(WASHINGTON, DC) – The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center successfully carried out three rounds of airdrops for Taiz, Yemen, over the last three days.
The center’s General Supervisor, Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, told reporters at a briefing in Washington that Taiz had been the most difficult city for the international community to reach, but through airdrops and working with NGOs, the center was able to break the siege.
The center works with international NGOs to ensure aid is distributed across Yemen, with no prejudice or limit. “There is no restriction to the regions. We have equally reached the north and the south, so we have delivered aid to Sana’a, Sa’dah, as much as we deliver to Aden and Taiz,” said Dr. Al Rabeeah.
He also discussed coordination with international NGOs on the ground in Yemen for both relief and recovery needs. He said that the highest priorities for relief needs are food, health and refugee assistance. For recovery, top priorities are health, agriculture and education. “We are involved in all of those,” said Dr. Al Rabeeah.
The center is already working with the World Health Organization and UNICEF on programs that will recover health facilities.
“Our program with WHO is to help recover 50 health facilities, irrespective of where they are. With UNICEF, we have major programs for recovery of health and also prevention programs, which is mother and child programs, vaccinations,” said Dr. Al Rabeeah.
“We just signed a few weeks ago with ICRC (International Committee of Red Cross), a program of $10 million, again in health, which is the mobile emergency teams and reactivating the closed rehabilitation centers, three in the north and two in the south,” he said.
The King Salman Center was founded in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in May 2015. While currently focusing on the crises in Yemen, it’s also operational in Djibouti, Somalia, Tajikistan, and Mauritania. The center is also preparing to launch humanitarian operations in Syria.