Authority History

Saudi Arabia, the land of the Two Holy Mosques, holds a special place in the hearts of Muslims all over the world. Saudi Arabia is honored and privileged for embracing to what considered as "the house of Allah" (i.e al-Kaʿbah) where Muslims head to for their prayers and their destination to perform Hajj and Umrah, as well the Prophet's Mosque in al-Madinah al-Munawwarah. For that reason, the people of Saudi Arabia have the advantage to serve the two holy mosques, giving every effort to insure comfort and calmness as well required services for the visitors.

Realizing the urgent requirements and demands by those pilgrims, the government of the late King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Faisal Al-Saud, since the establishment, were giving high priority on the protection of the two holy mosques and providing everything that guarantees performing the rituals of Hajj and Umrah with ease and safety.

Furthermore, as elder pilgrims or those suffering from health issues while performing Hajj or Umrah might encounter emergency cases or disasters, same situations might also happen to other pilgrims, the Saudi government established since the earlier stages an official organization that is responsible for health care and emergency services for all Saudi and non-Saudi pilgrims. Those services, especially the ones given to the pilgrims, were not limited to one specific party. For that, the medical system at that time, known as public health and ambulance association was assigned to take responsibilities for providing health care and emergency services.

The national medical emergency association

It was the first independent medical entity in the Kingdom, as no previous organizational association for ambulatory services established before the year of 1353 H. That idea brought up by key men of education and business and philanthropy to form the authority due to the war between Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Battles broke out in mountains of Asir and Tihamah coastal plain where no convenient facilities or medical supplies for the wounded civilians and militants were available.

The elite people in Saudi Arabia decided to strongly participate with their effort and prospects in that war to relief the harshness of war on the army.

For that they requested from the wise government to form an authority in the holy city of Makkah assigned to perform ambulatory services of militants by doctors, medicine and bandages during the war.

The Saudi government gave the approval and the authority suddenly set active in the work areas. The residents were encouraged by that to deliver humanitarian duties as donations were given from everywhere; and that guaranteed positive continuity of the work and duties to be made by the authority with sincerity.

Even when the war ended and the relationship between the two countries became strong and peaceful, the donations to the authority continued to flood in to give a chance to establish bases of a hospital in Taif city.

At the time of establishing the authority, a number of prominent people gathered to set the instructions related to the workflow to be submitted to the government. A royal order were issued for the approval as the permanent central commission of the authority have made their researches and in turn the general authority had decided to invite His Royal Highness prince Khalid, the son of the late King Abdulaziz to honor the authority to become an honorary president. The late King Khalid approved their request and members were elected for the central commission.

Those members were as follows:

  • President: Mohammed Al-Shaibi.
  • Secretary: Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Ghazawi.
  • Chief Treasurer: Mohammed Ashi.
  • Members: Alsayd Abdulwahab vice president of Al-Masjid Al-Haram and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi Affairs, Abdulawahab Attar, Mohammed Ali Al-Qufaidi, Mohammed Ali Khogair, Mohammed Shalhoob and Abdulhai Gazaz.
Ambulance Charity Association

As the government of the late King Faisal bin Abdulaziz believed of the necessity of carrying on providing ambulatory medical care within the delivered services with more wide and independent method, the idea of establishing the association brought up in the year of 1353 H by key personalities in Makkah. As they noticed the difficulties encountered by pilgrims while performing Hajj rituals, those generous people, the late Tala'at Harb Pasha was one of them, intended to support pilgrims with first aid and medical services. Heatstroke, exhaustion due diseases and the age issues and problems were all occurred to the pilgrims at that time and their families are the one who took care of transferring them to Ajyad hospital, the only hospital in Makkah at that time. Those problems increased rapidly and caused death of those patients due delay in transferring them to the hospital.

Consequently, a proposal to establish a national association to provide first aid and health services as well transferring sick and injured patients had existed. Pioneer workers in the ambulance charity stated that the late King Faisal was one of those who suggested establishing the ambulance charity when he was the deputy of his father, the late King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman, on Al-Hijaz. The royal decree number 3306 dated 02/03/1354 H had been issued to form "Ambulance Charity Association" in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His majesty remained the honorary president of the association while Prince faisal bin Abdulaziz, at that time, was assigned to take the tasks of the presidency of the association. His royal highness showed deep interest of that noble suggestion as he assigned the minister of finance, his Excellency the late Shiek Abdullah Al-Sulaiman on supervision of the works in the association. That task was supported with direct supervision of the late Shiekh Mohammed Suroor Al-Sabban.

