The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) showcased its support efforts in Yemen, especially in demining, with over two million mines threatening the lives of civilians throughout the country, on the sidelines of the 52nd Regular Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC52) at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in Geneva.
During two seminars on the Yemeni humanitarian issue, the KSrelief’s representatives Director of the Medical and Environmental Aid Department Dr. Abdullah bin Saleh Al-Moallem and Director of the Community Support Department Dr. Hana Omar Salem highlighted the center’s humanitarian efforts through the MASAM demining program in Yemen, which has removed more than 358,000 mines, at a cost of more than $167 million so far.
The first seminar discussed Saudi humanitarian and relief aid in Yemen and its role in improving the Yemeni humanitarian situation, while the second seminar tackled the spread of mines in Yemeni lands, and Saudi Arabia’s role in removing those mines that were planted by the Houthi militia, killing thousands of children, women and elders, causing permanent disabilities to many others, pressuring the health and treatment facilities, and inflicting economic losses to individuals and society.
The seminar also reviewed efforts to train and educate the people of Yemen on dealing with mines, in addition to the challenges facing humanitarian demining work, including the lack of maps that indicate the location of mines, indiscriminate planting, and the development of mines, such as anti-tank mines that are used against individuals, in addition to the impact and reality of mines on the Yemeni present and future, and the importance of pressure from the international community on the Houthis to prevent the planting of mines, especially in civilian areas.
The two seminars were attended by the United Nations Mine Action Service, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, William David Gressly, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
It is worthy to note that the MASAM project is a Saudi humanitarian project to remove mines from Yemeni lands as part of Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian efforts. The project aims to clear Yemeni areas of landmines, address direct threats to the lives of the Yemeni people, enhance security, assist the Yemeni people in dealing with the human tragedies resulting from mines, and establish a mechanism that enables the Yemeni society to assume demining responsibility in the long term. It is being implemented by swiftly responding to emergencies, clearing mines, training and equipping local Yemeni teams, and comprehensively demining Yemen in line with international standards.