Riyadh- Advisor at the Royal Court and General Supervisor of King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid Dr. Abdullah al-Rabiah said that areas controlled by Houthi militias are greatly affected by the cholera epidemic as Houthis prevent the delivery of aid to these areas.
In an interview with BBC, Rabiah denied claims that Saudi Arabia has hindered the entry of any aid to Aden or elsewhere in Yemen.
He pointed out that the trade vessels heading to Hodeidah undergo inspection approved by the United Nations to ensure that there is no smuggling of weapons, and therefore Saudi Arabia has no reason to prevent the delivery of humanitarian aid.
“On the contrary, the Kingdom facilitates the entry of humanitarian aid through safe land and sea crossings whereas the inspection that is done for trade ships is carried out based on UN resolutions.”
The Kingdom is not the only country that has been involved in a conflict and has provided humanitarian aid as this happened in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria with Western countries, Rabiah noted.
“It is well known that Saudi Arabia has been supporting all Yemeni people over two decades,” he was quoted as saying.
“Since May 2015, the Kingdom has provided more than $8.5 billion to Yemenis,” he said.
Regarding the spread of cholera, Rabiah said that the epidemic has been existing in Yemen for many years as the country neither meets World Health Organization’s (WHO) standards nor pays attention to health infrastructure.
However, he added that the cases diagnosed with cholera have decreased over the last two weeks, thanks to great efforts made by the concerned parties at King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid.
In response to a question from BBC radio about Oxfam’s presentation of figures that differ from those he had presented earlier, Rabiah said: “We appreciate the figures provided by Oxfam, which we have contacted at several levels to share the efforts of the Center and UN organizations to combat the epidemic, yet information must be gathered from official sources in the Yemeni Ministry of Public Health and Population in coordination with WHO and UNICEF”.