The telethon ordered by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz to raise funds for the Iraqi people is going well. King Fahd himself has donated SR 10 million [U.S. $2.67 million]; Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has donated SR 5 million [$1.33 million], and Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, SR 3 million [$800,000]. As of 2:45 a.m. this morning, donations received amounted to SR 43,372,831 [$11,581,530].
Minister of Interior Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz has donated SR 2 million [$530,000], and his Deputy Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, SR 1 million [$270,000]. Prince Nayef, in his capacity as General Supervisor of the Saudi Committee for the Relief of the Iraqi People, gave a telephone interview aired on Saudi television yesterday, and pointed out that the Kingdom's assistance to Muslims in need is a religious duty to satisfy God Almighty, but not to satisfy others nor in response to foreign demands. Saudi Arabia, he said, is founded on Islam as a religion and a system and recognizes its Islamic and humanitarian duties. He went on to pray to God that Iraq returns to the fold of the Arab and Islamic worlds; and expressed the hope that the ongoing campaign finds good response from all in the Kingdom, residents and Saudis alike.
Meanwhile, the first medical evacuation plane arrived in Riyadh from the Saudi field hospital in Baghdad yesterday, carrying twelve injured Iraqis and those accompanying them. The patients were transferred to a number of hospitals. On its outward flight, the plane was loaded with medicine and medical equipment for the field hospital.