New York- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior asserted on Monday that his country is ranked third worldwide in terms of the size of its assistance to refugees, and that the Kingdom would spare no efforts to continue work with international organizations for the good of refugees.
Prince bin Naif, who leads the Saudi delegation to the 71st session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, said the Kingdom was among the leading countries supporting refugees, as Saudi Arabia now hosts 2.5 million Syrian refugees and more than a million Yemeni refugees.
“Saudi Arabia was keen not to treat them as refugees or put them in refugee camps but to offer the Syrian and Yemeni nationals labor market access in addition to the provision of free medical and educational care and services,” he added.
The Crown Prince said 141,000 Syrian and 285,000 Yemeni students now enjoy free education in Saudi Arabia.
Prince bin Naif asserted that the Saudi assistance provided to Yemeni refugees based in Djibouti and Somalia has recently amounted to more than $42 million.
“In order to meet the humanitarian and relief needs of the sisterly Yemeni people, the Kingdom has donated about $500 million,” he said.
The Crown Prince said Saudi Arabia believes that the first and basic step to deal with the crisis of refugees is to intensify the efforts to solve the current conflicts in the world according to the U.N. charter through utilizing preemptive diplomacy to thwart aggravation of crises and their transforming into armed conflicts that would generate humanitarian crises and disasters.
“Saudi Arabia’s assistance over the last four decades amounted to some $139 billion,” the Crown Prince stated.
He said the issue of refugees is a result of racial disputes, wars, and catastrophes. “It requires that we unify our efforts to deal with it with the utmost responsibility to reduce its negative impacts on humanity,” according to Prince bin Naif.
Crown Prince told the summit that as part of the Kingdom’s relief and humanitarian efforts, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud ordered the establishment of King Salman bin Center for Relief and Humanitarian Works to reflect the bright humanitarian role of the Kingdom worldwide.
In a related development, Prince bin Naif met on Monday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at his residence in New York.
“Russia lost control of Assad, who has been bombing his own people for years and he is bombing aid convoys constantly. This week, we will collect the facts so that we know where we are before we take the decision,” Kerry said while meeting with Prince bin Naif.
The Crown Prince and Kerry discussed the latest developments in the Middle East and the position of the two friendly countries towards them.