Saudi official: Yemeni ports open for humanitarian aid, commercial goods and fuel

Rabeeah said since its establishment, over $895 million was spent on relief efforts by Saudi Arabia, of which Yemen had the biggest share.

:: Saudi humanitarian relief official Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Rabeeah said on Saturday all Yemeni ports are open to relief and commercial assistance, while the ports of Hodeidah and Salih are receiveing all commercial vessels, fuel and aid.

Rabeeah, who is an advisor to the Royal Court and general supervisor of the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Works, was speaking at a press conference held at the Russian News Agency headquarters in Moscow, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

He also discussed Saudi Arabia’s active involvement and support of humanitarian and relief efforts around the world.

Rabeeah explained that Saudi Arabia, through the King Salman Center, provided all kinds of humanitarian assistance and relief for the needy and affected in 39 countries in four continents, specifically in Yemen.

He said that since its establishment, the center has provided 257 projects implemented through 119 local and international partners at a total cost of over $895 million, of which Yemen had the biggest share.

Projects allocated to Yemen amounted to 166 projects implemented in all governorates of Yemen. In collaboration with local partners and United Nations specialized organizations, the projects implemented included medical, environmental sanitation and programs for women and children.

Eighty projects were allocated for the children of Yemen in the areas of education, protection, food security, health, nutrition, water and environmental sanitation.

The programs aimed at children also include a qualitative project for the psychological and educational rehabilitation of children recruited by the Houthi militia. This is done by integrating them into society, joining them in schools and holding courses for their families in five governorates including Sanaa and Marib.

The Houthis have already recruited more than 20,000 Yemeni children according to reports of human rights organizations.

Rabeeah stressed that the humanitarian and relief efforts of the center have reached all Yemeni governorates without exception, including the governorates controlled by the Houthi militias.

He pointed out that the obstacles that the militia put in front of relief work, namely the siege of cities and the denial of access to or confiscation of the necessary relief and medical supplies will not stop them from delivering humanitarian aid and alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering.

“The cholera epidemic has been endemic for years in Yemen because of poor health infrastructure and poor public health standards,” Rabeeah said.

“The situation has increased in recent months, but with significant efforts by stakeholders with the support of the King Salman Center recovery rates rose to more than 99.7%, prompting many organizations working on the ground to close their cholera treatment centers in some areas,” he added.

Rabeeah also discussed the Syrian crisis during the conference saying that the kingdom was one of the first countries to support the Syrian people, hosting 262,000 Syrian refugees living as “honored guests”. He added that the kingdom has hundreds of thousands of Syrians in the labor market, while also providing education to 114,000 Syrian students in Saudi schools free of charge.

The conference was attended by the Saudi ambassador to Russia Dr. Raed Khalid Qarmli, the Yemeni ambassador to Moscow, as well as a number of correspondents and humanitarian and human rights observers.

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