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The Embassy of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in Cairo issued a statement on Sunday, 1 January 2017 addressing the Houthi militias’ violation of international norms and conventions. The statement pointed out that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is committed to the United Nations Resolution 2216 a cease-fire in Yemen and allowing humanitarian aid to areas under siege and lifting the siege.

The statement stated that on 20 October 2016, that Saudi Foreign Minister  H.E. Adel Al-Jubeir confirmed the Kingdom’s support of the Yemeni government, “We support the Yemeni government’s call for an end to the violence and so the coalition will abide by it. But again I want to emphasize that we have the right to defend ourselves.”

Despite a truce lasting from 20 April 2016 until 13 July 2016, “12,704” cases of violation were recorded. 75,382 gross violations against civilians and public and private property were committed by the Houthi and Saleh-supporting militia during the first half of 2016, including cases of murder, injury, kidnapping, arrest and arbitrary attacks on public and private property, not to mention  the undermining of local authorities, the recruitment of children and the administration of collective punishment.
During the period from 2014 to 2015 there were 257 cases of violation against media institutions and 86 against websites, 91 cases of academics being kidnapped. In addition 262 arrests of military personnel were recorded along with 1,302 cases of individuals being for their political affiliation, as well as 2706 enforced disappearance and 32 individual under house arrest in Sanaa.

Find can find further details in a factsheet here.

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It was on 19 November 2016 that the command of the Saudi-led Arab alliance in Yemen gave its support to a 48-hour UN-backed ceasefire. The hope was that this respite from the bloodshed would allow for the delivery of sorely needed humanitarian aid across the country. It was also very clear that cessation of hostilities could be extended if the Iran-allied Houthi militia abided by the terms of truce. Importantly, this included allowing the entry of aid to the besieged areas of the war-torn country, particularly Taiz City, Yemen’s third largest city. What was formally the country’s vibrant cultural capital is now almost completely surrounded by the Houthis and their allies. The suffering of the city’s inhabitants is immeasurable.

Ultimately, the aim of the ceasefire was to bring about a permanent and lasting end to the conflict through the reopening of diplomatic channels. Alas, the Pacification Committee of the Yemeni army recorded in excess of 70 breaches of the truce by Houthi forces  its allies in Taiz province, only moments after the ceasefire came into effect. These infringements included shelling with heavy and medium weapons and sniping that wounded two civilians. Militia fired artillery and mortar shells at people’s homes in Al-Salow District and bombed the Al-Tabadud Valley area. Mortar rounds and rockets rained down indiscriminately across the different areas of Taiz City. In total, the ceasefire was broken 563 times in Yemen and 163 times on the Saudi border, a coalition official confirmed.

Beyond the flagrant contravention of the ceasefire terms, Houthi forces have frequently launched missiles into Saudi Arabian territory. On one occasion, the Houthis even went as far as to target the Holy City of Makkah, the holiest site of the Muslim world. When such atrocities are regularly attempted by the Houthis, there can be no foundation of trust on which to base a ceasefire. Saudi Arabia necessarily reserves the right to act with the utmost caution in brokering such ceasefires with the Houthis, bearing in mind that the protection of our own citizens must be our priority.

In a latest development, Houthis and General People’s Congress have unilaterally announced the formation of a new government that had legitimacy or support from the internationally recognised Yemeni government. These actions have been condemned by the UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh, who said, the move “represents a new and concerning obstacle to the peace process and does not serve the interests of the people of Yemen in these difficult times.” Equally, the Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher said that Houthis and their allies are “certainly aware that they are undermining U.N. peace efforts when announcing a new government.”

We join Mr Ould Cheikh in his plea to the Houthis and the General People’s Congress to “re-think their approach & demonstrate their commitment to the peace process with concrete actions,” rather than illegitimate and damaging posturing. To end the conflict there must be a withdrawal from occupied cities, and a handing over arms to make way for a much-needed political process and reconstruction of the country.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), has contributed US$ 67 million for projects to be implemented in Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan. The three agreements were signed today by the SFD Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, H.E. Eng. Yousef al-Bassam, and the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Pierre Krähenbühl.

The first agreement, valued at US$ 28 million, will support ongoing projects, including the reconstruction of shelters in Gaza. The second agreement, valued at US$ 32 million, will assist UNRWA in the reconstruction and furnishing of several health centres and schools in the West Bank and the implementation of several other ongoing projects. The third agreement, valued at US$ 7 million, will provide funds for the reconstruction, furnishing and equipping of two health centres and one school in Jordan.

H.E. Eng. al-Bassam said: “We are a proud partner of UNRWA, which is doing an excellent job of transparently portraying the true situation of Palestine refugees. We shall continue to support UNRWA and we look forward as always to witnessing the impact of these projects on Palestine refugees.”

Expressing his gratitude, Mr. Krähenbühl said: “I am extremely grateful to the government and the people of Saudi Arabia for the sustained support that the Kingdom has extended to UNRWA over the years. The Kingdom has always been forthcoming in its support towards Palestine refugees. I would like to express particular appreciation for the role played by the Saudi Fund for Development in delivering Saudi assistance. Our partnership with the Fund is of high importance to the Agency and deeply appreciated.”

