UN lauds Saudi Arabia’s ‘model’ refugee aid programs around world

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah meets UNHCR's Khaled Khalifa and his delegation in Riyadh. (Supplied photo)
Updated 17 May 2019

UN lauds Saudi Arabia’s ‘model’ refugee aid programs around world

  • UNHCR’s representative cites KSRelief as one of its most important partners
  • Khalifa said he was looking forward to consolidating strategic relations between the two sides

RIYADH: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has lauded Saudi Arabia for its life-saving refugee aid programs throughout the world.
Khaled Khalifa, UNHCR regional representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, heaped praise on the Kingdom during a meeting with Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief).
During their talks, held at KSRelief’s headquarters in Riyadh, Khalifa thanked the center for its cooperation with the UNHCR in helping to improve conditions for hundreds of thousands of refugees.
In a statement, KSRelief told Arab News that the two officials discussed the center’s work in a number of crisis-hit countries, particularly Yemen, and reviewed the Kingdom’s additional efforts to relieve the suffering of Yemeni, Rohingya and Syrian refugees through joint executive projects with the UNHCR.
Khalifa said he was looking forward to consolidating strategic relations between the two sides and described Saudi Arabia’s approach to refugees as a model for the linking of Islamic values and humanitarian action.
He added that KSRelief was one of the UNHCR’s most important partners, providing basic relief materials for internally displaced people in Yemen, and emergency support for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
Separately, on Thursday, the center announced that KSRelief had recently distributed tens of thousands of food baskets to Syrian refugees living in the Zaatari and Al-Azraq refugee camps in Jordan, in cooperation with the Norwegian Refugee Council and the UNHCR.
KSRelief has also delivered seven truckloads of dialysis medicines to the Yemeni Ministry of Public Health and Population for use in dialysis centers throughout the war-torn country. 

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 06 June 2020

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.