Saudi Arabia to help Yemen, Palestine combat COVID-19

Riyadh: At the tenth virtual meeting of an ad hoc committee – headed by the Supervisor General of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief), Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah – six new contracts were signed with specialized companies to provide medical support to Yemen and Palestine to combat the COVID-19 pandemic

The contract was signed on Wednesday to provide Yemen and Palestine with essential medical devices and supplies to combat the spread of coronavirus and mitigate its impact on their peoples.

The meeting, presided by Al-Rabeeah, discussed means to provide necessary medical assistance to affected countries. This comes in line with King Salman’s directives to stand by these countries in cooperation with the UN, its agencies and organizations.

“The six signed contracts come in the framework of the implementation of the royal orders. They include the provision of a number of essential preventive medical devices and supplies that are used in such crises to support the sisterly Yemen and Palestine in the face of the coronavirus,” Al-Rabeeah said.

“These directives embody the Kingdom’s noble humanitarian role and reflect its keenness to harness its capabilities and resources in the service of humanitarian causes.”

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Yemen cease fire

Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces declared Wednesday a two-week long cease-fire in Yemen starting from Thursday amid coronavirus outbreak.

“The aggression didn’t stop … and until this moment there are tens of continuous air strikes,” Houthi spokesman Mohamed Abdelsalam told Al Jazeera news network some five hours after the truce began.

The cease-fire could be extended, the official SPA news agency quoted coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki as saying.  Maliki said the move supports Yemeni government’s decision to accept the cease-fire call by UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths to curb the spread of coronavirus.  

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Yemen has been in experiencing violence since 2014, when the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.  

The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.  

Tens of thousands of Yemenis, including civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict, which has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis as millions remain at risk of starvation.

There are almost 1.5 million confirmed infections worldwide, and with over 87,400 deaths, according to U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. More than 317,600 patients have recovered.

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