Riyadh — Saudi Arabia announced that the amount of aid it has provided to Yemen over the last two years exceeded $8 billion, including humanitarian, relief, development and governmental assistance, as well as support to the Central Bank of Yemen.
The Kingdom, through the King Salman Relief Center (KSRELIEF), said it was targeting the rehabilitation of 2,000 Yemeni children per year, who were recruited by Houthi militias and forces loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The first batch of children had already graduated last week.
KSRELIEF Official Spokesman Dr. Samer al-Jetaily presented an overview of the assistance provided by Saudi Arabia to Yemen over the past two years, pointing out that there were 9.8 million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, while the number of internally displaced persons reached 3.11 million according to the UN 2017 report.
He added: “The total request for funding from the United Nations for humanitarian work in Yemen was $2.3 billion, of which Saudi Arabia covered $967 million, or 42 percent. It has provided assistance to more than 3.4 million people out of a total number of 11.9 million, while 2.5 million people were receiving monthly assistance from the World Food Program.”
Al-Jetaily was speaking during a news conference at the organization’s headquarters, alongside Abdullah Al-Rwaily, the organization’s director of community support services.
According to the spokesman, there are 128 humanitarian organizations operating in Yemen, including 86 local non-governmental organizations, 34 international non-governmental organizations and 8 United Nations organizations.
“The Kingdom’s total assistance to Yemen from April 2015 to August 2017 amounted to $8.27 billion, of which $911 million was dedicated to humanitarian and relief assistance through the King Salman Center, $1.1 billion was provided to Yemeni visitors in the Kingdom, $2.9 billion in development assistance, $2.7 billion in government aid, and $1 billion to the Central Bank of Yemen,” the official added.
He also noted that Saudi Arabia has provided health services to more than 478,000 patients and educational services to more than 289,000 students in Yemen since May 2015.
“We provided 68 projects worth more than $118 million dedicated to empowering women, as well as 80 projects for children at a cost exceeding $227 million, covering education, protection, food security, shelter, health, water, sanitation, and hygiene,” Jetaily said.
He also stressed that KSRELIEF has organized rehabilitation for approximately 20,000 child soldiers in Yemen.