UN official thanks Saudi Arabia for $500m aid for Yemen

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock. (AP)
Updated 28 September 2019

UN official thanks Saudi Arabia for $500m aid for Yemen

  • Saudi Arabia has also supports all meaningful and constructive dialogue that supports peace efforts and adopts peaceful solutions in Yemen

NEW YORK: The under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Mark Lowcock, thanked Saudi Arabia for $500 million in funding to the UN for the 2019 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday.
Lowcock said the grant will be distributed by OCHA to the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization, the UN Children’s Fund, the International Organization for Migration, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Development Programme, and the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), presented Lowcock with a cheque for $500 million from Saudi Arabia.
The ceremony took place at the opening of a conference titled “Humanitarian Situation Yemen, The Way Forward,” which featured statements from a number of UN officials and diplomats, including foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

HIGHLIGHT

The grant will be distributed by OCHA to the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization, the UN Children’s Fund, the International Organization for Migration, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Development Programme, and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Following the signing, Lowcock expressed his appreciation for the Kingdom’s generous support: “With today’s provision of funds from Saudi Arabia, the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan will have received more than $2.3 billion, or 56 percent of its requirements for the year. This is substantial progress, and we thank all our donors for their support.”
Al-Rabeeah said that KSRelief commends the efforts of the UN organizations, which share our commitment to alleviating the suffering of the people of Yemen in accordance with international humanitarian laws and principles of neutrality. “I assure you that Saudi Arabia is keen to support all peace initiatives submitted by the UN envoys to Yemen.”
“The Kingdom has also supports all meaningful and constructive dialogue that supports peace efforts and adopts peaceful solutions in Yemen, such as the Yemen National Dialogue, the Stockholm Agreement and UN Resolution 2216 to ensure the return of peace, security and stability to Yemen, the region and the entire world,” Al-Rabeeah said.


Saudi rural tourism recovers after months of forced isolation

Updated 11 July 2020

Saudi rural tourism recovers after months of forced isolation

  • Saudis turn to domestic traveling and flock to their nation’s cooler cities and rural areas

TAIF: As Saudi citizens turn to domestic tourism in the country’s summer resorts, adapting to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, rural areas have become targeted by local tourists wishing to get away from the soaring temperatures in most of the Kingdom’s cities.

Visitors are now choosing cold Saudi cities instead of Europe, which they are accustomed to visiting, such as Taif, Al-Baha, and Abha.

COVID-19 has postponed all plans to travel abroad, and attention has now focused on domestic tourism amid strict health protocols in parks, gardens and recreational areas.

Walid Al-Hamidi, vice president of the Tourism Development Council, confirmed to Arab News that Asir, with its facilities and attractions, was ready to receive summer visitors from across the country.

He said that under the directives of Asir's governor, who supervises all activities and events directly and constantly, many committees had been formed to prepare a successful summer tourism season, to optimize the opportunity and allow people to enjoy the exceptional ambiance of Asir.

“A comprehensive tourism plan was set up two years ago, which resulted in a successful Al-Soudah Season with the support of Asir’s Investment Authority,” Al-Hamidi added.

He noted that Asir’s directives aimed this year to build an exceptional tourism model that meets optimal health standards in dealing with COVID-19.

The model is supported by the “Nashama Asir” team — consisting of 4,000 volunteers — who have been trained for months and have all the necessary skills to make the season successful. Their work will continue until the end of the pandemic and throughout the summer.

“Everyone is ready at public facilities, gardens and parks, to serve tourists,” he said, adding “tourists coming from all the over the Kingdom will be welcomed with smiles, enhanced services, and warm welcomes.”

Dr. Sami Al-Obaidi, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Taif, told Arab News that the tourism sector was the economic backbone of any country or city.

He said that Taif was considered one of the most important tourist cities, given its many attractions  that made it top of any list of places to visit in the Kingdom.

“Suspending travel abroad, and limiting tourism … due to the coronavirus pandemic, makes us, as officials and citizens in Taif, well placed for a beautiful and safe tourism season for Taif’s citizens and visitors,” said Al-Obaidi.

“Meetings are held around the clock, headed by Saad Al-Maimouni, the governor of Taif, with the participation of the relevant authorities.”

He expected all sectors, especially tourism, hospitality and a few other businesses in Taif, to recover to some extent during this season, especially now tourists have already started flocking to the region, with numbers set to increase over the coming weeks.