The Ambulance charity association was the cornerstone of the Saudi Red Crescent Association that was formed later in the year of 1383 H with a royal decree. The first ambulance charity center was established by the holy mosque of Makkah at Al-Wedaa gate to be later on the main center of the ambulance charity. Vehicles that facilitated by the association were not exceeding 4-5 cars at that time with a garage located in (Al-Bab neighborhood). The financial resources that the association counted on were from the donations and the ambulance stamp that was bought for one coin (qirsh) put on all government official correspondences and meeting proposal submitted by the citizens with the government order. In addition, a factory in Mina area, Makkah, were established to produce ice as a financial source and resource development.

The ambulance charity association moved on its journey in achieving their goals and perform their duties in accordance to their humanitarian approach in returning distressed and injured relief either residents or expatriates by using their limited resources developed by efforts of their members. Those members were pioneers in several fields at that time like poets and literatures like Mohammed Suror Al-Sabban, Urabi Sajini, Mohammed Shatta, Ahmed Ibrahim Ghazawi, Dr. Al-Sasi, Abdulwahab Ashi, Abdulhameed Al-Khateeb and others. Those members kept on delivering lectures in the main location of the association, which became later on a landmark hosting scientists, authors and poets from inside and outside the kingdom.

performed while mainly the lectures were about the following fields :

  • • Medical field.
  • • Religion and Islamic issues.
  • • History and biography.
  • • Literature, sociology, press, economy and education.

In 28/06/1354 H, a resolution was passed by the ambulance charity association indicating the end of the legislative duration for the first group of members in the association, and nomination of other 14 new members of Makkah people should be conducted to be assigned for the next phase of the association. The resolution also mentioned a complete unanimity to assign his eminence Sheikh Abdullah Al-Shaibi as the president of the association with main concentration on establishing a hospital in Taif.

In 1359 H, The shura council issued a decree number 170 dated 21/08/1359 H with a total agreement of its members to assign Mr. Ameen Madani as a president of the ambulance charity association in Madina region and setting administrative reference of Al-Madinah branch with Makkah ambulatory association. Charity ambulance in Al-Madinah kept linked to Makkah in the era of the ambulance charity association and during the first phase of the Saudi Red Crescent Society until it had its own independent branch in 1403 H under the name of (Main branch of Saudi Red Crescent Society in Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah).

Ambulance Charitable Society was keen to diversify their sources of income. For that, they had established investment projects to find sources of funding for its activities, those projects were as follows:

  •  Ice factory in Mecca, known as "Al-Khayat Ice Factory.
  •  Medical Imaging Center.
  •   Shares in the mining company.
  •   Shares in the Arabian Automobiles company.
  •  Revenue from pilgrims.
  •  Miscellaneous sales.
  •  Donations and grants, contributions and stamps and coin collection funding project.

The revenues of the society witnessed an increase that reached in the year of 1366 H three million four hundred and forty-five thousand, five hundred and sixty-four Saudi coins and five bars (3.445.564.5). The number of services provided to patients and people in their various ambulatory centers and clinics until the year of 1369 were about 27,371, as referred to by its report the 15th edition). The society had established outpatient clinics to support medical services and provide relief to the injured victims of accidents, and expanded its works to cover are approximately 85,332 beneficiaries of ambulatory and therapeutic services in the year of 1377 H. In 09/10/1383 H, the board of members in the ambulance charity association have conducted their ordinary meetings in Makkah attended by: his excellency the president and his deputy and the members: Sheikh Salih Gazaz, Mohammed Nouh and Salih Jamal. The discussions went about having a new location for the association rent in Taif. The municipality in Taif respond with their letter number 344 dated 05/02/1383 H stating that the cost for renting the location would cost no less than 2000 riyal. It was eventually approved and the director of the association was assigned to set the rent contract and have the payment issued in accordance to the followed procedures.

