RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is the first Arab country to host the High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen. The virtual pledging event takes place on Tuesday in partnership with the UN, gathering global donors and high-profile officials.
“This conference is being held for the first time in an Arab country to support another neighboring Arab country, as such conferences were held at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva,” Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jaber told Arab News.
He added: “It is a confirmation of the Kingdom’s interest in the brotherly Yemeni people, and the alleviation of its suffering caused by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia. It will witness the announcement of financial pledges to meet the requirements for the United Nation’s humanitarian response plan.”
Yemeni Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr. Shaya’e bin Mohsen Al-Zindani told Arab News that Yemen was passing through a critical phase. In addition to the Iranian-backed Houthi militia and uncertain global economy, he said, Yemen is faced with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
“Yemeni government institutions are understaffed with meager resources,” the Yemeni envoy said.
The UN said that the aim is to raise $2.4 billion to pay for the world’s biggest aid operation, which includes medical, food and shelter assistance.
“All these reasons make the conference a pressing need. We heavily rely on the conference to lift Yemen out of this political and humanitarian situation,” said Al-Zindani.
“The Kingdom has played a praiseworthy role in Yemen for decades and has always stood by Yemen in harsh and cruel circumstances. It has supported Yemen all the way,” the ambassador stressed.
This is the first virtual pledging event of its kind to be held on this scale, and will be attended by high-profile Saudi and UN officials.
“We expect (the event) to achieve a high-level international presence from foreign ministers and heads of international organizations with generous support for the international plan,” Al-Jaber said.
The list of attendees includes Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) and Mark Lowcock, undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
“Yemen has been the No.1 humanitarian priority for Saudi Arabia and KSRelief,” said Al-Rabeeah.