NEW YORK, Sept. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- UNITED NATIONS -- A conference organized by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) raised more than USD 250 million to address the Rohingya crisis, and Saudi Arabia urged the rest of the international community to do more to ease the plight of the hundreds of thousands of Muslims forced from their homes in Myanmar.
At the event, which was held on 24 September 2019 at the UN General Assembly in New York, KSrelief announced its own donation of USD 10 million towards the UN's 2019 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis.
Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Supervisor General of KSrelief, made the following statement at the conference: "We look forward to working together with our partners to ensure an effective and timely response in support of the 2019 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis. We hope that this donation will help enable the UN and international and local organizations to continue their efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Rohingya minority. It is our duty as leaders to find a solution to this crisis, one that would enable these people to return home safely and to gain full and equal rights as citizens."
The conference was conducted in partnership with the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Participants in the event included HE Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah, Kuwaiti Minister of Foreign Affairs, HE Reem Al Hashimi, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation; HE Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees; and HE Mark Lowcock, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.
The Rohingya crisis is among the direst humanitarian situations in the world. Over the past four decades, the systematic oppression of the Rohingya minority has led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children. Since August 2017 alone, more than 1.2 million Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar.
While many of the Rohingya minority have fled to Bangladesh and neighboring countries, others have found refuge in Saudi Arabia, which has long supported the Rohingya cause. Over 250,000 Rohingya have received free healthcare and education while living in the Kingdom – services totaling some USD 2 billion; they also have access to employment opportunities on the local job market.
Since its inception in 2015, KSrelief has played a vital role in the Kingdom's more recent efforts to help the Rohingya. Of the USD 38 million in total aid provided by Saudi Arabia to support the Rohingya people, more than USD 17 million has come through KSrelief initiatives. To date, KSrelief has implemented 20 projects with its humanitarian partners to alleviate the suffering of the Rohingya people. These projects include the provision of emergency relief assistance to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and to IDPs in Myanmar; much of this aid has focused on ensuring decent living conditions in refugee and IDP camps. KSrelief, in collaboration with Saudi Arabian schools in Kuala Lumpur, also provides educational support services for some Rohingya refugee students living in Malaysia. The center has also donated medical equipment to Malaysian hospitals operating in Rohingya refugee relief camps.
"KSrelief's ongoing work reaffirms Saudi Arabia's commitment to building bridges and supporting vulnerable communities and countries in need, regardless of their cultural, religious or ethnic affiliations," Dr. Al Rabeeah stated. "The Rohingya people need our help, and we hope that this conference will help shed light on this matter and garner the support necessary to provide further relief for the Rohingya people."