Saudi Arabia among largest global donors of aid: UN report

Workers unload aid from a Saudi air force cargo plane at an airfield in Yemen’s central province of Marib. (AFP/File)
Updated 03 October 2018

Saudi Arabia among largest global donors of aid: UN report

  • FTS said that Saudi Arabia had assisted and supported refugees with humanitarian relief and development assistance.
  • The Kingdom provided Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Malaysia with assistance amounting to $18.1 million

The UN Financial Tracking Service (FTS) has revealed that Saudi Arabia is ranked fourth among major world donors of humanitarian aid.

 

In its Sept. 2018 report, the FTS said that Saudi Arabia had assisted and supported refugees with humanitarian relief and development assistance.

Dr. Aqeel Al-Ghamdi, assistant general supervisor for planning and development at the King Salman Center for Humanitarian Relief and Works (KSRelief), mentioned Saudi aid to countries during a speech at the UN. He said that the Kingdom provided Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Malaysia with assistance amounting to $18.1 million.

Al-Ghamdi said that 13 projects were also implemented for internally displaced persons in Myanmar through the International Organization for Migration (IOM), adding that Saudi Arabia has provided Syrian refugees in Jordan with aid worth $178.3 million, in Turkey worth $88.7 million, in Lebanon worth $95.7 million, and to refugees in countries such as Iraq, Egypt and others, worth $219.6 million with 198 humanitarian projects.

Aid worth $203.3 million was given to Jordan as a host of refugees, he said. The Kingdom provided $500 million to support the UN Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen in 2018; of this amount $31 million was allocated to the UNHCR and $23.3 million to the IOM to provide assistance to internally displaced refugees and internally displaced persons.

The contribution of Saudi Arabia to Yemen since the beginning of the crisis in 2015, in humanitarian assistance, development and relief for the Yemeni people, amounted to $11.18 billion.

For Palestine, the Kingdom has been one of the largest donors, since 2000 until 2018, providing development, humanitarian and charitable assistance amounting to $5.55 billion.

In Somalia, Al-Ghamdi said that the Kingdom provided $177.3 million in assistance, carrying out 29 projects and providing $10 million to the UNHCR and IOM to repatriate Somali refugees from Yemen, and helping them to resettle when they returned.

The Kingdom had also allocated $10 million for projects in Nigeria, where urgent humanitarian and relief projects were being implemented for displaced people, he said.

In Pakistan, the Kingdom provided assistance amounting to $107.3 million, implemented for 85 projects for displaced people affected by floods and earthquakes between 2005 and 2018.

In Afghanistan, the Kingdom provided assistance to 32 projects for displaced people worth $22.8 million.

Al-Ghamdi noted that the Kingdom has hosted 1.07 million refugees (563,911 of whom were Yemenis, 262,573 Syrians and 249,669 Burmese), representing 5.26 percent of the total number of Saudi residents.

In the Kingdom, these refugees exercised the right to residence, mobility and had access to education, health and work, on an equal footing with Saudi citizens.

The Kingdom is working on a comprehensive database using internationally recognized standards that will soon be launched to record and monitor refugee data within Saudi Arabia. The humanitarian and relief work of the Kingdom covered 40 countries, he said.


Notice setting date for Saudi international flights ‘is bogus’

Updated 59 min 53 sec ago

Notice setting date for Saudi international flights ‘is bogus’

  • Aviation chiefs issue official denial after fake circular says passengers can fly to and from Kingdom from October

RIYADH: A fake circular suggesting Saudi Arabia will resume international flights in October has been condemned as “completely baseless and fabricated” by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).
Rumors that international flights will shortly return have been circulating on social media in recent weeks without any official statement from GACA.
On Tuesday, the authority denied announcing the resumption of international flights and said information being circulated was fabricated.
Saudi Arabia suspended international flights from March 15 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Since domestic flights restarted on May 31, rumors have been circulating regarding the return of international flights. On Monday, the bogus GACA circular was shared on various social media platforms suggesting flights into and out of Saudi Arabia would resume in October. It sparked a flurry of speculation.
The circular, titled “No flights till October 2020,” said: “An employee of the GACA has stated in a recent interview that all international flights to and from the Kingdom are to remain suspended till the month of October.” Quoting a GACA official, the circular said that the decision was subject to the number of coronavirus cases, which must “come down to three digits.”
GACA official spokesman Ibrahim bin Abdullah Alrwosa told Arab News the circular “is completely baseless and fabricated.”
He shared a tweet from the authority’s public relations department describing the circular as incorrect.
The civil aviation authority has previously said there is no specific date for the resumption of international flights, he added.
All international flights remain suspended until further notice.
However, exceptions have been made for humanitarian assistance and emergency cases, medical evacuation flights and repatriation of stranded citizens and expatriates wanting to return home.