HE Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Advisor to the Royal Court and Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, announced that Coalition member states have committed USD $1.5 billion towards the United Nations Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan 2018; this amount covers 50% of the total amount of the plan. Dr. Al Rabeeah stated that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are both committed to covering USD $1 billion of the donation amount, with the remaining Coalition countries collectively committed to USD $500 million.
Dr. Al Rabeeah announced the donation at the press conference following a meeting of the foreign ministers of member states in the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen. The press conference was held in Riyadh, and included participation from the Assistant Undersecretary for International Development, Sultan Al Shamsi, The Saudi Ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed al-Jaber, the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Yemen, Salem bin Khalifa Al-Ghafli, and The Arab Coalition’s Spokesman, Colonel Turki al-Maliki.
"The amount committed by the KSA and the UAE,” the Supervisor General announced, “will be allocated as follows: 88% of the total amount is allocated to the humanitarian sectors of the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) 2018. The percentage of funding for the sectors in the HRP 2018 is 43.01% for food security and agriculture, 19.38% for Health, 6.61% for Nutrition, 10.11% for Water and Sanitation, 10.22% for non-food items and assistance to refugees and migrants, 1.81% for education, 3.52% for protection, 3.35% for emergency employment and community rehabilitation, and 1.89% for coordination and logistics. 5% of the total amount is allocated to the Yemen Pool Fund, and 7% of the total amount is allocated to early recovery to facilitate the movement of aid and the rehabilitation of ports."
Dr. Al Rabeeah added that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, has provided support to the Central Bank of Yemen in the amount of USD $2 billion, reaffirming the Kingdom's leading role in supporting the people of Yemen and alleviating their suffering.
Dr. Al Rabeeah affirmed that the Kingdom has supported and will continue to support Yemen and Yemenis because the two countries share borders, religion, language, economic relations, and social and family ties. He added that the Kingdom and the Arab Coalition’s member states are the leading countries supporting the people of Yemen.
"In the last three years,” the Supervisor General said, “the support provided to Yemen and the people of Yemen from Saudi Arabia has reached more than USD $10.4 billion, covering humanitarian aid, development assistance, refugee support, bilateral aid and the Central Bank of Yemen. KSrelief has also implemented 175 projects over the past three years through 77 local, regional and international partners in all Yemeni governorates with no exceptions."
Regarding efforts to improve Yemen's economy, the Arab Coalition’s spokesman stressed the importance of utilizing all ports to upgrade imports following Saudi Arabia’s donation of USD $2 billion to the Central Bank of Yemen. He also announced that the Coalition will continue to open Al Hudaydah port for another 30 days, and that the Coalition has urged the United Nations to implement the Verification and Inspection Mechanism at the port. He also called upon the United Nations in Djibouti to prevent the Iranian-backed Houthi militias from smuggling arms and military equipment into Yemen, and to prevent the militias from using the port as a base for their operations against the Red Sea and Bab el-Mandeb Strait shipping lanes.
The spokesman also talked about the safe-passage corridors and land ports which were established yesterday to ensure increased access of humanitarian aid into Yemen. He stated that the Coalition established 17 safe-passage corridors which originate from 6 land and sea access points. He stated that the three sea ports for access are Aden, Mocha and Al Hudaydah, and that there are also land ports of entry for access: Al Twal, Al Khadra, and Jizan; these will facilitate the access of humanitarian aid and oil products into Yemen, including its northern regions.
Colonel Turki al-Maliki said that the Coalition affirms its commitment to the safety and protection of NGO workers by taking the necessary measures to ensure the flow of humanitarian and relief aid into Yemen; he added that all these routes are included in the list of “no-strike zones."
“The coordination with NGOs is very essential, and the militias must ensure the safety of movement and to open the points of access into Yemen to ensure the delivery of aid to Yemenis," Colonel al-Maliki added.
