At the United Nations in New York City on Monday, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef gave a speech to those in attendance at the refugee summit. He spoke on Saudi Arabia’s role in taking in the refugees fleeing the war-torn areas of the Middle East and humanitarian causes.
In his speech, he explained that his country is ranked third worldwide in providing humanitarian relief and development assistance. Saudi Arabia has provided close to $139 billion in aid over the past four decades. He said that the current refugee crisis will require action by all in a united effort to help those trying to find a better and safer life. He emphasized that Saudi Arabia has been and will continue to work with international organisations for the “welfare of the refugees.”
The Crown Prince told the audience that his country had accepted and welcomed over 2.5 million since the Syrian crisis began five years ago. However, he explained that his country does not accept those who come there as refugees or place them in camps. They have been given free movement throughout the country. More, they have been given the ability to find work and receive free healthcare. He added that Saudi Arabia has always been ready and willing to help those in need, and the King Salman Center for Relief was created to aid those countries and people in need of support.
He also met with United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, to discuss the ongoing situation in the Middle East in countries like Yemen and Syria. They discussed their common objectives in regard to fighting terrorism, as well. In the meeting, the Secretary-General thanked Saudi Arabia for their support of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre and urged the country to ratify the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
The Syrian Civil War began during the Arab Spring of 2011. Over 250,000 people, half of whom are believed to be civilians, have been killed since the war began. The United Nations has estimated that there are 6.6 million people who have been internally displaced. As of June 2016, there were close to 5 million Syrians who were awaiting registration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.