Saudi Arabia Received 2.5 Million Syrians since Beginning of Conflict
(WASHINGTON, DC) – The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement today addressing the Kingdom’s efforts to support the Syrian people. Saudi Arabia has been one of the largest providers of aid to Syria’s people, and has taken in millions of citizens from the war-torn country.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained that the following actions have been taken by Saudi Arabia:
The Kingdom has received around 2.5 million Syrians since the beginning of the conflict. In order to ensure their dignity and safety, the Kingdom adopted the policy not to treat them as refugees or place them in refugee camps. They have been given the freedom to move about the country, and those who wish to remain in Saudi Arabia (some hundreds of thousands) have been given legal residency status like the remaining residents. Their residency comes with the rights to receive free medical care, to join the labor market and to attend schools and universities. This was contained in a royal decree in 2012 that instructed public schools to accept Syrian students. According to government statistics, the public school system has accepted more than 100,000 Syrian students.
The Kingdom’s efforts were not limited to accepting our Syrian brothers and sisters after their crisis; it also extended its efforts to support and care for millions of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries such as Jordan, Lebanon and others. Efforts included providing humanitarian assistance in coordination with the host governments and with international human aid organizations. Aid was provided in the form of money and goods.
The aid provided by Saudi Arabia to the Syrian people totals around $700 million, according to the statistics of the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, which took place in Kuwait on March 31, 2015. Government aid and aid provided by the National Campaign are included in that figure.
Humanitarian aid provided to Syrians by the Kingdom consisted of food and medical, academic, and residential supplies, and included the establishment of Saudi specialized clinics in refugee camps, most importantly the Zaatari Camp in Jordan. The Kingdom was able to provide medical care in the form of immunizations, preventive treatments and medical procedures. In addition, Saudi Arabia sponsored a large number of Syrian families living in Lebanon and Syria (specifically paying for their rent and living costs).