Saudi Arabia pledged $500mn to the humanitarian response plan in Yemen; as it hosted on Tuesday a high-level pledging virtual event in partnership with the United Nations for the war-hit country.
The event; organized under the directives of King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman; managed to raise $1.35bn for carrying out humanitarian works in Yemen.
Delivering a speech at the conference, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, adviser at the Royal Court and supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center; said that Saudi Arabia is pledging $500mn to support Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan 2020 and COVID-19 Response plan.
“Saudi Arabia has always embraced the principles of peace, harmony and cooperation between the peoples and countries of the world. The Kingdom provided impartial support and assistance while carrying out its responsibilities to respond to humanitarian crises and limit their effects on people globally,” Al-Rabeeah said while announcing the Saudi contribution.
Out of the total $500mn, $300mn would be allocated to UN agencies and organizations. The remaining $200mn would be to the KSrelief, Al-Rabeeah explained.
Meanwhile, Germany and Britain also pledged nearly $140 and $200 respectively in humanitarian assistance to Yemen.
Earlier, the conference got underway with UN Secretary General António Guterres delivering the opening keynote. He made a fervent appeal to all participants to extend a helping hand to the war-ravaged country.
Guterres expressed thanks and appreciation to Saudi Arabia for hosting this vital conference and its permanent assistance to Yemen, pointing out that Yemen faces difficult economic and humanitarian conditions at the institutional or personal levels, particularly in light of outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking just after the UN chief; Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan highlighted that the Kingdom provided so far more than $16bn in aid to Yemen.
Alleviating the human suffering
Prince Faisal said: “It gives me great honor to convey to you the greetings of King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, and their affirmation of the Kingdom’s commitment to humanitarian principles and its firm commitment to alleviate the human suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people, as well as their deep appreciation to the United Nations for their efforts in providing humanitarian work through its agencies operating around the world and in Yemen in particular.”
Blaming the Iran-backed Houthi militia for exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, Prince Faisal said the militia has not accepted the ceasefire initiative despite repeated efforts made by the Arab Coalition.
Saudi Arabia was also represented by Dr. Abdurrahman Al-Rassi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for multilateral international affairs; Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Bin Saeed Al Jaber, who is also supervisor of the Saudi Program for Development and Reconstruction of Yemen and a number of senior KSrelief officials.
Addressing the attendees, Yemen’s Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik thanked the Kingdom for $500mn support for Yemen. He also expressed his gratitude toward the KSrelief for its pioneer role in Yemen during recent years.
The Yemeni premier highlighted the difficult humanitarian situations in Yemen in light of war and coup cause by Iran-backed terrorist Houthi militias.
For his part, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator; Mark Lowcock, disclosed the situation in Yemen is catastrophic, adding that COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the country.
Drastic Problems facing Yemen
“COVID-19 comes on top of the many problems already facing Yemen — economic collapse, destroyed infrastructure, hunger, disease and displacement,” he affirmed.
“So we have come together here today to see what the world wants to do about that. The United Nations and our partners have put forward a clear, workable plan. We are currently delivering humanitarian assistance to more than 10 million people across the country every month,” he added.
The conference was attended by more than 126 parties, including 66 countries; 15 international organizations; 3 intergovernmental organizations; and more than 39 non-governmental organization. In addition to the Islamic Development Bank; the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cross Societies.
The event sought to raise awareness of the humanitarian situation in Yemen and calls for the contribution of the international community to meet the United Nations Humanitarian Response Plan in Yemen for the year 2020, and support the urgent humanitarian needs there.