A critical bend in the journey of the Association

The expansion of activities of the Association, as we pointed out previously, resulted in an increase in operating expenses. Moreover, after the end of the second world war, there was a critical juncture in the process of Association that it has been affected with the global conditions led to decreased donations, limited available resources and the ice plant suffered a setback and loss. The social and literature activities of the association have also been affected that it was difficult to fulfill their medical and ambulatory commitments as well humanitarian services. The only support was provided by the ministry of finance that insured the continuity of the works made by the association.

The expansion of activities of the Association, as we pointed out previously, resulted in an increase in operating expenses. Moreover, after the end of the second world war, there was a critical juncture in the process of Association that it has been affected with the global conditions led to decreased donations, limited available resources and the ice plant suffered a setback and loss. The social and literature activities of the association have also been affected that it was difficult to fulfill their medical and ambulatory commitments as well humanitarian services. The only support was provided by the ministry of finance that insured the continuity of the works made by the association.

Saudi Red Crescent Society

That critical bend that was mentioned before had negative impacts on the association, for that, the association submitted to their honorary president at the time, his royal highness crown prince Faisal bin Abdulaziz, briefing their situation. His royal highness generously ordered to increase the financial amount of the item allocated to the association. In 1383 H, an initiative to develop the association showed up to reform the association to become (Saudi Red Crescent Society) to cover the whole country with their services and to link the international similar organizations with their services and message. The society established on principals or Geneva agreements and rules set in Red cross and red crescent conventions in accordance to the royal decree number 1 dated 16/01/1383 H (1963). That effort resulted in a royal decree signed by the His Royal highness the late prince Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saudi, who was the crown prince at that time, and the charity ambulance association that considered as the start of the Saudi Red Crescent Society. The Royal decree indicated as well the transformation of Mr. Abdulaziz Mudaris, deputy minister of health to presidency of the new society that were distinguished among similar societies in the world for having its location on the land of the two holy mosques where hundreds of thousands Muslims travel to.

Statute of the Saudi Red Crescent Society

Statute of the Saudi Red Crescent Society addressed a number of chapters and articles that organized the work of the society that specified the nature of its relations and functions, and the following is the full text of the statute issued by the Royal Decree No. M / 14 dated 12/4/1386 H for approval.

Chapter One

The establishment of the Saudi Red Crescent Society Article One: : Established in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the Saudi Red Crescent Society by Royal Decree No. 1 dated 01/16/1383 H with legal entity for an unlimited period, and its main location in the city of Riyadh, with activities covering the entire Kingdom and its system based on Geneva Conventions as the principles endorsed by the conferences of the international Red Cross and red crescent.
Article Two: The society has distinctive emblem is: (a red crescent on a white base that its edges of the crescent heading to the right for the beholder and to the left for the holder).
Article Three: The objective of the society is to mitigate the calamities and human suffering without discrimination or segregation in the transaction for any reason.
Article Four: The Red Crescent Society is considered the only body in all parts of the kingdom representing the Red Crescent in according to the rules laid down in international conventions, which are acceptable in the time of wars as a body to assist the medical departments of the armed forces of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Article Five: This Assembly enjoys all the privileges and immunities set out in the Geneva Conventions, as well as all the benefits decreed by any other international conventions to be held in the future.

Section Two:

Purposes of the Society Article Six: The Society performs the following for the sake of achieving its goals:

  •  A. Conduct preparations and works in peacetime and in time of war as a supportive for the medical departments in the armed forces as a cooperation and integration for the benefit of all civilian and military personnel victims of war in all conditions set forth in the Geneva Conventions especially transferring of the sick and wounded and the establishment of the Red Crescent hospital in the locations specified by the military leadership and preparation of means of transportation and help for the victims of war and prisoners of war and mediate in the exchange transfer of communications between the prisoners either inside or outside the kingdom.
  •   Storage gears, equipment shelter, medicine and all what is needed to treat the sick and wounded and care for prisoners.
  •   Provide urgent aid needed for victims of accidents and disasters and public calamities.
  •   Transport sick and injured in accidents, contribute in their treatment, participate in the fight against epidemics and provide medical services, participate in the dissemination of health education and the establishment and management of hospitals, clinics and pharmacies, clinics and centers, ambulance and blood transfusion.
  •   Provision health services and medical assistance to the pilgrims and health care in cooperation with the competent departments.
  •   The advancement of the task of nursing and work on the nurses affairs and provide them with training on the work of hospitals and emergencies; as well as medical specialists, medical assistants, social workers and others who have them in need to achieve their purposes whether full-timers or volunteers. This is to be particularly either by delivering training sessions or create ambulatory institutions or assisting in establishing them.
  •   Insurance of first aid at the accident location, transfer of sick and injured to treatment centers.
  •   Contribution in humanitarian and social services in line with the message of the Red Crescent.
  •   Diffusion of the Red Crescent humanitarian purposes and principles.
  •   Consolidating relations and exchange of possible aid between the International Crescent and Red Cross Societies and other similar bodies.
  •   Perform other unlisted tasks and duties in the time of peace and war as required under the circumstances and in accordance with the objectives of the Red Crescent

