SMA NEWS – RIYADH
Saudi Arabia is the largest supporter of humanitarian work in Yemen, with aid exceeding $17.3 billion, the head of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) said Thursday.
About $3.5 billion of that aid has been provided through KSrelief, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah told a meeting organized by the National Council on US-Arab Relations (NCUSAR) on the humanitarian challenges in Yemen.
Al-Rabeeah said the Kingdom is also one of the biggest aid donors around the world. The center has implemented 1,556 humanitarian projects in 59 countries with a value exceeding $5 billion, of which 590 projects were done in Yemen.
Aside from the political, economic, and health repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said the Yemeni people are also facing a difficult humanitarian situation caused by the Iran-backed Houthi militia.
“It sought to plunder and rob the humanitarian aid it receives from donor countries and divert it for the benefit of its military activities, depriving (Yemenis) of their most basic rights to lead a decent human life,” Al-Rabeeah added.
He outlined the Houthi’s humanitarian violations in Yemen, including using anti-aircraft weapons and planting mines in densely populated areas, forced recruitment of children, seizing aid ships and humanitarian convoys, and intimidating humanitarian workers, as well as bombing hospitals, schools, refugee camps and other civilian facilities resulting in civilian deaths, injuries and heavy losses.
Al-Rabeeah said the Kingdom is working to overcome these challenges and the Saudi Project for Landmine Clearance (MASAM) has extracted more than 230,000 mines, in addition to the rehabilitation program for children who were recruited by the Houthi militia and forced to fight in the conflict.
Al-Rabeeah called on UN organizations to stand up to these violations, and said the Kingdom is keen to end the crisis and supports all peace initiatives put forward by the UN envoy to Yemen.
Dr. John Anthony, CEO of NCUSAR, said the aid provided by Saudi Arabia to Yemen is the largest compared to the aid of other countries combined, and included roads, hospitals, schools, mosques, and education and training centers.