KSrelief’s MASAM Teams Continue to Deactivate Explosive Devices in Yemen

Time: 01 December 2020

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA: During the third week of November 2020, MASAM project teams from King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) deactivated a total of 2,018 explosive devices, including 38 antipersonnel mines, 393 anti-vehicle mines, 18 improvised explosive devices and 1,569 pieces of unexploded ordnance. Since the project began in June 2018, MASAM teams have deactivated a total of 200,000 Houthi militia-planted devices.

Militia groups have deployed more than a million explosive devices in populated areas throughout Yemen during the ongoing conflict there. These devices have killed and wounded many innocent civilians, and remain a serious threat to the safety and security of Yemen.

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KSrelief Distributes Food Baskets in Pakistan

Time: 30 November 2020

SINDH, PAKISTAN: Yesterday, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) distributed 80.8 tons of food baskets to 4,536 flood-affected people in the Tharparkar and Badin districts of Pakistan’s Sindh province.  

The aid was part of a larger KSrelief project to distribute 7,000 food baskets (287 tons) for families in need in the Sindh region. The project will provide nutritional support to a total of 42,000 beneficiaries. 

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Prominent communications executive hails Saudi Arabia’s ‘admirable’ Hajj and G20 amid COVID-19

Time: 01 November 2020

TAREK ALI AHMAD

LONDON: According to one of the UK’s most prominent communications executives, Muddassar Ahmed, Saudi Arabia has “not only done an admirable job but has set a precedent for other nations to follow” with regard to its handling of Hajj amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The Kingdom’s decision to suspend the Hajj pilgrimage during the pandemic was a brave one, all the more so because it is a religious occasion that hundreds of thousands of people spend their lives preparing for,” Ahmed, the founder of Unitas Communications, told Arab News.

“To tell people making a once-in-a-lifetime journey that their plans must be put on hold cannot have been easy. But it was without a doubt the right thing to do. In our religion, the protection and preservation of life are of paramount value,” he added.

Ahmed, one of the UK’s top 1000 most influential people, also praised the Kingdom’s handling of the G20 summit last month after deciding to go fully virtual, calling it “absolutely the correct course of action.”

“In both instances, Saudi Arabia has set a precedent for other countries to follow. We can contrast its proactive, forward-thinking and compassionate approach, as well as its own COVID-19 statistics, with other countries’ track records,” he said.

Countering extremism as a British Muslim

Ahmed is not only known for his role as a communications expert, but also as a leading figure in the Muslim community in the UK, countering hate speech and the rise of extremism as an advisor to the British government on anti-Muslim hatred.

“As a born-and-bred British Muslim, this is not just important to me on a policy level but on a deeply personal level. I have dedicated my life to improving relationships between Muslim and other communities and I believe that, through Unitas and other projects I have dedicated myself to, we have made tremendous progress in improving the image and position of Muslims in Britain and the West,” Ahmed, who was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims worldwide three times, said.

Before founding Unitas, Ahmed was an activist campaigning against the Iraq war and founder/host of East London’s Radio Ramadan shows.

“I soon realized that adversarial campaigning only went so far. I was concerned by the growing divide between Muslims and wider society, between the Islamic world and the West, and I wanted — I needed — to help heal these divides, to bridge these allegedly irreconcilable narratives,” he explained.

Soon after, he teamed up with fellow East Londoner and childhood classmate Shiraz Ahmad to give birth to the world’s first public relations agency dedicated to bridging the gap between the Islamic and Western worlds: Unitas Communications.

One of the group’s first clients was the National Health Service, which needed to access hard-to-reach minority communities in East London.

It was not long before their work earned the attention of people invested in efforts to do the same. A few years after the start of the Iraq War and after the 7/7 2005 London terrorist attacks, community cohesion in the UK was at an all-time low.

The UN’s Alliance of Civilizations then reached out to Unitas to “see minority and Muslim communities have the training and develop the skills necessary to engage effectively and constructively in wider British society.”

Ahmed and Unitas’s work is not restricted to the UK alone, with the group and its founder earning praise and recognition from former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and by the City of New York.

Brexit and what is to come

While many businesses have been critical of Brexit and its potential consequences, Ahmed looks to the bright side of matters and instead calls it “an opportunity for Britain to reset its narrative on the world stage.”

“I have every confidence in the ability of the British nation to reinvent itself,” he added, explaining that “Unitas operations extend across continents in order to connect people, cultures and ideas and to make communicating effective and impactful.”

With regard to what the future holds for Unitas in such uncertain times, Ahmed remains optimistic.

“The future will see Unitas continuing to work with leading international brands and expanding its presence across Europe and the Middle East and deeper into Southeast Asia. But I should also say that a major priority for us has always been the US. We’ve had major American clients, like the National Football League and the US State Department,” he said.