Regarding the United Nations Verification and Inspection Mechanism, Colonel al-Maliki said that it is essential to comply with all procedures to address security gaps, especially after the Houthi militias launched a ballistic missile at Riyadh on 4 November 2017. The mechanism was established in 2016, in line with Security Council resolution 2216 to impose an arms embargo.
Colonel al-Maliki also talked about clearances issued by the Coalition in Yemeni ports. "The ballistic missile which targeted the Saudi capital of Riyadh was a serious development. As a result, the port was announced closed to review ways to address security gaps at the port, and a meeting with UN officials was held. The outcomes of this meeting were developed to ban arms trafficking to Houthi militias by enhancing the inspection mechanism to include all vessels coming into Houthi-controlled ports. Regarding ports under the control of the legitimate government of Yemen, there are inspectors in the regional ports, and the coalition is currently coordinating to have inspectors from organizations to ensure that the arms embargo is upheld. The Coalition coordinated with the government of Djibouti to have additional space at the port of Djibouti, and to provide an inspection area following the latest amendment to the mechanism."
The spokesman added that the number of UN inspectors in Djibouti has been increased from 4 to 10, since previous procedures and capacities were not sufficient to successfully impose an arms embargo. Scanning technology has also been added for bulk carriers. He urged United Nations member states to enforce the arms embargo – an international responsibility.
Colonel al-Maliki stated that an “air bridge” has been established to Ma'rib, and that the first Saudi plane landed in Ma’rib yesterday, carrying humanitarian and relief aid. He assured that any member state in the Coalition has the right to send planes to Ma'rib, Sana'a, and other Yemeni governorates, underlining the importance of coordinating with NGOs. Workshops will be held to outline the “air bridge” initiative with the NGOs.
Assistant Undersecretary for International Development, Sultan Al Shamsi, commended the role of the Kingdom, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman
bin Abdulaziz, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in supporting the Yemeni people both before and after the outbreak of the conflict, He also stated that the Kingdom is very aware of the hardships which conflict and displacement have placed upon countries in the Arab region – situations which have forced many Arab families to migrate. He stated that the Coalition is providing humanitarian aid, and that it supports a political solution in Yemen to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people. He added that this suffering is being caused by the Houthi militias, which are besieging many Yemeni governorates, including Al Hudaydah and Taiz, and inflation and the deterioration of Yemen's economy. He further stated that the King Salman bin Abdulaziz’s order to deposit USD $2 billion to the Central Bank of Yemen is meant to address such economic implications.
Mr. Al Shamsi gave his assurance that the United Arab Emirates supports the position of Saudi Arabia regarding Yemen – a fact which has been proven by UAE's ongoing support and sacrifices. He stated that between 2015 and 2017, the UAE has provided USD $2.57 billion in funding, providing assistance to 10 million Yemenis throughout the country. UAE-funded projects include electricity, fuel, transportation, operation of sea and air ports, construction of 400 schools, health care and rehabilitation services.
The Saudi Ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed al-Jaber, stated that the objective of the funding plan goes beyond health and food aid to building the capacities of Yemen’s sea and land ports of entry, and to increase the number of airports and land ports of entry to be used until a political solution is found for Yemen.
Ambassador al-Jaber stated that the plan has been developed by specialized officials, and that it was discussed with the United Nations and other organizations. He also said that a royal directive has been issued to establish a Comprehensive Humanitarian Operations in Yemen, Support Centre to implement the objectives of the plan, to support all the humanitarian operations of regional and international organizations, and to coordinate with the government of Yemen.
The Ambassador from the United Arab Emirates to Yemen, Salem bin Khalifa Al-Ghafli, commended the efforts of the leadership of Saudi Arabia and its initiative to stand with the people of Yemen.
"Yesterday was the announcement of KSA's deposit of USD $2 billion to the Central Bank of Yemen, and today is the announcement of the Humanitarian Operations Plan. We affirm that the UAE stands with the Kingdom in supporting and providing relief to the people of Yemen, and that the UAE is participating and contributing to the plan."