(MENAFN -Arab News) Saudi Arabia will hold a day of solidarity on Tuesday Feb. 25 to help raise funds and improve international humanitarian aid for Syrian children living in abject conditions because of the civil war in their country.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has given instructions for the organization of the event. “The solidarity day has been declared by the king in response to the worsening conditions of thousands of Syrian children,” said Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Naif.
He said the day would be used to support local and international efforts to save children inside and outside Syria.
Saudis and expatriates have applauded the royal gesture.
Mohammed Badahdah, assistant secretary-general of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, described the Syrian crisis as an unprecedented human tragedy and urged all Saudis and expatriates to support the drive financially.
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh on Wednesday urged Saudi businesspeople and philanthropists to donate generously. He said this was the only authorized manner to receive donations for Syrians. The Interior Ministry has banned other parties from collecting donations, fearing the money would end up in the wrong hands.
Prince Mohammed, who is supervisor of the national campaign, said the event would be held at the King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Top personalities including princes, ministers, businesspeople and representatives of international organizations would attend, he said. Dr. Saed Al-Arabi Al-Harthi, adviser to Prince Mohammed and head of the campaign, said the king’s gesture was aimed providing all forms of assistance to the Syrians. “This is a continuation of the Kingdom’s humanitarian and relief efforts for the Syrians. It gives an opportunity for Saudis to express their solidarity with Syrian children.”
He said the campaign committee has already established contacts with banks, major companies, businessmen and businesswomen and charitable organizations to provide moral and material assistance to the Syrians.
Al-Harthi said the campaign would accept donations from the public in cash and kind and people can deposit their donations in the NCB account No. SA 231 00000 201 88888 000100. Donations in kind would be accepted at the campaign’s warehouses in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, Qassim and the Northern Border Province. People can also announce their donations by phone through a joint No. 5565 of telecom companies.
The Saudi campaign has been extending assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon where it has opened regional offices to distribute relief supplies. “We have been providing shelters, foodstuff and medical assistance to the refugees,” Al-Harthi said. The relief supplies were distributed among the refugees inside and outside Syria with the support of international organizations.