A large convoy of humanitarian and medical aid from Saudi Arabia crossed the border into Iraq at Arar this week. The convoy, which is in addition to a convoy of relief supplies that was sent to Basra on Saturday, includes a large field hospital with medical equipment and supplies as well as about 120 Saudi doctors and medical personnel.
The convoy also includes 15 truckloads of food, water, blankets and other supplies. More supplies have been ordered and will be sent to Iraq on a continuing basis. According to Saudi Assistant Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Sultan, a Saudi force will accompany the convoy to protect it on its 250-mile journey to Baghdad.
Prince Khalid added that Crown Prince Abdullah has given orders to fly wounded Iraqis into the Kingdom for treatment at Saudi hospitals, where necessary. Over 200 injured Iraqis would be flown into the Kingdom in the initial phase, beginning within the next 10 days.
This action is part of a comprehensive plan the Council of Ministers endorsed last week to provide humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people. The plan is based on the reports of a team from the Saudi Red Crescent Society that recently visited Iraq and held talks with the Iraqi Red Crescent Society to study the needs of the Iraqi people.
Saudi Arabia is committed to alleviating the suffering of the Iraqi people and calls upon the international community to join it in addressing these urgent humanitarian needs, according to a government press release. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )