Saudi Arabia’s development program delivers change in Yemen

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The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) has launched more than 100 development projects and initiatives throughout Yemen since 2018. (Supplied)
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The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) has launched more than 100 development projects and initiatives throughout Yemen since 2018. (Supplied)
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The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) has launched more than 100 development projects and initiatives throughout Yemen since 2018. (Supplied)
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The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) has launched more than 100 development projects and initiatives throughout Yemen since 2018. (Supplied)
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The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) has launched more than 100 development projects and initiatives throughout Yemen since 2018. (Supplied)
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The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) has launched more than 100 development projects and initiatives throughout Yemen since 2018. (Supplied)
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Updated 02 March 2020

Saudi Arabia’s development program delivers change in Yemen

  • The program is designed to help Yemeni communities gain economic self-sufficiency and combine short-term assistance with long-term projects promoting economic growth
  • Other initiatives led by SDRPY in agriculture and fisheries include the cultivation of more than 435,000 square meters of wheat

RIYADH: The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) has launched more than 100 development projects and initiatives throughout Yemen since 2018.
This continues a legacy of Saudi support that includes $14 billion provided for development in Yemen between 2009-2019.
SDRPY focuses on seven key sectors: agriculture and fisheries, health, water, education, energy, transportation, and government and public-sector infrastructure.
“The program reflects the passion and determination that the Saudi people have always had for helping their Yemeni brothers and sisters,” said Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jabir, Saudi ambassador to Yemen and SDRPY’s general supervisor.
“SDRPY projects have real value in terms of sustainability and capacity-building, as reflected in the three sustainable development pillars: community, economy and environment,” he said.
The program, Al-Jabir said, is designed to help Yemeni communities gain economic self-sufficiency and combine short-term assistance with long-term projects promoting economic growth.
“The program has answered short-term needs repeatedly, including emergency-response operations during cyclones and floods and deliveries of tankers to provide clean water,” he said, adding that the program is also building schools and hospitals and upgrading ports and airports.
Other initiatives led by SDRPY in agriculture and fisheries include the cultivation of more than 435,000 square meters of wheat to increase the productivity of both farming and fishing.
The program also supplied 220 fishing boats equipped with outboard motors, and built boat repair and maintenance facilities. 
In the field of health, the program has supplied Yemeni hospitals with state-of-the-art medical equipment, including Al-Jawf Hospital, serving 18,000 patients a month. It has also built a cardiology center, constructed a full-service dialysis center with 20-patient capacity, and expanded and improved seven general hospitals and health care clinics in Yemen. 
The Saudi Hospital in Hajjah province and the Al-Salam Hospital in Saada — built by the Kingdom in the 1980s and 1990s and now located in areas controlled by the Houthi militias — continue to receive $10 million each annually from Saudi Arabia to cover operating and maintenance expenses.
SDRPY has provided 120 water tankers, improved water distribution networks, including through construction of a 20-km water-supply line with pumping station to expand access to clean water for the metropolitan area of Al-Ghaydah district, and drilled 40 wells equipped with solar-powered pumps.
The program has provided cost-effective systems that ensure people in Yemen have the access to improved water sources that they need to maintain higher health standards and achieve greater efficiency and productivity in their country’s agricultural sector.
Under the program, weapons removed from the hands of children freed from the grip of the militias are replaced with schoolbooks. Children are now armed with books instead of weapons.
SDRPY has built more than 20 schools in Yemen to serve more than 23,400 students each year, delivered more than 500,000 textbooks to 150 schools and more than 6,000 tables and double bench-desks, and supplied enough school buses for students to make more than 280,000 safe journeys between home and school every year.
In higher education, a 300-bed teaching hospital and adjoining university with four colleges of sciences are under construction.
The program has delivered roughly $180 million worth of fuel to 64 power plants across 10 governorates, keeping schools, hospitals, shops, homes and other vital institutions functioning around the clock.
Oil derivatives tripled electricity-generation rates; enhanced safety by lighting major roads; allowed Yemenis to pump drinking water, enhanced hygiene and maintained agriculture and eased strains on the state budget by helping the government to pay the salaries of public-sector employees. 
The SDRPY is developing and increasing the operational capacity of ports in Aden, Mocha, Mukalla, Nishtun and Socotra and has provided cranes for them, facilitating the imports of more than 220,000 tons of oil derivatives. 
The program is constructing an airport in Marib, and developing, expanding and improving airports in Aden and Al-Ghaydah, helping the movement of humanitarian and development aid as well as travel in Yemen.
At the beginning of 2020, SDRPY launched the first phase of the Aden International Airport rehabilitation project, bringing it into compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization standards and expanding its capacity to receive international flights.
The program has built more than 600 km of road throughout Al-Mahra province, and installed solar-powered street and road lighting in districts around Yemen to improve safety and efficiency across the country’s transportation landscape.
The program has constructed a national security and anti-terrorism complex consisting of a command center, training facilities, officers’ quarters, a guesthouse and more than 50 housing units.
SDRPY is closely involved in projects to develop and maintain key government infrastructure, laying the cornerstones for both self-sufficiency and security in Yemen.