ARTICLE Seven: The Society may not engage in financial speculations nor interfere in the political or religious matters.

Section Three:Funds of the Society

Article Eight:The fund allocated for the Society consist of:
A- fixed transferred money. B- Annual revenues, include:

  • Money allocated from the state budget, as an annual subsidy.  
  • Members subscriptions.   Article Fourteen:
  • Donations, grants and government subsidies.  
  • Wills and endowments.  
  • Fixed and movable funds revenues.  
  • Other resources approved by the Board of Directors.  

Article Nine: Funds of the Society is dedicated to support achieving their purposes, and may not be spent in the other issues; and the Society has the right to use the surplus revenues into projects and works that consistent with the nature of the objectives of the Society, provide that the capital of assembly is insured and revenue guaranteed.
Article Ten: The Society shall have an annual budget and final account statement, approved by the auditor, and approved by the board of directors.
Article Eleven: The Society works on the composition of reserve money to meet the emergency with the resources obtained from the following items: Article Eleven: The Society works on the composition of reserve money to meet the emergency with the resources obtained from the following items:

  • . Savings realized in the annual budget of the Society.  
  •   The Society shall work on the composition of reserve money to allocate the equivalent of 5% of its budget each year, plus the savings realized in the budget of the Society to be retained as an asset in the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency and prohibits the disposal only to meet the exceptional circumstances and the decision of the Board of Directors of the Society. With the exception in urgent cases, it may dispose of a decision of the President of the Society while to be presented on the board of Directors for approval at its first meeting.
  • The Society has the right to increase this reserve supply by applying to the concerned governmental authorities in emergencies.  

Section Four: Membership

Article Twelve: Red Crescent membership is open to all without discrimination, whether from individuals or persons with legal entity, and may be a decision of the Board of Directors to grant membership honor those who led the Association of meritorious service, or has a significant act.

Section Five Society subsidiaries

Article Thirteen: The Saudi Red Crescent Society in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will consist of the following:

  • A- The main center, based in the city of Riyadh.  
  • B- Branches of the main center to be established in large cities by a decision of the Board of Directors.  
  • C- Departments affiliated to every branch to be established in locations suggested by the branch manager and approved by the President of the Society. All of the subsidiaries perform their role to achieve the purposes of the Red Crescent for cooperation and integration of the general policy set by the Board of Directors of the Society.  

Chapter One: Main Center

Article Fourteen: It the Society board of directors as the supreme authority of the Red Crescent Society in Saudi Arabia supervises the affairs of the Society, and the board of directors consists of:

  • President of the Society as President of the board.  
  • Vice President of the Society. R  
  • Representatives from each of ministries of Finance, Interior, Defense, Health, Labor and Social Affairs, appointed by the concerned minister, for a period not exceeding one year.
  • Four members of the Red Crescent interested in the objective message of the Red Crescent, chosen by the President of the Society and endorsed by the minister that the Society refer to.  

Article FifteenBoard meeting shall only be valid in the presence of the president or the vice president and the minimum of five members; If the number of members did not fulfilled, another invitation to be sent within a week at the most; the second meeting shall be valid when attended by the president or the vice president and three members from the representatives of the ministries; and decisions of the board issued by the vote of the majority of those present, when the votes are equal, the President shall have a casting vote. Article Sixteen: meetings of the Board The Board of Directors meetings held in the main center at the invitation of its President whenever it deemed required and take place at least once every 3 months. The President of the Society shall convene the meeting as soon as possible whenever requested by three or more members of the Board for substantial reasons. The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs that the Council may ask when he sees the need for holding a meeting; in this case, he presides over its meetings.

