Saudi aid center, Yemen rights ministry plan more joint programs

KSRelief aims to help country amid devastation caused by the Houthi militia. (SPA)
Updated 31 August 2018
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Saudi aid center, Yemen rights ministry plan more joint programs

  • KSRelief has 274 projects now in place across Yemen
  • The projects aim to help the country amid devastation caused by the Iran-backed Houthi militia

JEDDAH: Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), held talks with Yemen’s Minister of Human Rights, Mohammed Askar, on Thursday on relief and humanitarian work provided by KSRelief in Yemen, with 274 projects now in place across the country.

During the meeting In Riyadh, the humanitarian and human rights situation in Yemen were also discussed, including violations committed by the Houthi militias against civilians, such as the bombing of water wells and residential neighborhoods, killing and injuring hundreds of civilians.

The recruitment of children for use as human shields was also condemned.

Al-Rabeeah said KSRelief is keen to cooperate with Yemen’s Ministry of Human Rights to ease the suffering of the Yemeni people and implement programs to support the most affected groups in the country.

“Our work is focused on programs to protect women and children, and rehabilitate children recruited by the Houthi militias.”

Al-Rabeeah said the humanitarian role of KSRelief proves that the Arab coalition is not only a military but also a humanitarian partnership that has been providing food, medicine and clothing to all Yemeni regions for more than three years.

Askar praised the relationship between KSRelief and the ministry, and said their joint programs will have a positive impact on the lives of Yemeni people.

In an earlier interview with Arab News, Askar said: “Iran has succeeded in turning the Houthis into a military tool that threatens international peace and security, especially in the navigational corridors of Yemen such as Bab Al-Mandab and adjoining waters.

“Iran has poured funds and arms in a fervent bid to expand their hegemony in the region. The Iranian intransigence has kept the war raging, which has shattered the lives of Yemenis,” he said. 

Since its establishment, KSRelief has launched projects worth $70 million in Yemen. The projects aim to help the country amid devastation caused by the Houthi militia.

Earlier, Mohammed Al-Jabir, Saudi ambassador to Yemen, said that the Kingdom’s assistance to Yemen totaled about $10.96 billion.


Hajj pilgrims praise Saudi support at Dhaka airport

Updated 3 min 29 sec ago
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Hajj pilgrims praise Saudi support at Dhaka airport

  • Seventy immigration officials from Saudi Arabia are currently in Dhaka to accomplish pilgrims’ immigration tasks
  • At the airport, Saudi authorities have established 15 booths to serve pilgrims, who have to record 10-finger impressions in the Kingdom’s immigration database

DHAKA: Pre-immigration facilities provided by Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrims in Bangladesh have helped reduce waiting times by several hours after their arrival at airports in the Kingdom, several of them said on Wednesday.
The program is part of Saudi Arabia’s Road to Makkah initiative, whereby pilgrims can complete immigration at airports in their home country instead of doing it on arrival in the Kingdom.
From this year, Bangladeshi pilgrims are enjoying pre-immigration facilities at Dhaka airport.
“Among the 127,000 Bangladeshi pilgrims, this year 60,500 of them will have the opportunity to complete the immigration formalities at Dhaka airport,” Bangladeshi Religious Affairs Secretary Anisur Rahman told Arab News.
“From next year, all Bangladeshi pilgrims will enjoy this pre-immigration system at Dhaka airport.”
Seventy immigration officials from Saudi Arabia are currently in Dhaka to accomplish pilgrims’ immigration tasks. Three Saudi organizations are working at Dhaka airport to accomplish these tasks.
At the airport, Saudi authorities have established 15 booths to serve pilgrims, who have to record 10-finger impressions in the Kingdom’s immigration database.
In addition, at the immigration counter officials take photographs of the pilgrims, Rahman said.
“The pre-immigration system was supposed to be launched from the first Hajj flight on July 4, but due to technical issues we couldn’t do that on the first day. However, things are now running very smoothly,” he added.
Abdul Kayum Bepari, a Bangladeshi pilgrim who completed his Saudi immigration formalities at Dhaka airport, told Arab News: “It’s an amazing experience. All immigration formalities were completed within a minute. When I performed Hajj in 2011, it took more than four hours for me to complete the immigration formalities at the Saudi airport.”
Bangladeshi pilgrim Sadek Ali told Arab News: “Everything is very disciplined. This pre-immigration system has truly eased the hassle of thousands of Bangladeshi pilgrims.”
Pilgrim Bulbuli Begum told Arab News: “My Saudi immigration formalities took only a few seconds to be completed.”
Pre-immigration support for Bangladeshi pilgrims will continue until the last Hajj flight, which is scheduled on Aug. 5.
“We’re trying to ensure maximum support and comfort to the pilgrims,” said a Saudi immigration official at Dhaka airport.
“They don’t even need to worry about luggage. Once the pilgrims land at a Saudi airport, they’ll immediately board hotel-bound buses and will receive their luggage at the hotel.”