KSA sets up 5,000 tents for Syrian refugees

Updated 12 August 2013

KSA sets up 5,000 tents for Syrian refugees

Saudi Arabia’s National Campaign to Support Syrians has set up more than 5,000 tents for Syrian refugees in Turkey. The tents were erected with the help of the Turkish Crisis Management Authority.
Khaled Al-Salma, director of the campaign’s office in Turkey, said Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah had instructed them to provide the Syrian refugees with shelter, health care and foodstuffs.
He said the new tents would play a role in alleviating the suffering of refugees. “We have built these tents in areas where the largest number of refugees are located. We consider this job as our religious, moral and humanitarian duty,” he added.
The campaign had previously distributed food packets among the refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. About 1.8 million Syrians have fled their country for its neighboring states and beyond since the start of the civil war in March 2011.
Ankara has adopted an “open door policy” for Syrian refugees. The government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been getting much international praise for this, with the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) characterizing the Syrian camps in Turkey as “the best refugee camps ever seen” in its April 30 report “Blurring the Borders: Syrian Spillover Risks for Turkey.”
While highly pleasing initially, such praise is now seen by government officials as hollow. These officials indicate that the cost of looking after the refugees has reached the $1 billion mark, while international assistance has not exceeded $100 million.
This was also underlined by Kemal Kirisci, from the Brookings Institution in Washington, who pointed out in a June 27 blog post the urgent need to assist Turkey as it tries to cope with a major international humanitarian disaster.
According to figures obtained by Kirisci from government sources, Turkey is currently hosting close to half a million Syrian refugees. As of mid-June, over 200,000 reside in one refugee camp, while nearly 290,000 live outside these camps. Around 100,000 internally placed Syrians are reported to be awaiting entry into Turkey.


Saudi customs train dogs to sniff out infected air travelers

Saudi Health Ministry officials distribute roses to people following precautionary measures to prevent coronavirus. (Supplied)
Updated 05 August 2020

Saudi customs train dogs to sniff out infected air travelers

  • 1,983 critical cases reported, death toll reaches 2,984

JEDDAH: Saudi Customs officials are taking the lead in identifying air travelers harboring the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) — by using specially trained sniffer dogs.

The canine virus detectors are being drafted in at airports throughout the Kingdom to help pick up the scent of infected passengers.
Following the resumption of international flights, customs staff in Saudi Arabia are to use the animals as part of their efforts to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
The customs authority, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been training Jack Russell terriers and other breeds to recognize the odor of COVID-19.
“The training has been 80 percent successful,” said Mohammed Al-Salloum, director of the National Center for Living Means at Saudi Customs, adding that final preparations were being put in place for the dog teams to start work in airport terminals throughout the country.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Ministry of Health on Tuesday announced 1,342 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, taking the total number in the Kingdom to 281,435.
Of the latest cases, 97 were recorded in Riyadh, 56 in Makkah, 53 in Madinah and Hafr Al-Batin, and 51 in Dammam, with 40 percent of them women. There were 34,763 active cases, with most patients in a stable condition, and 1,983 critical.
The number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 increased to 243,688 with 1,635 of those being in the latest 24-hour period. The Kingdom reported 35 new COVID-19-related deaths, raising the overall toll to 2,984.
The ministry said it had carried out 54,325 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests over 24 hours taking the total number of checks conducted since the outbreak to 3,528,040.