Saudi, Finnish officials discuss cooperation in humanitarian field

KSRelief General Supervisor Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah meets Jouni Hemberg, the executive director of Finn Church Aid (FCA), in Helsinki. (SPA)
Updated 19 October 2019

Saudi, Finnish officials discuss cooperation in humanitarian field

HESINKI: The general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah met Jouni Hemberg, the executive director of Finn Church Aid (FCA), on Thursday in the Finnish capital, Helsinki.

Al-Rabeeah presented the Kingdom’s relief and humanitarian efforts through KSRelief, which has implemented 1,062 projects amounting to almost SR14 billion ($3.7 billion) in 45 countries.

He highlighted the efforts to support the brotherly Yemeni people through many projects such as the “Masam” mine clearance project, prosthetic centers, the rehabilitation of Yemeni child soldiers and the assistance provided to Yemeni refugees in Somalia, Djibouti and inside the Kingdom. He also pointed to efforts to help the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Malaysia.

Al-Rabeeah also spoke of the challenges impeding the center’s efforts in Yemen due to the Houthi violations, noting that “they were not able to keep the center from fulfilling its noble humanitarian message and delivering aid to the beneficiaries.” KSRelief is operating with all transparency and is even assisting hospitals controlled by the Houthis.

During the meeting, they discussed the possibility of strengthening bilateral cooperation and exchanging experiences in the humanitarian field. Al-Rabeeah invited FCA to attend the second Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum in February.

Jouni Hemberg praised KSRelief’s charity work around the world.

Meanwhile, KSRelief signed two executive programs to treat the Yemenis injured in Aden in partnership with a number of private sector hospitals in Aden governorate.

The contracts were signed by Ahmed bin Ali Al-Beiz, assistant general supervisor of the center for operations and programs, under which health and medical care will be provided to the targeted persons.

The director of the department of medical and environmental aid, Dr. Abdullah bin Saleh Al-Moallem, said that in cooperation with the Yemeni Ministry of Health and Population the center signed two executive programs for the treatment of injured Yemenis worth $320,000, benefitting more than 100 injured people. This was part of the initiative launched by the center in accordance with the directives of King Salman to treat those wounded in Aden and Abyan in August.

Earlier, Al-Rabeeah, met with the Finnish minister of state for family affairs and social services, Ella Makeba, as part of his official visit to Finland.

During the meeting, held in the Finnish capital Helsinki, Al-Rabeeah briefed Makeba on Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian work around the world.

He highlighted KSRelief’s support for the health sector in needy countries and its global volunteer programs and campaigns being carried out in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan.

Makeba lauded KSRelief’s “great” humanitarian efforts on behalf of the Kingdom which, over two decades, has delivered $87 billion (SR326 billion) in aid to 81 countries.

Since 2014 more than 1,011 humanitarian aid programs worth $3.5 billion have benefitted 44 countries, primarily Yemen, Palestine, Syria, Somalia, Pakistan, Indonesia and Iraq.




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.