RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) virtually signed today a joint cooperation agreement with the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to implement seven projects in Yemen at a total cost of USD 46,000,000. The agreement, which is being funded as part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s contribution to the United Nations Humanitarian Response Plan in Yemen 2020, was signed by the Supervisor General of KSrelief, Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, and the UNICEF Representative to the Gulf area, Mr. Eltayeb Adam.
The agreement aims to support access by Yemeni children affected by COVID-19 to educational opportunities through distance learning, and to develop preparedness plans for their safe return to school. It also aims to support capacity building among educational personnel and in institutions by providing training programs and raising awareness to deal with the pandemic. The educational portion of the agreement will be carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and other local organizations in 20 Yemeni governorates. Another aim of the agreement is to support the access of Yemeni children to quality educational opportunities by equipping schools, providing educational supplies for students, and building the capacities of educational staff in the governorates of Abyan, Aden, Al Bayda, Dhamar, Dhale, Al Jawf, Al Mahwit, Amant Al Asemah, Amran, Raymah, Sa’dah, Shabwah, Taiz, Al Mahrah, Ibb, Hadramawt, Ma’rib, Sana'a, Hajjah, Al Hudaydah, Lahij, and Socotra.
Moreover, the agreement includes means of enabling children and their families to access psychosocial support and mental health services in 19 Yemeni governorates, as part of the Child Protection Project in Yemen. Also included is the enhancement of emergency response to COVID-19 in targeted health facilities in 9 governorates. For example, equipment will be secured to treat patients in ICUs, such as ventilators, patient monitors and AED/Defibrillators. Sixty respiratory triage points will be established in hospitals and primary health care centers, and personal protection equipment (PPE) for medical staff will be provided. Training health staff on measures be taken to address the
outbreak of the pandemic will also be offered. Integrated emergency health care response to ensure continuity and expansion of services is another activity included in the agreement, with the aim of supporting the resilience of the health sector during the pandemic. A new, fully furnished and equipped warehouse will be built to store health supplies, and necessary medications will be supplied to health centers and hospitals to treat children’s diseases – these include antibiotics, fever reducers and watery-diarrhea treatment medicines.
The agreement also includes the operational costs for a large group of hospitals and health centers, and the securing of PPE items for medical staff in all Yemeni governorates. Another goal of the programs to be implemented under the agreement is to reduce the number of injuries and deaths due to malnutrition among children and pregnant and lactating women in 8 governorates with high levels of acute malnutrition; this will be accomplished by ensuring the provision of life-saving interventions and preventive nutrition in conjunction with primary health care and WASH activities.
After the signing, Dr. Al Rabeeah stated that, “Under the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the Crown Prince, we sign today the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s agreement, represented by KSrelief, with UNICEF.” He pointed out that this important agreement is part of the Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen 2020, with a value of USD 46 million for 16,851,000 recipients in Yemen. He explained that the agreement includes seven projects. The first is a health project (USD 11,200,000) for 4,400,000 recipients; the second is a WASH project (USD 9,200,000) for nearly 2.5 million recipients, and the third combats malnutrition for children and mothers (USD 7,600,000) for nearly 175,000 recipients. The fourth project is to fight COVID-19 (USD 4,000,000) for 9,000,000 recipients, and the fifth project is to provide health awareness and education about COVID-19 (USD 2,000,000) for nearly 230,000 recipients. The sixth project supports education (USD 8,000,000) for nearly 252,000 recipients, and the seventh and last project is for protection and prevention (USD 4,000,000) for 241,000 recipients.
Dr. Al Rabeeah concluded his remarks by expressing his appreciating for the strategic partnership between KSrelief and UNICEF, a partnership which contributes to alleviating human suffering around the world.
The UNICEF Representative, Mr. Eltayeb Adam, thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its generous ongoing support for UNICEF’s programs in Yemen. He noted that the USD 46 million grant would assist UNICEF in providing support to children and their families in the areas of health, nutrition, WASH, education and protection. The agreement, he added, would also support UNICEF in combatting the COVID-19 epidemic in Yemen by training health personnel and providing medical and other types of supplies needed to improve the quality of life of all beneficiaries.