Saudi Arabia among largest global donors of aid: UN report

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Time: October 03, 2018   

Workers unload aid from a Saudi air force cargo plane at an airfield in Yemen’s central province of Marib. (AFP/File)
  • FTS said that Saudi Arabia had assisted and supported refugees with humanitarian relief and development assistance.
  • The Kingdom provided Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Malaysia with assistance amounting to $18.1 million

The UN Financial Tracking Service (FTS) has revealed that Saudi Arabia is ranked fourth among major world donors of humanitarian aid.

 

In its Sept. 2018 report, the FTS said that Saudi Arabia had assisted and supported refugees with humanitarian relief and development assistance.

Dr. Aqeel Al-Ghamdi, assistant general supervisor for planning and development at the King Salman Center for Humanitarian Relief and Works (KSRelief), mentioned Saudi aid to countries during a speech at the UN. He said that the Kingdom provided Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Malaysia with assistance amounting to $18.1 million.

Al-Ghamdi said that 13 projects were also implemented for internally displaced persons in Myanmar through the International Organization for Migration (IOM), adding that Saudi Arabia has provided Syrian refugees in Jordan with aid worth $178.3 million, in Turkey worth $88.7 million, in Lebanon worth $95.7 million, and to refugees in countries such as Iraq, Egypt and others, worth $219.6 million with 198 humanitarian projects.

Aid worth $203.3 million was given to Jordan as a host of refugees, he said. The Kingdom provided $500 million to support the UN Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen in 2018; of this amount $31 million was allocated to the UNHCR and $23.3 million to the IOM to provide assistance to internally displaced refugees and internally displaced persons.

The contribution of Saudi Arabia to Yemen since the beginning of the crisis in 2015, in humanitarian assistance, development and relief for the Yemeni people, amounted to $11.18 billion.

For Palestine, the Kingdom has been one of the largest donors, since 2000 until 2018, providing development, humanitarian and charitable assistance amounting to $5.55 billion.

In Somalia, Al-Ghamdi said that the Kingdom provided $177.3 million in assistance, carrying out 29 projects and providing $10 million to the UNHCR and IOM to repatriate Somali refugees from Yemen, and helping them to resettle when they returned.

The Kingdom had also allocated $10 million for projects in Nigeria, where urgent humanitarian and relief projects were being implemented for displaced people, he said.

In Pakistan, the Kingdom provided assistance amounting to $107.3 million, implemented for 85 projects for displaced people affected by floods and earthquakes between 2005 and 2018.

In Afghanistan, the Kingdom provided assistance to 32 projects for displaced people worth $22.8 million.

Al-Ghamdi noted that the Kingdom has hosted 1.07 million refugees (563,911 of whom were Yemenis, 262,573 Syrians and 249,669 Burmese), representing 5.26 percent of the total number of Saudi residents.

In the Kingdom, these refugees exercised the right to residence, mobility and had access to education, health and work, on an equal footing with Saudi citizens.

The Kingdom is working on a comprehensive database using internationally recognized standards that will soon be launched to record and monitor refugee data within Saudi Arabia. The humanitarian and relief work of the Kingdom covered 40 countries, he said.

This article was first published in Arab News

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