Saudi-UAE $200m pledge for Yemen wins UN praise

Those responsible for these abuses must be held accountable, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said. (SPA)
Updated 19 April 2019
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Saudi-UAE $200m pledge for Yemen wins UN praise

  • Transgressions by Houthi militia will not stop us from supporting Yemen, says aid Saudi chief

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council has commended Saudi Arabia and the UAE after the two countries pledged $200 million in humanitarian relief assistance for Yemenis for Ramadan.

Council members voiced their concern that agreements between the Yemeni government and Houthis in Stockholm four months ago were yet to be implemented and called for their immediate implementation.

In a press statement, the council affirmed its support for the Stockholm agreement, and its backing for the special envoy of the secretary-general to Yemen and the chairman of the Coordinating Committee for Redeployment.

The relief assistance has been allocated to UN partners: $140 million to the World Food Programme, $40 million to UNICEF to address sanitation issues and malnutrition among children and mothers, and $20 million to the World Health Organization to tackle cholera and provide intravenous feeding fluids.

“Transgressions by Houthi militia will not stop us from supporting Yemen, especially with the holy month of Ramadan upon us,” said Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief).

“We must recognize that the Saudi-led coalition forces (supporting Yemen’s internationally recognized government) ensure the assistance reaches ports or land. However, when the aid reaches militia-controlled regions, there are obstacles preventing beneficiaries from gaining proper access to humanitarian aid. That starvation method is a political tool that the Houthis use to control Yemen,” he said.

Those responsible for these abuses must be held accountable, Al-Rabeeah added.
 


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.