“We will continue to choose clients who contribute to making the world a more understanding place, and we will engage those relationships to improve the world, to leave things better off than where they were when we started.

Because this work isn’t just a business to me or my team. It’s a moral calling.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi aid agency continues health projects in Yemen

Time: 27 November 2020

The campaign aims to eliminate mosquitoes and raise awareness about the importance of personal hygiene in order to limit the spread of epidemics and diseases among displaced people.

ADEN: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) launched a fog-spraying campaign in displacement camps in Yemen’s Aden governorate. The three-day campaign is part of an emergency response project to combat dengue fever.
It aims to eliminate mosquitoes and raise awareness about the importance of personal hygiene in order to limit the spread of epidemics and diseases among displaced people.
In Mukalla KSrelief is continuing its medical campaign for open heart surgeries for children, as part of the “Saudi Pulse” program to provide free treatment and operations for heart conditions in Hadramout.The medical team has performed 11 successful operations.

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KSrelief Launched of the Saudi Volunteer Program for Heart Disease and Cardiac Surgeries in Yemen

Time: 20 November 2020

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA: King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief)’s Supervisor General, Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, in the presence of Yemen’s Minister of Public Health and Population, Dr. Nasser Baaoum, has launched the “Saudi Volunteer Program for Heart Disease and Cardiac Surgeries” in Mukalla, Yemen. The launching ceremony took place at KSrelief’s Riyadh headquarters.

The program includes the provision of 540 cardiac procedures, including open-heart surgeries of all kinds for children and adults, 1,440 therapeutic catheterizations, and 960 diagnostic catheterizations. The volunteer teams are expected to provide treatment for 2,940 patients between 15 October 2020 and 31 December 2021. The campaign is being implemented in cooperation with the Nabd Al Hayat Program for Heart Disease.

The procedures will be carried out in the city of Mukalla in the Hadramawt governorate for limited-income patients from all over Yemen who cannot cover the costs of their treatment. The program will cover all required medications for heart disease patients and will also provide health education for patients and their families. KSrelief’s volunteer medical teams will not only perform thousands of life-saving procedures, but will also train Yemeni medical cadres to provide advanced cardiac care for their patients in the future.

In remarks during the launch, Dr. Al Rabeeah said, “As a continuation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian and relief approach, led by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and HRH the Crown Prince, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has surpassed other countries in the world in the amount of international humanitarian aid it provides. The directives of the Kingdom’s leadership were to support the people of Yemen, and these directives have made the Kingdom the top aid provider in Yemen. The Kingdom provides impartial aid to all Yemenis, to all regions and governorates of the country and without any discrimination.”

“We are happy today,” he added, “as part of this approach, to launch this important humanitarian and volunteer program, the Saudi Volunteer Program for Heart Disease and Cardiac Surgeries. The program helps to achieve the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 in giving priority to humanitarian and volunteer work.”

Dr. Al Rabeeah affirmed that the program will continue for a period of 15 months through the end of 2021. “The program will include 12 volunteer medical campaigns,” he said, “undertaken by distinguished specialized cadres of highly qualified Saudi doctors, to save the lives of approximately 3,000 Yemenis who suffer from heart disease.” The total cost of the program will be USD 5.7 million.

Dr. Baaoum followed with his own remarks. “Allow me first,” he said, “to sincerely thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its leadership, its government and its people, and particularly KSrelief, for the continuous and sustained support for the Yemeni people. In recent years, we have received support in combating epidemics that Yemen witnessed as a result of the conflict. We are happy today, in the presence of the Supervisor General of KSrelief, to launch this critical and important program, which will meet the needs of heart patients in Yemen.”

He added that the program would also “contribute to the education and training of a large number of Yemeni cadres”, and indicated that this element was itself a great achievement by KSrelief, “which was able to reach all governorates of Yemen without discrimination.”

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Saudi Arabia Signs Agreement with USAID for Rohingya Shelter Project in Cox’s Bazar

Time: 17 November 2020

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed virtually today an agreement with the United States of America, represented by USAID, to provide funding to the World Food Programme (WFP) to improve community resilience in disasters and rehabilitate multi-purpose cyclone shelters for Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The total cost of the project will be USD 2 million.

The agreement was signed by the Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief), Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, and the Acting Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Mr. John Barsa. The ceremony was also attended virtually by HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States, and United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, John Abizaid.

The project will provide urgent assistance to some 87,165 beneficiaries, including refugee camp residents and other needy and vulnerable population groups who are affected by natural disasters and conflicts in the regions of Ukhia, Teknaf, Pekua, Kutubdia and Maheshkhali in Bangladesh.

Following the signing, Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah stated that he was “really honored today to sign this is very important agreement between KSrelief and USAID. On behalf of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and KSrelief, I appreciate this important event and am hoping to see more such agreements.”

