Saudi Arabia’s aid agency steps up medical help, signs agreements to treat wounded Yemenis

A KSRelief team distributed food baskets among Palestinian and Syrian refugees and needy Lebanese families in parts of Lebanon. (SPA)
Updated 01 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s aid agency steps up medical help, signs agreements to treat wounded Yemenis

  • KSRelief team distributed 1,750 food baskets to Lebanese families, Palestinian and Syrian refugees in the town of Miniyeh in northern Lebanon and in the Ain Al-Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) has increased its medical assistance in Yemen ahead of Ramadan, signing agreements for the treatment of wounded Yemenis, women and children.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Moallem, head of the health and environmental aid department at KSRelief, said that the center has signed three agreements.
The first agreement was signed with Al-Safwa Hospital in Taiz to provide in-country health care services to 100 wounded Yemenis.
He said that the goals of the current project are to continue to reduce the rate of long-term complications from injuries and to improve local Yemeni health services.
The new agreement, which will help to fund treatment for 100 people in the Taiz governorate, is expected to cost $400,000, he said.
Indicating that this agreement is just one of many of the Kingdom’s efforts to provide comprehensive services to the health sector in Yemen, Al-Moallem said that KSRelief had signed another agreement, which is an extension contract for a refugee camp in Al-Khokha district, targeted recently by a grenade attack by Houthi militants.
The refugee camp is funded by the KSRelief program for internally displaced persons from Hodeidah, and services include running clinics for refugees, treating patients, follow-up appointments for pregnant women, vaccinations for children, and combating malnutrition as well as infection control.
This is expected to cost $1.6 million for a contract period of nine months, Al-Moallem said.
The center has also signed an agreement for health clinics in Hajjah governorate in northwestern Yemen at a cost of $1.285 million for a contract period of one year, he said.
Meanwhile, a KSRelief team distributed 1,750 food baskets to Lebanese families, Palestinian and Syrian refugees in the town of Miniyeh in northern Lebanon and in the Ain Al-Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon.
This comes within the framework of humanitarian and relief assistance provided by the Kingdom represented by the center to meet the food needs of the Lebanese people and Arabs displaced during Ramadan.


Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

Updated 16 June 2019
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Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

  • “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,”SCTH source tells Arab News
  • The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has no plans to allow the sale or public consumption of alcohol, a senior government source has told Arab News.

The official with access to relevant decision-makers categorically denied “unsubstantiated” media reports in some international and regional news outlets.

“If you read the fake news, you will notice it is all based on hearsay and tweets by accounts known to have a questionable agenda when talking about the Kingdom,” he said.

“As the country moves forward with its reform plans, we expect much speculation and attempts by critics to hold us back. And while people are allowed to speculate and criticize, their speculation should not be treated as the truth.”

A second source at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) also denied such reports. “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,” he told Arab News. “I have not heard of any plans to allow alcohol in major cities, free zones or new projects.”

The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants. Any plans for the sale or consumption of alcohol would have to go through the commission for implementation. 

Saudi Arabia has witnessed substantial social reforms over the past three years, such as the curbing of the previously unchecked power of the religious police, reopening cinemas and allowing women to drive.

There has also been a major shift on previously prohibited public entertainment and gender mixing. International artists including Mariah Carey, Yanni, Andrea Bocelli, Enrique Iglesias and Black Eyed Peas have all performed.

Tourism projects have included pop-up versions of international restaurants such as Signor Sassi, Nusr-Et and Nobu. None has served alcohol.

“Officials have repeatedly said all changes were and will always be in line with Islamic teachings and traditions,” the senior source told Arab News.