Prisoners will be taught handicrafts

Updated 17 May 2014

Prisoners will be taught handicrafts

Prisoners serving jail terms in the Kingdom will be given training in handicrafts to enable them to secure a decent living on their release.
The National Program for Handicraft, a flagship program of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), recently signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Prisons General Department (PGD) and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) to train prisoners on how to produce handicrafts.
“The memorandum of uynderstanding (MoU) was signed in the presence of Prince Sultan bin Salman, SCTA president, Rashid bin Mohammad Al Zahrani, deputy governor of TVTC, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim bin Mohammad Al Hamza, director general of PGD and Jasir bin Sulaiman Al-Harbash, general supervisor of the national program for handicrafts,” an SCTA official said Thursday.
The official added that the MoU seeks to incorporate handicrafts training programs in the Kingdom’s prisons, in addition to developing prisoners’ skills to enable them to train their colleagues. The MoU also stipulates that the three parties cooperating on the initiative will undertake the responsibility of marketing the prisoners’ products.
The agreement aims to secure job opportunities for prisoners who complete the training and reward them with cash prizes on their release.
The training program will enable prisoners to acquire financial support for future endeavors once they complete their jail terms and encourage charitable associations as well as voluntary and nongovernmental organizations to provide training courses to prisoners.
At the end of the signing ceremony, the director general of PGD presented a commemorative gift to Prince Sultan representing a portrait made by one of the prisoners illustrating Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense.
The official indicated that the SCTA has recently concluded a tourism awareness program for members of the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia).
The educational and training programs fall under the partnership between the SCTA and CPVPV, which aims to enhance cooperation and coordination between the parties.


Saudi Arabia bans livestock imports from Sudan and Djibouti over RVF fears

Updated 15 min 1 sec ago

Saudi Arabia bans livestock imports from Sudan and Djibouti over RVF fears

  • Sample from one livestock shipment arriving from Djibouti was found positive of Rift Valley fever
  • Livestock imports from Somalia had earlier been banned, says Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has announced a ban on importing livestock from Sudan and Djibouti.

The ministry said the ban is a response to the announcement of World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) concerning documented cases of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Sudan. 

In addition, a sample from one livestock shipment arriving from Djibouti was positive and thus was not cleared.

According to the ministry, Saudi Arabia imported 5 million heads of cattle from Sudan and 700,000 from Djibouti during the last Hijri year, prior to the ban.

The spokesman for the ministry, Abdullah Abalkhail, said that alternative sources include GCC, Jordan, Uruguay, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Georgia, Portugal, Hungary, Kazakhstan and Romania, as well as Chinese Mongolia, Argentine, Brazil and the US.

These countries can hardly compete with African states, said Al-Jadani, due to prices, different weather and customer demand. 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Humaid Al-Jadani, a livestock merchant and a former member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce livestock committee, said 5 ships were about to arrive carrying up to 50,000 heads of cattle when the ban was announced, but were turned back.
  • He said that the Saudi market depends heavily on imports from Africa, specifically Sudan and Djibouti.
  • Prices have risen during the past two days by 30 percent and further rises are expected, said Al-Jadani.
  • Official reports from Sudan say that at least 135 cases of rift valley fever were documented in Sudan, in Kassala, Red Sea and northern Darfur. 

The domestic livestock, he added, covers the demand of a very low percentage of the market and the price of local sheep are very high.

All shipments are examined at their point of arrival and only healthy animals are allowed into the local market.

 

Regulations

The ministry has already banned livestock imports from Somalia.

“The ministry studies each country individually to put health regulations in line with the OIE and we follow up daily reports from the OIE to reduce the spread of the diseases among animals and people,” Abalkhail said.

Humaid Al-Jadani, a livestock merchant and a former member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce livestock committee, said five ships were about to arrive carrying up to 50,000 heads of cattle when the ban was announced, but were turned back.

He said that the Saudi market depends heavily on imports from Africa, specifically Sudan and Djibouti.

According Al-Jadani, prices have risen during the past two days by 30 percent and further rises are expected in the coming period.

The ministry has called on those working in the sector to contact officials on the hotline 8002470000 if they find any suspicious cases.

A fine up to SR1 million ($267,000) will be imposed on any company contravening the ban.

Official reports from Sudan say that at least 135 cases of RVF were documented in Sudan, in Kassala, Red Sea and Northern Darfur. According to the World Health Organization Sudan witnessed a huge RVF outbreak in 2007, while in Saudi Arabia RVF spread back in 2000.

The World Bank noted previously that six zoonotic diseases between 1997 and 2009 have led to a loss of $80 billion.

Officials believe that only through collaboration between various authorities in the health, biology and environment sectors the disease can be controlled.