche area because the Houthis have dug trenches and closed water pipes.”

At the airport, which the coalition has controlled since Saturday, their forces stormed the main compound and took full command.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said: “We are waiting for the Houthis to realize the sort of military and psychological blow that they got with the airport ... we are giving them time to decide if they want to save the city ... and pull out.”

Oubai Shahbandar, a strategic communications adviser, told Arab News that “without the sea and airport of Hodeidah, the Houthi militia has effectively lost the war.”

They should agree to UN-hosted peace talks and not prolong the fighting. “The tide in this conflict has clearly turned in favor of the Arab coalition and the welfare of the Yemeni people ought to be paramount,” he said.