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Gulf countries to mark GCC Red Crescent Societies' Day Oct. 23

Date: 22/10/2019     Time: 9:42 AM

The Gulf countries will celebrate Wednesday, October 23, the GCC Red Crescent Societies' Day. In March of 2017, Gulf humanitarian officials decided to dedicate the day to celebrate the societies' relief aid efforts. A number of festivities and activities will be held all over the GCC region during the celebrations. The GCC Red Crescent Day will continue this year to focus on the humanitarian efforts in the war torn country of Yemen. Although the conflict in Yemen continues to preoccupy people with destruction, famine, and displacement of families, GCC countries took charge in providing urgent aid to Yemeni people through humanitarian and development packages totaling around USD 22 billion. Such vital assistance has strengthened Gulf States' charitable role and humanitarian work on both the official and popular fronts, which is a continued measure that helped to heal the wounds of those who are distressed. GCC countries have provided Yemen with around USD 11.5 billion in development aid since November 2006, and another 10.4 billion from 2015 to 2018. The Gulf Red Crescent Societies played a major role in alleviating the suffering of Yemeni brethren through providing them with a number of vital projects that helped them in their daily lives and met their basic needs. According to statistics issued by the GCC General Secretariat in September 2018, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have provided USD 1.25 billion, or 42.2 percent of the global humanitarian response to Yemen, while the global humanitarian aid estimate reached USD 2.96 billion in 2018. Since 2006, GCC countries have shared development assistance to Yemen, with Kuwait totaling around USD 709.4 million, the UAE USD 2.9 billion, including USD 1.5 billion since 2015, and Saudi Arabia nearly USD five billion. Oman has provided USD 100 million, Qatar USD one billion, and Bahrain USD 4. 5 million. In terms of humanitarian assistance, Gulf countries provided humanitarian assistance since 2015 and until September 2018 another generous sum. With Kuwait providing USD 350 million, Saudi Arabia with USD 8.4 billion, including an exemption for health and education fees for Yemenis inside Saudi Arabia, Qatar provided USD 419 million, with UAE providing USD 1.3 billion, and Bahrain with USD one Million. Furthermore, Gulf countries' aid and grants to Yemen have varied in all areas, including food and relief assistance, humanitarian needs, health, education, electricity, water and shelter projects. The GCC countries have also been quick to rescue those affected by hurricanes through operating emergency air and land relief bridges to help those affected in Yemen, which played a decisive role. In 2019, GCC countries took part in the Geneva conference to provide humanitarian funding to the situation in Yemen. The Gulf countries provided USD 1.7 million with Kuwait contributing around USD 250 million while Saudi Arabia and the UAE offering each an identical sum of USD 500 million. The event gathered around USD 4.2 billion in aid from participants. On his part, Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) Vice President Anwar Al-Hasawi told KUNA that Kuwait has always been helping those in need globally, without discrimination. Kuwait extended a helping hand to the Yemeni brothers to alleviate their suffering, which according to the United Nations, the crisis in Yemen has become the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, where about 22 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, Al-Hasawi explained. He added that is why His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has swiftly contributed with USD 100 million to improve the situation there in Yemen. Al-Hasawi noted that the Kuwaiti aid covered various aspects such as medicine, food, as well as education from building or renovating schools, paintings, school supplies, and water and electricity projects. Providing his input, head of the Yemeni Higher Relief Committee Abdulraqeeb Fattah lauded the GCC countries for their humanitarian put for Yemen, saying that it has an impact on somehow elevating the dire situation of Yemenis suffering from war. The Yemeni legitimate government and the GCC countries are working closely to provide necessary humanitarian aid to the people of Yemen who are suffering from a humanitarian crisis started by the Houthi militia.