launched a fundraising campaign for Syrians displaced by a five-year
civil war, including those evacuated from eastern Aleppo, state news
agency SPA reported on Monday.
than 11 million Syrians – around half of the population – have been
displaced by the fighting, which began in 2011 and has killed more than
Saudi Arabia has been one of the main supporters
of rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom
Riyadh regards as a tool of regional arch-rival Iran.
Thousands of Syrian fighters and civilians have
been evacuated from eastern Aleppo in a week-long operation this month
after government forces backed by Russia and Iran closed in on their
stronghold. Many of them are staying in temporary shelters in freezing
SPA reported that King Salman bin
Abdulaziz had ordered a relief campaign to be started on Tuesday and had
allocated 100 million riyals ($27 million) to the drive.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud,
has ordered a popular campaign to be launched … to provide relief for
the brotherly Syrian people,” SPA said.
agency said the funds would be used to set up a camp for refugees and
to provide food, medicines and blankets for displaced Syrians. It did
not say where the camp would be located.
agency said King Salman also donated 20 million riyals of his own money
to the campaign, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef had donated 10
million, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had contributed 8
Saudi Arabia has contributed to
United Nations relief campaigns for Syria, including at fundraising
meetings in Kuwait and elsewhere.
(Reporting by Ali Abdelatti; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Hugh Lawson)