In 2016 alone, Saudi Arabia has contributed more than US$ 150 million to UNRWA, making the Kingdom the second largest donor after the United States. Saudi Arabia has also been a valued member of the UNRWA Advisory Commission, which advises and assists the Commissioner-General in carrying out the Agency’s mandate, since 2005.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

  • November 30, 2016

Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Supervisor General of The King Salman Humanitarian Aid & Relief Centre (KSRelief) presented the details of the Kingdom’s aid program in Brussels. Following meetings with EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Christos Stylianides, Dr Al Rabeeah also took the time to explain the valuable work conducted by KSRelief as part of Saudi Arabia’s role as one of the world’s leading humanitarian donors.

The aims of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre

KSRelief’s main achievements since its foundation in 2015

Key current areas of focus for KSRelief

The main challenges ahead for the Centre

KSRelief’s priorities for 2017

A medical background at the heart of KSRelief’s leadership

Support for refugees in the Middle East

Forging ties with the EU

Dr Al Rabeeah’s takeways from his trip to Brussels

How KSRelief and the EU’s DG ECHO can learn from each other

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (19th October 2016): Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Supervisor General of The King Salman Humanitarian Aid & Relief Centre (KSRelief), has presented the details of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Humanitarian Aid & Relief Program in Brussels in the context of bi-lateral meetings with senior Commission officials and EU policymakers . The Kingdom is one of the world’s leading humanitarian donors, and continues to increase its contributions.

Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian aid activities date back as far as 1950, and in the last month alone the Kingdom pledged 67 million euros to support refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria, as well as 90 million euros to support the rebuilding of the Afghan state. Over the past 40 years, Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian contributions totalling over 125 billion euros have helped to improve the lives of people in over 80 countries with complete political impartiality.

Speaking after meetings with Christos Stylianides, the European Commissioner responsible for humanitarian aid and crisis, Dr Al Rabeeah said,  “I have been very glad to raise awareness of the invaluable work of KSRelief in Brussels and to lay the foundation for a closer collaboration with the European Commission’s Directorate General ECHO towards the exchange of information and visiting teams on humanitarian work and improve coordination on the ground.”

KSRelief, the organisation founded in 2015 to manage and coordinate international relief activities, is currently prioritising its work in Yemen in the form of the “Regaining of Hope” initiative, and in Syria. KSRelief has launched projects to support healthcare provision, food security and shelter for the Yemeni people both in the country and in refugee camps in the region.

About KSRelief: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid & Relief Centre (KSRelief) is a Saudi foundation specialised in the provision of international relief and humanitarian aid. The centre was founded in May 2015 under the sponsorship of his Excellency, Custodian of the two holy mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The centre operates a range of programs following state-of-the-art models which enable the centre to deliver relief to the world’s crisis-stricken communities and re-establish dignity for those in need.

 

  • October 19, 2016

 

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Saudi Arabia in Focus September 2016

This issue covers the celebrations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s 86th national day, the successful Saudi delegation led by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 in Hangzhou, China, the recent speech of Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir at Chatham House, London and the tireless work of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre in Yemen.

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Focus Arabie saoudite septembre 2016

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Naif has announced that Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $75 million to support refugees, in coordination with international organizations. Prince Mohammad announced the new aid package during a speech at the Leaders’ Summit on the Global Refugee Crises hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama on the margins of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly.

During his speech, Prince Mohammad highlighted the Kingdom’s efforts in relief work and humanitarian aid.

“The total humanitarian assistance provided by the Kingdom over the past four decades amounted to about $139 billion,” he said.

He singled out Saudi Arabia’s assistance to the Syrian people, saying that Saudi Arabia was one of the largest providers of aid.

“The Kingdom has received around 2.5 million Syrian citizens, and it is keen on not treating them simply as refugees or putting them in refugee camps. On the other hand, the Kingdom safeguarded their dignity and ensured their safety by granting full freedom of movement and issuing residence permits for hundreds of thousands of Syrians who wanted to remain in the Kingdom.”

“The Kingdom has also given them access to the labor market and provided healthcare and education free of charge. There are more than 141,000 Syrian children pursuing their education free of cost,” he said.

Prince Mohammad also said that Saudi Arabia has supported millions of Syrian refugees living in neighboring states, with aid reaching more than $800 million. 

In addition, the crown prince said that Saudi Arabia has also welcomed Yemeni refugees, considering them as visitors and exempting them from residence and work regulations.  Saudi Arabia has been the single-largest donor of humanitarian aid to Yemen.

Prince Mohammad highlighted the establishment in 2015 of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center. He said that Saudi aid to refugees in other countries included $59 million to the United Nations and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in February 2016, $30 million to Afghan refugees in Pakistan, and the Kingdom’s pledge to provide $50 million to the Indonesian government to support the Rohingya refugees.

  • September 22, 2016

Since its inception, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre has done its best to assist those in need across all Yemeni governorates. The most important projects implemented by the centre and its partners have focussed on women and children. One of the centre’s first projects involved providing medical care to more than 7,600 children and mothers living as refugees in Djibouti. This project was carried out in cooperation with UNICEF, with a total expenditure of €309,652.

Another project was put in place in response to an urgent UN flash appeal for immediate humanitarian assistance to Yemen; this €26.2 million project was again carried out in coordination with UNICEF. The project provided food, therapeutic and preventative interventions to save the lives of children under the age of five, and also provided protection for the health of pregnant and nursing mothers.

The table below contains statistics about programmes put in place by KSrelief in partnership with a number of United Nations organisations and national and international NGOs in support of women and children in the Republic of Yemen.

Aid category Children aided Women aided Total cost (US$)
Food security 7,033,441 4,974,873 129,740,269
Medical aid 6,774,269 5,187,790 49,669,086
Humanitarian aid 2,997,895 2,795,591 43,480,101