Saudi Arabia says its relief arm stretches over 70 percent of the world

It estimated the Saudi Arabia’s total humanitarian assistance to the Syrian refugees alone at more than $780 million

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Since the start of its relief campaigns to support countries devastated by both natural and man-made calamities, Saudi Arabia has distributed aid worth more than SR3.84 billion to several countries of the world. The assistance covered food, medical, educational and housing support to people in Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Afghanistan and southeast Asian countries.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has given priority to relief and humanitarian work, inspired by its constitution, which is entrenched in Islamic teachings, said a report issued by the Saudi National Campaign for Supporting Syrians, which has become a leading aid organization in the region.

Saudi Arabia has opened legal channels and established national, regional and international relief organizations to carry out its humanitarian activities, the report said.

This has contributed to reducing the suffering of millions of people including victims of natural and man-made calamities around the world, the report pointed out.

Saudi Arabia’s relief and humanitarian aid covers about 70 percent of countries, the report said, quoting statistics of international relief organizations.

“The Saudi leadership and people have always been present to support victims of wars and natural calamities and alleviate their suffering to a great extent,” the report said.

The Saudi National Campaign has fulfilled its commitment toward the Syrian refugees, it added.

On Feb. 4, 2015, the campaign extended financial assistance worth $100 million for Syria following an international donor conference in London. The campaign carried out a number of relief programs in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and other countries, in addition to Syria.

Saudi Arabia constructed 5,564 housing units in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, developed the refugee camp at King Abdullah Park in Ramtha, set up 7,250 tents for refugees and paid the rents of Syrian families living in Jordan and Lebanon since 2013.

The campaign also supplied thousands of bed sheets and blankets, constructed five water purification plants, supplied drinking water inside Syria and for refugees staying along the border with Turkey spending SR143 million, the report said.

The campaign’s committees supplied more than 14,000 tons of foodstuffs on 722 large trucks to Jordan and airlifted 10,000 tons of foodstuffs on 10 cargo flights for distribution among Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Moreover, the campaign distributed 391,848 food baskets among refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey as well as inside Syria. It also supplied 1.09 million meals and 36,000 slices of bread daily at a total cost of SR300 million, the report explained.

The Saudi Campaign has given importance to safeguarding the health of Syrian refugees and their children. For this purpose it set up 13 clinics with advanced medical facilities and equipment in Zaatari camp and met the expenses of 1,341 child births in Jordan and Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia also established health centers and mobile clinics at a cost of SR92 million. It sponsored 3,000 male and female students during 2013-2016 and distributed 450,000 school bags. It operates a social center to provide training in computer, tailoring and cooking at a cost of SR38 million.

“The Kingdom received Syrian refugees, facilitated issuance of resident permits, helped them reunite with their relatives and provided free medical treatment to them at government hospitals,” the report said.

Charitable organizations have been instructed to provide these refugees with all necessary assistance.

“Moreover, Saudi schools and universities gave admission to 150,343 Syrian students free of charge,” the report pointed out.

It estimated the Saudi Arabia’s total humanitarian assistance to the Syrian refugees alone at more than $780 million (SR2.925 billion).

This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on Aug. 19, 2016.

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