JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has given $84.7 billion in foreign aid to 79 countries between 1996-2018, according to Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief).
Al-Rabeeah highlighted Saudi Arabia’s contributions to international humanitarian and relief work, and said that the Kingdom had saved millions of people from conflicts and crises, regardless of their religion or ethnicity.
Al-Rabeeah was speaking during a seminar on the Kingdom’s humanitarian efforts at the University of Warsaw on Saturday, in the presence of Saudi Ambassador to Poland Mohammed Madani, Ambassador of Yemen to Poland Mervat Majali, and officials of the Foreign Ministry of Poland.
The royal decree establishing KSRelief was issued on May 13, 2015. Since then, it has carried out 482 projects in 42 countries worth $924,553,000. About 86 percent of the projects have been allocated to Yemen with a value of $659,271,000.
Al-Rabeeah said that the center implemented 206 projects for women worth $341,481,000, as well as 171 projects for children worth $504,962,000.
He added that the Kingdom had taken in 561,911 Yemeni refugees, 283,449 Syrian refugees and 249,669 refugees from Myanmar, the equivalent of 5.36 percent of the population of Saudi Arabia, putting it in second place internationally in terms of the number of refugees accepted.
Al-Rabeeah said that total Saudi assistance to Yemen since 2015 had reached $11.18 billion, noting that KSRelief has carried out 294 projects in Yemen in partnership with 80 UN and international and local NGOs.
Al-Rabeeah said that the response of KSRelief to the appeal by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF for $66.7 million to combat the cholera epidemic in Yemen, as well as the projects allocated by KSRelief for women in Yemen from 2015 to date, amounted to 132 projects valued at $281,457,000. There have been 136 projects for children worth $469,867,000.
He highlighted that the Saudi project for mine clearance in Yemen, “Masam,” had been conducted by more than 400 people working in 32 teams within Yemeni territory during the preparation phase, and five specialized teams for rapid intervention, benefiting 9 million beneficiaries.
The costs of the project amounted to $40 million in the governorates of Marib, Aden, Taiz and Sanaa. More than 1 million land mines had been planted in Yemen, more than the number planted in World War II, he said.
Al-Rabeeah said that KSRelief was running a program to rehabilitate Yemeni children recruited by the Houthi militias, who use them as human shields. KSRelief is rehabilitating and providing care for 2,000 children through social, psychological, cultural and sports programs.