Harassers face ‘naming and shaming’ after Saudi Shoura Council ruling

Updated 01 October 2020

Harassers face ‘naming and shaming’ after Saudi Shoura Council ruling

  • It will help eliminate harassment in workplaces and public places as well as in schools

JEDDAH: Violations of Saudi Arabia’s anti-sexual harassment laws could be punished by “naming and shaming” following a decision by the Kingdom’s Shoura Council to approve a defamation penalty.

The council voted in favor of the penalty during its session on Wednesday after previously rejecting the move in March this year.

Council member Latifah Al-Shaalan said the proposal to include the penalty was sent by the Saudi Cabinet.

Saudi lawyer Njood Al-Qassim said she agrees with the move, adding that it will help eliminate harassment in workplaces and public places as well as in schools.

“The penalty will be imposed according to a court ruling under the supervision of judges, and according to the gravity of the crime and its impact on society,” Al-Qassim told Arab News.

“This will be a deterrent against every harasser and molester,” she said.

Al-Qassim said that legal experts are required to explain the system and its penalties to the public.

“The Public Prosecution has clarified those that may be subject to punishment for harassment crimes, including the perpetrator, instigator and accessory to the crime, the one who agreed with the harasser, malicious report provider, and the person who filed a malicious prosecution lawsuit,” she added.

“The Public Prosecution also confirmed that attempted harassment requires half the penalty prescribed for the crime,” said Al-Qassim.

In May 2018, the Shoura Council and Cabinet approved a measure criminalizing sexual harassment under which offenders will be fined up to SR100,000 ($26,660) and jailed for a maximum of two years, depending on the severity of the crime. 

In the most severe cases, where the victims are children or disabled, for example, violators will face prison terms of up to five years and/or a maximum penalty of SR300,000.

Incidents that have been reported more than once will be subject to the maximum punishment. 

The law seeks to combat harassment crimes, particularly those targeting children under 18 and people with special needs.

Witnesses are also encouraged to report violations and their identities will remain confidential.

The law defines sexual harassment as words or actions that hint at sexuality toward one person from another, or that harms the body, honor or modesty of a person in any way. It takes into account harassment in public areas, workplaces, schools, care centers, orphanages, homes and on social media.

“The legislation aims at combating the crime of harassment, preventing it, applying punishment against perpetrators and protecting the victims in order to safeguard the individual’s privacy, dignity and personal freedom which are guaranteed by Islamic law and regulations,” a statement from the Shoura Council said.

Council member Eqbal Darandari, who supports the law, said on Twitter that the defamation penalty has proven its effectiveness in crimes in which a criminal exploits a person’s trust.

“The defamation of one person is a sufficient deterrent to the rest,” she said.

Social media activist Hanan Abdullah told Arab News the decision “is a great deterrent for every harasser since some fear for their personal and family’s reputation, and won’t be deterred except through fear of defamation.”

The move will protect women from “uneducated people who believe that whoever leaves her house deserves to be attacked and harassed,” she said.

“Anyone who is unhappy with this decision should look at their behavior.”