Cairo – Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Egypt Ahmed Qattan said that the Kingdom was a leading donor of humanitarian aid, adding that since its establishment, Saudi Arabia was keen on spreading the values of peace and love and helping the needy without any form of religious or racial discrimination.
In a statement issued on Sunday by the Saudi Embassy in Cairo, Qattan, who is also the Kingdom’s permanent representative to the Arab League, said that his country occupies the first place globally in the proportion of official development aid, which amounts to 1.9% of its gross national income, exceeding the target of the United Nations which is 0.7%, based on the report of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), issued in 2016.
The Kingdom also occupies the fourth place globally among donor countries, pointing out that humanitarian aid provided by the Kingdom during the past four decades have amounted to around $139 billion, benefiting more than 95 countries.
Qattan highlighted efforts deployed by King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid (KSRELIEF) to provide humanitarian support for 19 countries.
He noted that since its establishment in May 2015, the Center provided assistance amounting to $600 million and has established 52 humanitarian projects in the fields of nutrition, security, shelter, and camp coordination and management, which benefited about 22 million people.
Qattan stressed that the Kingdom has received nearly 2.5 million Syrian citizens, who were given total freedom of movement and free access to education and healthcare. He noted that Saudi Arabia did not consider Syrians as refugees and gave them freedom to enter the labor market. He added that more than 141,000 Syrian students were currently enrolled at Saudi schools and universities.
Regarding assistance to Yemeni refugees, Qattan said the Kingdom has provided more than half a million Yemenis with the freedom of movement, work and the opportunity to bring in their families. He added that 285,000 Yemeni students were enjoying free public education in the Kingdom.
The Saudi ambassador said that the Kingdom has submitted in February 2016 an amount of $59 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), adding that the total amount provided by the Kingdom to UNRWA since its establishment has surpassed $500 million.