Saudi Arabia, UAE ramp up support for Yemen

The total humanitarian support provided by the Kingdom to Yemen during the past four years amounted to more than $13 billion. (SPA)
Updated 13 September 2018
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Saudi Arabia, UAE ramp up support for Yemen

  • The response had been ramped up to meet the most urgent needs of thousands of displaced families
  • The Iran-backed Houthis had been involved in killings, torture, abduction and the illegal detention of people including women and children

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE, whose aid contribution represents more than half of UN humanitarian targets, have scaled up their responses to the crisis in Yemen, said Mohammed Askar, Yemeni minister of human rights, on Wednesday.

The response had been ramped up to meet the most urgent needs of thousands of displaced families, especially because of the fighting in Hodeidah, the strategic port city through which 80 percent of food and aid are delivered into Yemen.

Askar gave an overview of the conditions of people in Yemen caused by the Iran-backed Houthi militias. He said that “Saudi Arabia and the UAE have provided half of the humanitarian response set by the UN Humanitarian Needs Document for 2018, which is estimated at $3 billion.”

The minister said: “Saudi Arabia also provided $2 billion as bank deposit to curb the collapse of the national currency and stimulate the economy of that strife-torn country.” 

The Kingdom had also responded to WHO and UNICEF by making available $66.7 million to combat cholera. “This is in addition to $60 million for power and water plants, and supplies,” he said.

Referring to other countries that have extended aid to Yemen; Askar said: “We do not forget the great humanitarian roles played by several nations, especially Kuwait and Sudan.” 

“Moreover, we are working closely with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),” he added, while calling on all parties to ensure the physical safety of civilians and their freedom of movement.

He said that “our relationship with the office of the UNHCR focuses on exchange of information and reports, while we jointly seek to protect and promote human rights in Yemen.”

The UNHCR has opened an office in Aden and is working to build the capacity of Yemen’s National Commission to Investigate Human Rights Violations, enabling Yemeni personnel to attend training courses in Geneva and in Beirut.

The Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights facilitated the work of the UNHCR team in the liberated areas, he said. “The Yemeni ministry and the UNHCR have pledged to work together to strengthen links and enhance joint work in order to achieve the objectives which we both share.” 

The Iran-backed Houthi militias had launched a genocide in Yemen, further compounding the problems, he said.

The Iran-backed Houthis had been involved in killings, torture, abduction and the illegal detention of people including women and children. The number of detainees, who are still in the prisons of Houthi militants, exceedes 2,600, while a large number of men, women and children are either missing or were in secret prisons of the militants, he said. The Houthi militants have also killed more than 1,372 children and 814 women since the war broke out in Yemen in 2014.


Arab coalition in Yemen sets up civilian safe corridors from Hodeidah to Sanaa

Updated 24 September 2018
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Arab coalition in Yemen sets up civilian safe corridors from Hodeidah to Sanaa

JEDDAH: The Arab coalition fighting in support of the legitimate Yemeni government has established three safe corridors for civilians to travel between the cities of Sanaa and Hodeidah.
Spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said on Monday that the corridors between the former capital that was seized by the Houthi militia in 2014 and the country’s biggest port on the Red Sea have been set up in cooperation with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“The coalition is working with OCHA in Yemen to establish safe humanitarian corridors to help in the delivery of aid... between Hodeidah and Sanaa,” Al-Maliki told reporters.
The coalition aims to open three corridors on different routes between the cities for the transportation of humanitarian aid between 6 am and 6 p.m. daily, Al-Maliki said without specifying a date.

An OCHA statement to AFP confirmed the organisation was in "ongoing discussions with the coalition and other stakeholders on safe, reliable access routes into and out of Hodeidah", 

Hodeidah port is a vital lifeline for aid shipments to Yemen, the most impoverished country in the Arab world.
The UN has warned that any major fighting could halt the distribution of food to eight million Yemenis dependent on aid to survive.
Speaking in the Saudi capital Riyadh, Al-Maliki also said an Iranian military vessel has been monitoring international vessels as they pass through the Bab Al-Mandab strait. 
“The Iranian ship ‘Safiz’ is carrying listening devices and military experts,” he said.
“The Iranian regime continues to violate international law and destabilize the security of the region and the world.”

Meanwhile, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid And Relief Center (KSRelief) in the city of Marib on Monday celebrated the rehabilitation of 26 children recruited by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia and were used as human shields in the armed conflict.
The children completed the fifth and sixth phase of the rehabilitation process, which aimed at rehabilitating 80 child soldiers from several Yemeni governorates, with the help of a KSRelief team, representatives from the local authority and a number of parents.
The child soldiers presented ceremonial segments that reflected their psychologically and social rehabilitation efforts.
The center was working to rehabilitate 241 children from different Yemeni governorates as part of its plan to rehabilitate 2,000 Yemeni child soldiers.