Afghans welcome Saudi assistance

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Time: May 08, 2019  

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Afghans receive free food donated by King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, ahead of the upcoming holy fasting month of Ramadan in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 5, 2019. (AP)
  • Saudi Arabia is in the vanguard for distribution of aid during the month of Ramadan

KABUL: Saudi Arabia has been commended for plans to provide assistance to needy Afghans during Ramadan.
“We welcome the assistance provided during the month of Ramadan, it will reduce problems for people,” Mohammad Nateqi, a former diplomat to Libya, told Arab News on Tuesday.
Goods worth $1 million, including rice, tea, dates and flour, will be distributed to 20,000 households in five key Afghan cities in the coming weeks.
The aid is being provided by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), according to the Saudi Embassy in Kabul, and will be given to returning Afghan refugees and to those affected by last year’s harsh droughts and heavy floods, which claimed the lives of more than 250 people.
“The distribution process has already begun in Kabul and will continue for the entire month of Ramadan in four other provinces,” Sayed Abdul Basit Ansari, a spokesman for the Ministry of Refugee Repatriation, said.
“Saudi Arabia is in the vanguard for distribution of aid during the month of Ramadan. We are very grateful to them,” he added, saying he hoped other nations would follow suit.
Hashmat Bahaduri, a spokesman for the Ministry of Disaster Management, said that the Kingdom has increased its aid to Afghanistan since last year.
“Saudi Arabia has delivered aid during emergency periods in the past. KSRelief’s distribution during Ramadan is a very effective method to keep people safe,” Bahaduri said.
Since assuming power in late 2014, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has been keen to boost ties with wealthy Arab nations.
There are nearly 1.4 million displaced people in Afghanistan because of the ongoing conflict with the Afghan Taliban, as well as recent natural disasters. Millions more live as refugees abroad.
The Kingdom has been providing assistance to Afghanistan for decades, ever since the invasion of the country by the Soviet Union in 1979, when Riyadh became a key source of financial and military support for the various groups fighting the Red Army.

This article was first published in Arab News

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