By : Marwa Mahmoud
Saudi Arabia sent its first set of assistance to Lebanon on Friday, after King Salman bin Abdulaziz, ordered to build an air bridge to aid the Lebanese people affected by the devastating blast in the port of Beirut this week.
Two assistance aircraft carrying more than 120 tons of medical, medical and rescue equipment, tents and food supplies have been dispatched.
In a previous statement by the Saudi Press Agency, the Saudi Foreign Minister said: “The Saudi Government will send humanitarian emergency aid through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) in an act of solidarity with the Lebanese fraternal people in the face of the consequences of this painful tragedy.”
The two planes, which departed from King Khalid International Airport and landed later in the day at Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut, also brought tents, shelter kits and food items to be distributed to the displaced people in Beirut, supported by a specialist team from the Center to track and supervise the distribution operations.
KSRelief Supervisor-General Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said that the assistance is an extension of the Kingdom’s pioneering humanitarian role in supporting all fraternal and friendly countries to cope with various crises and disasters.
The air bridge will be funded entirely by the Saudi government, he said.
The Relief Air Bridge is enforcing King Salman ‘s Directive to provide immediate medical and humanitarian assistance via KSRelief to people of Lebanon to help them overcome the impact of the blast in the port, he added.
The initiative to help the Lebanese people started when the Beirut explosion happened,” he said, adding that Saudi Arabia was keen to offer assistance to those affected by the explosion.
“Saudi Arabia has played a leading role in providing assistance to fraternal countries and people affected,” he said.
“Over 20 years, Saudi Arabia has provided assistance to more than 80 nations,” he said.