Saudi Arabia’s KSRelief discusses children, humanitarian crisis in Yemen in Geneva

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Updated 09 March 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s KSRelief discusses children, humanitarian crisis in Yemen in Geneva

JEDDAH: King Salman Humanitarian Aid And Relief Center (KSRelief) held a seminar on Saturday entitled “Children and the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen,” on the sidelines of the 40th session of the UN Human Rights’ Council in Geneva.
The delegation was headed by Dr. Abdullah bin Saleh Al-Moallem, director of KSRelief Health and Environmental Aid Department. 
Al-Moallem highlighted the center’s international relief and humanitarian programs and said that more than four million women and six million children in Yemen suffer from a severe humanitarian crisis due to the continuous human rights violations, while the humanitarian situation has become more difficult and bitter.
Al-Moallem reviewed the center’s humanitarian contributions in alleviating the suffering of the most affected groups in Yemen, in line with international laws, that aim to reduce the effects of the violations committed by the Iran-backed Houthi militia, which have affected millions of children and women for nearly four years.
“One of the most prominent projects presented by the Kingdom and represented by the center, which is the largest donor in Yemen, is the rehabilitation center for children recruited by the Houthi militia under the age of 18 to integrate them into society and provide them with psychosocial and educational services by specialized experts,” he said.
Al-Moallem said that “we attended to convey the message of the suffering Yemeni citizens, especially the most vulnerable groups such as the women and children, from the terrorist practices of the Houthi militia,” adding that the militia uses child recruits in contradictions with all international conventions, including the Geneva Convention, the Rome Statute on War Crimes and the International Labor Law.
The international health expert Astrid Steckelberger said: “The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is one of the biggest crises in the world and the King Salman Relief Center has done a great job in Yemen, where about 328 projects worth $2 billion, the largest humanitarian contribution to Yemen, have been carried out.”
The international organizations in the symposium accused the Iranian-backed Houthi militia of recruiting and forcing children to fight and carry weapons, which is a clear violation of international conventions on the protection of the rights of children. They demanded the international community and the Human Rights Council to protect the children in Yemen.
The seminar reviewed the humanitarian situation in Yemen and assessed the international community’s position on the humanitarian crisis.
It also discussed the obstruction of humanitarian access by the Houthi militia, which controls 60% of the various relief items, and the impact of the humanitarian crisis on the children in Yemen.


Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

Updated 26 May 2019
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Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

  • Umrah trip held as part of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah's “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative 

JEDDAH: Several Muslims with special needs have benefited from a special Umrah pilgrimage organized by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

According to statement from the ministry, the Umrah trip, was held on the 17th of Ramadan  (May 22) under the “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative in partnership with Sawt Alasm association in Jeddah.

A busload of 20 people with special needs were accompanied by 12 volunteers of Sadiq Almutamir, including sign language interpreters for the deaf pilgrims. 

The first stop was at Kuday area in Makkah, where pilgrims received the special gifts of Sadiq Almutamir, supported by the Establishment of Motawifs of South East Asian Pilgrims. Next was their arrival at the Grand Mosque, wherein the pilgrims performed Umrah, enjoyed Iftar meals, and received souvenirs from Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association. 

Volunteers assisted the pilgrims by communicating with them, providing instructions and directions in addition to sharing their feelings with the support of the sign language interpreters. 

Sadiq Almutamir also accompanied pilgrims during the performance of Umrah, providing wheelchairs for the elderly, sharing breakfast, and learning about their impressions of performing Umrah for their first time. 

Sadiq Almutamir is one of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s initiatives in Makkah’s Cultural Forum. It focuses on promoting the culture of giving and cooperation between the Saudi youth as well as elevating the volunteering services provided to Umrah pilgrims in order to enrich their experiences. It also provides optional tours to visit attractions, monuments, and places contribute to enriching experiences of Mutamirs and immortalizing beautiful memories in the Kingdom.

Launched late last year, the initiative aims to develop the spirit of volunteerism among Muslims and to invest in the youth by engaging young men and women in service and social responsibility.

“It focuses as well on improving the efficiency level of services provided to pilgrims, promoting the culture of volunteering, helping elderly and special needs’ people to perform Umrah rituals, and finally contributing to the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 of reaching 1 million volunteers annually,” ministry statement said.

The trip was held in cooperation with the Western Fleet Transport, in coordination with the undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for pilgrims’ transportation affairs and Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association.