By RICK GLADSTONEJUNE 23, 2017 The newly elevated crown prince of Saudi Arabia, who as defense minister has led the country’s bombing and blockades of Yemen, showed his charitable side on Friday with a $66.7 million donation to fight the cholera outbreak in that country.
The donation authorized by the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was announced by the ruling family’s charity, the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid, which said the money would go to Unicef and the World Health Organization in response to their urgent pleas.
The donation was among the first prominent actions of the crown prince, the 31-year-old son of King Salman, since he was abruptly promoted to first in the line of succession on Wednesday, bypassing his older rival, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and upending decades of royal custom.
It was unclear whether the money was a direct donation from the personal fortune of the crown prince, who like other members of the royal family is enormously wealthy.
Since the outbreak was declared two months ago, more than 1,265 people have died, Unicef’s resident representative in Yemen, Meritxell Relaño, told reporters in a conference call on Friday.