Saudi Arabia is Biggest Supporter of Humanitarian Work in Yemen, says Dr. Al Rabeeah

Adviser at the Royal Court and Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah has confirmed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest supporter of humanitarian work in Yemen, with aid exceeding USD 17.3 billion, including USD 3.5 billion were provided through KSrelief.

This came during his participation yesterday in the meeting organized virtually by the National Council on US-Arab Relations entitled “Humanitarian Challenges in Yemen”.

Dr. Al Rabeeah stressed that Saudi Arabia is one of the top countries donating aid around the world, as humanitarian projects through KSrelief exceeded 1,556 projects in 59 countries with a value exceeding USD 5 billion and projects set for Yemen amounted to 590 projects with a value of USD 3,533,096,000.

Dr. Al Rabeeah stressed that Saudi Arabia’s aid are provided without discrimination, exception or distinction due to race, color and religion, adding that KSrelief’s programs being implemented in Yemen include the governorates that are still under the terrorist Houthi militia.”

Dr. Al Rabeeah said that we meet today amid difficult conditions that the world is facing as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and its economic, health and political challenges, in addition to the difficult humanitarian and health conditions that the Yemeni people are facing which are caused by the Iran-backed Houthi militias, as they do not take into account the severe implications of the pandemic. These militias also disregard humanitarian conditions that threaten all segments of Yemeni people and seek to loot the humanitarian aid that the Yemenis receives from donor countries and use this aid in their military activities, depriving the Yamani people of the most basic rights of a decent human life, He added.

Dr. Al Rabeeah pointed out to the Houthis’ violations of humanitarian work in Yemen, which exceeded all limits and varied between the use of anti-aircraft weapons in neighborhoods and civilian sites, the planting of mines in Yemeni areas, the forcible recruitment of children, seizure of aid ships and humanitarian convoys and selling or using aid for military purposes, intimidating humanitarian field workers, as well as the bombing of hospitals, schools, refugee camps and other civilian facilities, which claimed lives of numbers of civilian and resulted in injuries.

KSrelief Supervisor General stated that the challenges are represented by militias planting hundreds of thousands of anti-personnel mines in densely populated places, city entrances and exits, villages and farms. Saudi Arabia, represented by the center, has initiated a number of programs to address this challenge, including the Saudi Project for Mine Clearance in Yemen (Masam), which has so far succeeded in removing 232,257 mines in Yemeni lands, in addition to the Artificial Limb Center (ALC) project and the rehabilitation program for children who were recruited by the Houthi militia and forced into the armed conflict.

Dr. Al Rabeeah added that one of the challenges surrounding humanitarian work in Yemen is to expand the scope of the crisis to include all Yemeni regions and countries neighboring Yemen, through restrictions being imposed by the Houthi militias on Yemenis and not enabling them to practice their lives normally, which forces Yemenis to flee to other regions in Yemen or seek refuge in other countries. He affirmed that Saudi Arabia has exerted great efforts to shelter more than 561,000 Yemeni refugees, enable them to get job opportunities and provide them with free health and education services.

Dr. Al Rabeeah called on United Nations organizations to stand up against these violations, stressing that Saudi Arabia is keen to end the crisis and support all peace initiatives put forward by the UN envoys to Yemen, affirming Saudi Arabia’s support for every meaningful and constructive dialogue that supports peace efforts and adopts peaceful solutions in Yemen according to three references to ensure the return of peace, security and stability to Yemen. Regarding combating children recruitment in fighting in Yemen, Dr. Al Rabeeah concluded as saying that KSrelief launched, in 2017, a project to rehabilitate children who have been recruited and affected by the armed conflict in Yemen, by integrating them into society, enrolling them in schools, preparing them psychologically and socially and preparing courses for them and their families in this regard, adding that the project has so far benefited 530 children and more than 60,000 parents.