KSRelief distributes over 18,000 food baskets in Punjab

In this photo, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) worker distributes food package in Punjab province of Pakstan during Ramadan on April 29, 2020. (SPA)
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Updated 11 May 2020

KSRelief distributes over 18,000 food baskets in Punjab

  • Ongoing food aid campaign completes 15 days in Punjab
  • Aims to reach 120,000 people through $1 million program 

ISLAMABAD: King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center’s (KSRelief) ongoing efforts to distribute food aid in various districts of the Punjab province continued for the 15th day on Saturday, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
On the latest day of the campaign, KSrelief distributed more than 1,263 food packages to needy families, benefiting 7,578 people in Lahore, Bahawalnagar, and Rajanpur districts.
“Nearly 624 food baskets weighing 21 tons (were distributed) in the Lahore area benefiting 3,744 people; 300 food baskets weighing 10 tons in Bahawal Nagar benefiting 1,800 people and 339 food baskets weighing 11 tons in Raheem Yar Khan area benefiting 2,034 people,” SPA said.
The $1 million Ramadan assistance program was launched in Islamabad on April 23 to support 120,000 people in the Punjab province and has since distributed 18,854 food baskets in the area.
The relief efforts are being conducted in cooperation with Pakistani authorities to deliver aid directly to beneficiaries, “while taking all precautions laid down by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” the SPA said.
“Under this food relief project, more than 20,000 food bags will be distributed among the poor families residing in the province during Ramadan,” Saudi envoy to Pakistan Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki told Arab News at the launching ceremony of the program on April 23.
The assistance comes as Pakistan’s most populous province is facing massive job losses amid business shutdowns enforced to contain the spread of coronavirus.
KSRelief has provided humanitarian and development assistance to millions of beneficiaries in more than 49 countries. Pakistan is the fifth-largest recipient of assistance from the Saudi-based international agency and has received more than $120.2 million in aid since 2005.

Over 40,000 Pakistani expats to benefit from extension of Saudi visas, residency permits

Updated 05 July 2020

Over 40,000 Pakistani expats to benefit from extension of Saudi visas, residency permits

  • King Salman on Sunday approved a free three-month extension of expired residency permits, and exit and reentry visas of expatriates
  • Pakistan envoy to Saudi Arabia hails ‘positive and welcoming step’ by Saudi Arabia

ISLAMABAD: More than 40,000 Pakistani expats in Saudi Arabia will benefit from the royal order to extend by three months and without charge, the validity of expired residency permits and exit and reentry visas, Pakistan’s ambassador to the Kingdom, Raja Ali Ejaz, told Arab News on Sunday.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Sunday approved the extension in order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on expats working in Saudi Arabia.

Under the order, the residency permits and visas of expats inside the Kingdom of which the validity expired during the period of suspension of entry and exit from Saudi Arabia, will be extended for a period of three months free of cost. The validity of final exit visas, unused exit and return visas for expats will also be extended.

“More than 40,000 Pakistani expatriates will benefit from this facility,” Ambassador Ejaz said.

“It is a positive and welcoming step by Saudi Arabia that they have given three months’ extension in almost every relevant visa related issue for expatriates.”

He added around 15,000 Pakistani expats inside the Kingdom and over 25,000 who had traveled back to Pakistan, would be facilitated by the extension.

“There were many Pakistanis who went back on leave and could not come back after the suspension of flights due to coronavirus,” he continued. 

“When they come back here [Saudi Arabia] to rejoin their work, their visas will be valid so they will not face any trouble.”

Furthermore, Ejaz said Pakistanis whose visas had expired but they had been unable to leave due to the limited availability of flights would also be beneficiaries, as the Saudi government had extended their final exit visas as well.

The extension facility will come into place free of cost-- a source of financial relief, Ejaz said, for the majority of Pakistani workers in unskilled labor positions.

Pakistan currently has more than 2.5 million expats living in Saudi Arabia, and makes up the country’s biggest overseas community. 

According to Pakistan’s central bank data, Saudi Arabia has consistently remained for years Pakistan’s largest source of remittances.