Article seventeen: authorized powers given to the Minister of Labor on the Red Crescent Society to the Minister of Health under Royal Decree No. M / 5 dated 09/09/1398 H. In the case of absence of the President of the Society, the Vice President invites the board of members to convene and preside over its meetings.
Article Eighteen: The board of members of the Society is responsible of the following tasks:

  • A- Public policy-making that achieve the objectives of the Red Crescent Society. 
  • ction Three:Funds of the Society
  • B- Endorsement of the administrative and financial regulations for the conduction of administrative works, including such regulations in particular detailed rules and conditions for the start of the financial calendar and the bank in which funds deposited and terms of financial authorizations and the owners of the right to sign it necessary to adjust the activities of the accounts, membership, board meetings and others.  
  • C- Endorsing model systems of branches and subsidiaries and establishment of these branches.ه  
  • D- The appointment of one auditor or more of non-members for the accounts.  
  • E- The endorsement of the budget and final account statements and the auditor's report, as well as the endorsement of budget projects allocated to branches and final accounts statements.  
  • F- Endorsement of new construction projects within the limits of the annual budget.  
  • G- Suggest a bylaw the personnel and staff of the society as well activities that is approved by the Council of Ministers.  
  • H- Prepare an annual report on the activities of the Society and discuss reports of branches and for endorsement.  
  • I- The endorsement of various means of funding the Society.  
  • J- Composition of the sub-committees of the board and which it deemed necessary for the benefit of the work and determine their field of specialty.  
  • K- Develop the principles and provide guidance with respect to the external relationship with the international Red Cross bodies and associations abroad.ل  
  • L- Approve the granting of badges and membership of Honor.  
  • M- Grant and approve contracts for the use of foreigners if the salary increase outlined in the contract thousand riyals.  
  • N- Estimate the subsidies that are sent to outside Saudi Arabia.  

Article Nineteen: the board of members, in a time of war, may make a decision of its members present unanimously authorizes the President or the vice president, or any of its members or a commission of them to direct all or some of his powers.

Chapter Two Branches and Departments

Article Twenty One: No branches or departments may contact the civil bodies of the Red Crescent and Red Cross or the International Federation of Red Crescent and Red Cross or the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva only though the main center.
Article Twenty Two: : Every branch and department to provide aid determined by the main center in cases of accidents and public calamity, and to put all of their properties and duties and potential at the disposal of the main center in times of war.

Chapter Three President of the Society and his vice president

Article Twenty three: The President of the Red Crescent Society is appointed by a royal decree, he shall manage its affairs and represent it before the courts and administrative bodies, has the authorized signature on all of their contracts, and authorized to assign, promote and dismiss of all official employees and workers of society except for the vice president, and to grant bonuses, allowances, vacations and imposing penalties on them. In addition to sign contracts with non-Saudis and termination of their contracts, and assume all the financial powers and all that in accordance to the administrative and financial regulations.

Section Six General Provisions

Article Twenty Four: The society will comply with the rules contained in the decree of establishment in the exercise of its activities and endorsement of the budget and its statute and in the administrative and financial rules and regulations of its staff and workers without the other rules contained in administrative and financial systems used in government departments, which are not subject to financial terms except for the supervision of the General Auditing Bureau with respect to the adoption of the final account statement.
Article Twenty Five: The Society has all their employees subject to the applicable provisions of the pension system for government employees in Saudi Arabia.
Article Twenty Six: All the boards of directors of the former ambulance charity association in the Kingdom will be dissolved as the establishment of the Saudi Red Crescent Society. Therefore, devolve all fixed and movable properties, which owned by the charity ambulance association to the Saudi Red Crescent Society and passing all the rights and obligations prior to the establishment of this Society to the Society.
Article Twenty Seven: Society should put their emblem on their owned inventories, hospitals, vehicles, convoys and means to transportations and its own offices; also it may flag the emblem of the Society, and it has the right to give their works badges in according to what decided by the Administrative and Financial Regulation.



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