KSA grants $84.7bn in aid to 79 countries: KSRelief chief

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), speaks at the University of Warsaw on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 18 November 2018

KSA grants $84.7bn in aid to 79 countries: KSRelief chief

  • Al-Rabeeah said that KSRelief was running a program to rehabilitate Yemeni children recruited by the Houthi militias

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has given $84.7 billion in foreign aid to 79 countries between 1996-2018, according to Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief).
Al-Rabeeah highlighted Saudi Arabia’s contributions to international humanitarian and relief work, and said that the Kingdom had saved millions of people from conflicts and crises, regardless of their religion or ethnicity.
Al-Rabeeah was speaking during a seminar on the Kingdom’s humanitarian efforts at the University of Warsaw on Saturday, in the presence of Saudi Ambassador to Poland Mohammed Madani, Ambassador of Yemen to Poland Mervat Majali, and officials of the Foreign Ministry of Poland.
The royal decree establishing KSRelief was issued on May 13, 2015. Since then, it has carried out 482 projects in 42 countries worth $924,553,000. About 86 percent of the projects have been allocated to Yemen with a value of $659,271,000.
Al-Rabeeah said that the center implemented 206 projects for women worth $341,481,000, as well as 171 projects for children worth $504,962,000.
He added that the Kingdom had taken in 561,911 Yemeni refugees, 283,449 Syrian refugees and 249,669 refugees from Myanmar, the equivalent of 5.36 percent of the population of Saudi Arabia, putting it in second place internationally in terms of the number of refugees accepted.
Al-Rabeeah said that total Saudi assistance to Yemen since 2015 had reached $11.18 billion, noting that KSRelief has carried out 294 projects in Yemen in partnership with 80 UN and international and local NGOs.
Al-Rabeeah said that the response of KSRelief to the appeal by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF for $66.7 million to combat the cholera epidemic in Yemen, as well as the projects allocated by KSRelief for women in Yemen from 2015 to date, amounted to 132 projects valued at $281,457,000. There have been 136 projects for children worth $469,867,000.
He highlighted that the Saudi project for mine clearance in Yemen, “Masam,” had been conducted by more than 400 people working in 32 teams within Yemeni territory during the preparation phase, and five specialized teams for rapid intervention, benefiting 9 million beneficiaries.
The costs of the project amounted to $40 million in the governorates of Marib, Aden, Taiz and Sanaa. More than 1 million land mines had been planted in Yemen, more than the number planted in World War II, he said.
Al-Rabeeah said that KSRelief was running a program to rehabilitate Yemeni children recruited by the Houthi militias, who use them as human shields. KSRelief is rehabilitating and providing care for 2,000 children through social, psychological, cultural and sports programs.


Britain’s William and Kate begin ‘complex’ tour of Pakistan

Updated 6 min 58 sec ago

Britain’s William and Kate begin ‘complex’ tour of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Prince William and his wife Kate arrived in Pakistan to a red carpet welcome late Monday for their “most complex” tour to date, with Islamabad eager to tout improved security after years of violent militancy.
The couple — the Duchess of Cambridge in a sea-green shalwar kameez, and the Duke in a dark suit — were greeted by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and presented with flowers after they landed in a British government plane at a military base in Rawalpindi, the garrison city adjacent to the capital Islamabad, state television images showed.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge (@katemidleton) on


Details of the five-day visit are being kept under wraps. Security is expected to be tight for the couple’s first official trip to Pakistan, and the first visit by a British royal since William’s father Charles and his wife Camilla came in 2006.
In addition to Islamabad they are set to visit the ancient Mughal capital of Lahore, as well as the mountainous north and the region near the border with Afghanistan in the west.
Kensington Palace has called the trip “the most complex tour undertaken by The Duke and Duchess to date, given the logistical and security considerations.”
The couple are also expected to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was close friends with William’s mother, the late Princess Diana.
“I’ve always been struck by the warmth in Pakistan toward the Royal Family,” British High Commissioner Thomas Drew said in a video published to Twitter late Sunday.

Britain's William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are welcomed as they arrive in Islamabad, Pakistan. (Reuters)

The couple’s program will pay respect to Britain’s historic relationship with Pakistan, once part of colonial India, he said.
“But it will focus largely on showcasing Pakistan as it is today, a dynamic, aspirational, and forward-looking nation,” Drew continued.
They are expected to see Pakistan’s efforts to combat climate change and learn about the “complex security” of the region, among other issues, a statement from Kensington Palace said earlier this month.
Pakistan has waged a long battle with militancy which has seen tens of thousands of people killed in the past 15 or so years.
Charles’ and Camilla’s 2006 trip was tainted when they were forced to pull out of a visit to Peshawar over safety concerns after the military launched an airstrike on a religious school that killed 80 people.
But security has improved dramatically since the army intensified a crackdown on militant groups in 2015, with several countries changing their travel warnings for Pakistan as a result, and Islamabad eager to promote both tourism and foreign investment.
There are promising signs, such as the British Airways return earlier this year after more than a decade, and the slow but steady revival of international cricket.
Analysts have long warned that Pakistan is not yet getting to the root causes of extremism, however, and militants retain the ability to carry out attacks, including in urban areas.
Moments before the couple’s arrival Monday, Qureshi used televised comments to invoke the memory of Diana, who charmed Pakistanis when she visited in her official capacity in 1991.
She also made several private visits in later years to help Khan — then a cricketer-turned-opposition politician married to her friend Jemima — raise money for a cancer hospital in Lahore.
“She is held in very high esteem in Pakistan... We are happy that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now coming,” Qureshi said.
The visit showed that Pakistan has come out of “difficult times,” he added.
Pakistan was carved out of colonial India to become independent from Britain in 1947, creating an Islamic Republic for the subcontinent’s Muslims.
Britain is home to more than a million people of Pakistani origin, making it the largest Pakistani diaspora community in Europe.