By Middle East Affairs
Saudi Arabia’s King has surpassed humanitarian targets set by the UN with his King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief).
The supervisor general of KSRelief, Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said that Saudi Arabia’s gross official development assistance (ODA) between 1994 and 2014 was $65.9 billion. This amounted to 1.9 percent of the Kingdom’s Gross National Income (GNI) — a percentage that is higher than the United Nations’ target of 0.7 percent of GNI dedicated to ODA.
“Saudi Arabia has played a leading role in providing humanitarian aid and relief work by assisting many needy countries to alleviate human suffering and provide vulnerable populations with a decent life,” Al-Rabeeah told a journalist in Paris.
The King is eager to assist in humanitarian work, says Al-Rabeeah, he gave the initiative to transform KSRelief into an international body for providing humanitarian assistance and to unite the Kingdom’s foreign-relief efforts under one organization, back in May 2015.
Yemen suffers from a war and mass starvation has been assisted more than $1.543 billion in that last three years from the Kingdom, says Al-Rabeeah. The problems in Yemen are grave, Houthi militias routinely savage humanitarian efforts, targets people’s homes and aid workers while using children as child soldiers. The Houthi militias are also known to use weapons in civilian areas to reign terror.
Al-Rabeeah said, “The Houthi militias have targeted Saudi cities with 133 ballistic missiles and thousands of military projectiles that have killed 107 innocent civilians and injured 870 others in addition to causing damage to 39 schools, 18 mosques, and five hospitals.”
The King has also made efforts to welcome refugees from nearby countries, 561,911 Yemenis, 262,573 Syrians and 249,669 from Myanmar. Today Al-Rabeeah says that refugees total 5.26 percent of the population.
The Kingdom has spread its humanitarian efforts far and wide, aiding 32 countries with education projects, and donating more than $5 billion to 132 projects that have helped more than 2 million people and 393,000 students.
The Arab Group at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and Al-Rabeeah were in a joint meeting to discuss humanitarian work projects around the world.
The meeting which took place in Paris, the headquarters of UNESCO saw discussion of building educational centers, teaching students, awarding scholarships, supplying teaching material, and better training teachers. Al-Rabeeah totals the programs at $5.212 billion, with KSRelief providing an additional $93 million to educational projects in nine countries.
KSRelief works with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to assist in the transport of aid, alongside coalition forces in Yemen, with the help of the Office of the Military Coordination, so they can be sure that aid packages are delivered safely.
“From the beginning of the Yemeni crisis to this day, 22,000 licenses have been issued, whether for vessels, land convoys or aircraft,” Al-Rabeeah said.
In the works is a project that would give Yemeni refugees in Djibouti, a housing complex with health centers and schools, according to Al-Rabeeah.
He said the Kingdom is also doing its part to keep a close eye on the suffering of Rohingya refugees in the Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh.
To ease their suffering KSRelief has begun a project which provides education to the Rohingya refugees in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.
KSRelief was widely praised by the members of the UNESCO Arab Group for its relief efforts and aid around the world.