He noted that the Kingdom had stood with the Rohingya people, both as IDPs in Myanmar and as refugees in other countries, for decades. In Saudi Arabia, the Rohingya who live there have been provided with all necessary services, care and facilities.

Dr. Al Rabeeah added that, due to the threat of extermination and torture faced by the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been committed to helping the Rohingya in their country. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bun Abdulaziz Al Saud, directed KSrelief to stand with the Rohingya and provide them with urgent assistance. For its part, KSrelief has sent specialized teams to Bangladesh to assess the living conditions of the refugees, determine their most urgent needs, and provide emergency relief, humanitarian and shelter assistance. KSrelief has implemented many programs and projects for the refugees living in Cox’s Bazar and other locations.

The Supervisor General added that this agreement was part of Saudi Arabia’s ongoing efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Rohingya people by providing everything possible to improve their living conditions. He extended his sincere thanks and appreciation to Saudi Arabia’s leadership for the comprehensive aid the Kingdom is providing to crisis-affected people in countries around the world.

John Barsa from USAID had this to say on the occasion: “I would like to start by thanking both KSrelief and WFP for your partnership in Bangladesh and around the world. More than three years since the mass displacement of Rohingya in Myanmar, we are here today to reiterate our shared commitment to support Rohingya refugees and the Bangladeshi community that generously hosts them.”

“On behalf of USAID,” he added, “I’m very proud today to announce our additional support alongside KSrelief for WFP’s project on cyclone shelter rehabilitation and strengthening disaster readiness. With over 860,000 refugees in one the world’s largest refugee camps, Cox’s Bazar is facing several compounding shocks, from extreme weather to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“I couldn’t be more thrilled that KSrelief is joining us…I also would like to acknowledge our important partnership with KSrelief as it continues to broaden its humanitarian efforts around the world.”

“In just five years, KSrelief has expanded into an organization with more than 300 staff and a sophisticated volunteer program. KSrelief has responded to some of the most complex humanitarian crisis and disasters in more than 50 countries, and has provided more than USD 4 billion in humanitarian aid across every sector.”

Mr. Barsa concluded by expressing his hopes that this agreement would alleviate the suffering of both the Rohingya refugees and members of the host community, and urged all other international organizations to provide support for this cause.

HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud stated, “KSrelief has played an instrumental role in the region and beyond, and stands as one of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s most visible and effective humanitarian relief organizations. It has worked in more than 50 countries, participated in more than 1,300 international projects, and provided more than USD 4.6 billion in humanitarian relief assistance.”

“Today, KSrelief is pleased to join with the USAID to jointly assist WFP’s efforts in Cox’s Bazar. This joint effort is a testament to what our enduring partnership with the United States can achieve. Our combined efforts to achieve peace, security and prosperity in the region and around the world also extend to helping those in need, as we are discussing here today. This project will improve the health, safety and living conditions of Rohingya refugees dislocated in Bangladesh, through an effort to rehabilitate local housing and shelters, enabling these accommodations to provide necessary protection during disasters.”

“KSrelief and the Kingdom welcome this opportunity to coordinate our relief efforts with the United States and the WFP by providing this USD 1 million humanitarian assistance award. Over the past two decades, Saudi Arabia has provided more than USD 15 billion in humanitarian relief assistance for global refugees, and just last month, participated in the UN Donors Conference for the Rohingya cause. The Kingdom currently hosts more than 270,000 Rohingya refugees, providing them with free health care, educational services and employment opportunities.”

HRH Princess Reema added, “Today’s joint project is another important effort in providing for the basic needs of one of the world’s most impoverished refugee groups. Everyone should have safe and secure shelter, and through this project, many families in Bangladesh will soon be able to remove that basic need from their list of daily challenges. We look forward to the continuing cooperation between KSrelief and USAID, as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States work together to address humanitarian needs around the globe.”

Ambassador John Abizaid said that the United States was “proud to join hands with Saudi Arabia in providing humanitarian assistance. Our partnership on the project is a manifestation of the broad and enduring American partnership with Saudi Arabia. That relationship, which began 75 years ago in a shipboard meeting between King Abdulaziz and President Roosevelt, works to provide not only life-sustaining assistance, but to support peace and stability in the region and beyond.”

He also noted that “the United States and Saudi Arabia signed a joint statement of support to each provide USD 1 million to assist Rohingya refugees. This first-of-its-kind agreement is administered by the USAID and KSrelief. Through our implementing partner, the WFP, together we will rehabilitate shelters and provide disaster management training to vulnerable people in a region sadly prone to deadly, extreme weather.”

