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Yemen biggest recipient as Kingdom’s aid budget reaches $94bn


RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has taken a leading role in international humanitarian work, providing more than $94.6 billion in aid worldwide over the past 25 years, the head of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center has revealed.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, KSrelief’s general supervisor, said that 164 countries have benefited from the Kingdom’s relief efforts.

Al-Rabeeah outlined KSrelief’s initiatives during a virtual meeting of the National Council on US‑Arab Relations held under the theme “Global relief and humanitarian assistance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

He said that since the center’s establishment in 2015, it has implemented about 2,000 humanitarian projects in 84 countries, with a value of more than $5.7 billion.

Projects focusing on food security, education, health, protection and nutrition have been carried out in partnership with 175 international organizations, including UN agencies.

Al-Rabeeah said that Yemen accounted for the biggest share of this assistance, with 71 percent of the total going toward 700 humanitarian projects worth more than $4 billion.

In the same period, KSrelief has implemented 815 projects benefiting 113 million women worldwide with a value exceeding $533 million.

The center also implemented 730 projects benefiting more than 146 million children with a value of about $769 million.

Al-Rabeeah said that the center has implemented more than 200 voluntary medical, educational and training programs, helping almost 483,000 people in 22 countries. Voluntary medical programs conducted more than 50,000 surgeries.

Referring to the worldwide refugee issue, Al-Rabeeah said that the Kingdom is among the leading countries receiving refugees, with an estimated total of 1,074,153, including 561,911 from Yemen, 262,573 from Syria and 249,669 from Myanmar.

The Kingdom offers refugees free access to health and education services, and seeks to integrate them into society by hosting them in all parts of the country.

He also referred to Saudi Arabia’s efforts in combating COVID-19 at an international level, where the Kingdom has provided more than $850.8 million, including medical and preventive assistance to more than 34 countries.

Saudi Arabia’s support to produce and distribute vaccines as part of the G20 initiative amounted to $500 million, including $150 million for the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, $150 million for the Vaccine Alliance, and $200 for international and UN organizations.

Al-Rabeeah said: “The center took the initiative to establish several qualitative programs to help the Yemeni people, such as Saudi Project for Landmine Clearance, which so far has succeeded in clearing more than 342,000 mines with help from more than 400 experts.”

Saudi Arabia has a leading role in the international humanitarian work, he added, referring to the partnership between the Kingdom, represented by KSrelief, and the US, represented by US Agency for International Development.

KSrelief will organize the third Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum on Feb. 20-21, 2023 to discuss challenges and opportunities related to humanitarian assistance, he said.

John Duke Anthony, National Council on US-Arab Relations founding president and CEO, praised the Kingdom’s relief and humanitarian efforts around the world.



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