9 million to benefit from Saudi project for land mine clearance in Yemen

June 25, 2018

Saudi Gazette report

— The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) announced on Monday the Saudi project for land mine clearance (Masam) in Yemen.

The humanitarian project aims at clearing Yemeni territories of land mines and explosive remnants of war.

Some nine million people will benefit from the project.

The project emanates from the teachings of Islam, which calls for helping the needy and for safeguarding human life, dignity and health.

It promotes the humanitarian role of the Kingdom and its global mission in this field.

Adviser at the Royal Court and KSRelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah announced the details of the project and its objectives.

He said the project was important to humanity in general and Yemeni people in particular.

The Kingdom’s support for humanitarian issues stems from its consistent policy of cooperation to promote world peace, he said.

Al Rabeeah said the one-year five-phase Masam project would cost $40 million. Addressing a press conference in Riyadh, he said that this project will be implemented on the ground in association with the Yemen National Program for Landmines Clearance. “The humanitarian work is a top priority for the Kingdom in all liberated areas and a Saudi land bridge has been launched to deliver humanitarian and relief assistance to all needy people in Hodeidah province,” he said adding that an air bridge will also be launched from Riyadh to Hodeidah on Tuesday in addition to sending a number of ships from Jazan. He affirmed that the Kingdom is keen on the welfare of Yemen and its people in order to alleviate their suffering.

Al Rabeeah said that the authorities have so far found more than 600,000 landmines in the liberated areas in addition to 130,000 internationally embargoed anti-boat-and-vessel sea mines, out of which 40,000 in Marib governorate and 16,000 in Meyon Island. According to Yemeni government reports, a total of 615 people, including101 children and 26 women, were killed and 924 injured due to explosion of landmines during the period between since Dec. 2014 and Dec. 2016.

Al Rabeeah explained that the Artificial Limbs Center in the governorate of Marib, affiliated to KSRelief, installed 305 prostheses in more than 195 victims facing the risk of amputation of one of their organs. These mines target women and children who make up the majority of the victims. The center provided the necessary treatment and rehabilitation for a large number of the injured. Dr. Al Rabeeah disclosed that in the past three years, Saudi Arabia has provided more than $11billion in aid to Yemen, especially in support of refugees, development of economy, Central Bank of Yemen and other assistance. “Masam is one of several projects and initiatives provided by the Kingdom in order to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people in all regions and governorates,” he added.

For his part, Yemen’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Khalid Hussein Al-Yamani thanked KSRelief for the great efforts in Yemen, particularly the vital Masam project. He said the Houthi militias caused a major humanitarian catastrophe, adding that planting landmines came to punish the Yemeni people and increase their suffering. “The landmines and improvised explosive devices came directly from Iran or are developed in Yemen by Iranian experts,” he said.

Several princes, ministers, senior officials, diplomats, and representatives of international humanitarian organizations attended the ceremony of launching Masam project.

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