“Today’s agreement,” Ambassador Abizaid continued, “is not the first time we have worked side-by-side to deliver critical assistance to the people who need it most. In Yemen, the United States and Saudi Arabia are working to provide life-saving aid to a society ravaged by conflict. In Syria, the United States and Saudi Arabia have been working to address the needs of internally displaced and other vulnerable people, today numbering over 12 million Syrians. Through USAID, the United States provides emergency food, health, water, and sanitation assistance, while KSrelief is at the forefront of the education sector, helping meet the needs of Syria’s ‘lost generation’ of youth with supplies and services to over 100,000 needy schoolchildren.”

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Saudi aid agency launches drive to fight dengue in Yemen

Time: 01 November 2020

Youths wearing masks as a precaution due to COVID-19 coronavirus disease, sit in the back of a truck carrying out a fumigation in an area in Yemen’s southern coastal city of Aden on May 5, 2020, as part of a campaign to prevent the spread of insect-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and Chikungunya virus amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic.(AFP)
  • The center launched an emergency response project in July to combat dengue fever and malaria

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) on Monday launched a fumigation campaign in Al-Mualla district in Aden governorate of Yemen. The campaign has been launched to help Yemeni authorities fight the spread of dengue and malaria.
The five-day campaign is part of the center’s concerted efforts to combat diseases in the war-torn country.
The center launched an emergency response project in July to combat dengue fever and malaria. KSrelief teams will also help remove stagnant water in all of Aden’s directorates to get rid of mosquitoes.

This article was first published in Arab News

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KSrelief Signs Agreement to Implement Vocational Training Project for Yemen Youth

Time: 12 November 2020

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) recently signed a joint agreement with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to implement a Vocational Training and Business Skills Support for Youth Project in Yemen for a total cost of USD 3 million.

The agreement was signed virtually by KSrelief’s Assistant Supervisor General of Operations and Programs, Eng. Ahmed Al Baiz, and a UNDP Representative, Mr. Auke Lootsma. 

Under this agreement, youth and women will be able to acquire professional, technical and commercial skills by participating in vocational and professional training courses. Subjects include life and economic skills, and 910 young men and women are expected to join the program in the governorates of Hadramawt, Dhamar, Ibb and Lahij.

This agreement comes as a continuation of ongoing relief efforts being provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.

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KSRelief signs deal to counter gender violence in Yemen

Time: 04 November 2020

JEDDAH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center on Wednesday signed an agreement with the UN Population Fund (UNPF) to provide relief to the victims of gender-based violence in Yemen. The project aims to provide emergency services and support to the affected women.
KSRelief General Supervisor Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah signed the agreement during a virtual meeting with the UNPF.
The project will help victims of violence to integrate into society and ensure they receive psychological and social support to start their lives afresh. It will also strengthen mechanism to protect women from violence. AN Jeddah
Vocational training will also be provided to 28,640 women in Aden, Shabwa, Lahj, Mahra, Marib and Hadramout governorates. AN Jeddah
Since its inception in May 2015, the center has contributed to several humanitarian projects worth $4.4 billion in partnership with different global nonprofit organizations. Since its establishment, the center has implemented over 1,295 different projects in 51 countries.

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KSrelief Hands Over a Dialysis Center to the Ministry of Health of Somalia

Time: 02 November 2020

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA: Today, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) handed over a dialysis center building at Banaadir Hospital in  Mogadishu, Somalia, to the country’s Ministry of Health.

At the Ministry of Health’s request, the building will be used as a temporary facility for examining and treating cases of COVID-19. The assistance is being provided by the government of Saudi Arabia to alleviate the suffering of Somalis during the pandemic.

The handing-over ceremony was attended by a number of officials, including Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Somalia, Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Ghani Khayat, the Head of KSrelief’s Branch Office in Africa, Saad Muhanna Al Sweed, Representative of the Somali Ministry of Health, Dr. Abdul Razzaq Yusef Jalaluddin, Director of the Arab Affairs Department at Somalia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mustafa Adam Daqal, Director of Banaadir Maternity and Pediatrics Hospital in Mogadishu, Dr. Ferton Sherif Mohamed, Director of the Dialysis Center, Dr. Muhammad Osman Muhammad, Director of KSrelief’s Projects in Africa, Ibrahim Abdel Qader, and a number of other officials from the Somali Ministry of Health. Members of the local and international media were also present to mark the event.

After the handover, Saudi Ambassador Khayat told local and international media that the building would be used as a temporary headquarters for examining and treating people with COVID-19, and for quarantining critical health cases. He added that the gesture is in response to the Somali government’s request, and is a contribution from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Somali people, and that once the pandemic is over, the dialysis center project would be completed and the facility used for its original purpose..

Somali Ministry of Health Representative Dr. Jalaluddin expressed his thanks and appreciation to the leadership and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who have never hesitated to extend a helping hand to the Somali people in times of need. He also thanked KSrelief, adding that the center had implemented many projects in Somalia on behalf of the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has implemented many relief and development projects in the Federal Republic of Somalia, particularly in the country’s education, health and WASH sectors.

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