Rohingya refugees camps in Bangladesh.
KUWAIT: Living up to its UN-bestowed status as an International Humanitarian Center, Kuwait continued to provide aid to needy people across the world throughout the week. Starting from Bangladesh, Kuwait’s Red Crescent Society, in cooperation with Turkey’s Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), handed out 600 food parcels and 600 cleaning products to Rohingya refugees in the country as part of an ongoing aid campaign.
The aid comes in response to the tough humanitarian conditions experienced by the Rohingya refugees after making the difficult journey to Bangladesh after fleeing violence in Myanmar, a Kuwaiti Red Crescent (KRCS) official said. The humanitarian aid consisted of the urgent needs any refugee would require, including food and cleaning products, added Shamlan Fakhro, who is in charge of the organization’s field operations.
He pointed out that KRCS plans to disperse further aid across the city’s refugee camps in the Bangladeshi city of Cox’s Bazar, located about 70 kilometers north of the Myanmar border. Most of the refugees have lost their homes, some of which were burned down due to the ongoing conflict in Myanmar, said Fakhro.
They have had to walk for days without food or shelter to reach Bangladesh and are now living in makeshift camps. KRCS is committed to aiding people across the world, regardless of their race, creed or faith, and responding to the needs of the fleeing Rohingya families – consisting mostly women and children, he added.
A Bangladeshi army officer tasked with aid distribution and security in Balukhali, one of the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, said that 17,000 families currently reside in the camp, but these numbers are increasing. The army makes sure that there are no irregularities in the distribution process to the refugees, who have each been handed documents in order to ensure that rations are allocated evenly, said Nafees bin Ahmed.
However, he said that despite the hard work put in by the Bangladeshi authorities this has not prevented several challenges the refugees are presented with, including the lack of toilets, power, lighting and disinfectants.
“Their situation is a difficult one,” he said, “they need much more.”
Aisha Mohammad, a mother of 12, said she escaped killing and pillaging to make it to the camp, where she has been living for two weeks now. She had to walk for three days to make the journey across the border while the lack of food and water made her children suffer from malnutrition. At the camp, she said that “women dare not leave their tents at night” in fear of their safety.
This forces Aisha to cook indoors making it difficult for her and her children to breathe due to the rising coal fumes. Along with the problem of malnutrition, her children have also been affected with other sicknesses due to the scarcity of clean water. According to UN estimates, around 3,000 Rohingya refugees escape across the border every day from Myanmar. The total number of these refugees has reached a total half a million, including 300,000 children.
Donations to Gaza
In Palestine, Palestinian Ministry of Public Works and Housing signed on Thursday several agreements related to Kuwait’s donation to the Gaza Strip. Some 270 factories, which were destroyed during the war on Gaza in 2014 by the Israeli occupation forces, will be restored, thanks to $200 million previously donated by Kuwait.
Palestinian Minister of Public Works and Housing Mofeed Al-Hasayna said Kuwait had provided great assistance to construction of the Gaza Strip. He revealed that $75 million from the donation would be used in the housing sector, where 2,270 houses were built.
Hasayna added that Kuwait has been the primary sponsor for the reconstruction of Palestine. He expressed his gratitude to the Kuwaiti people and government, led by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Moreover, President of the General Federation of Industries Ali Al-Hayek said that Kuwait has been supporting the strip, since the war in 2014, and aiding the Palestinian people, hoping for more aid to assist other industrial sectors.
In Lebanon, Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) covered Friday the expenses of the open-heart surgeries of two Syrian child refugees residing in Lebanon. Director of the Rachaya Governmental Hospital Dr Yaser Ammar said that Sidra Abu Suwaid, five years old, has left hospital while Hussein Ziyad Hussein, 11 months old, is still at hospital.
The KRCS support has helped the two children to overcome heart defects that they were suffering from, said the director, thanking the Kuwaiti society for its urgent response to save lives of the children. Parents of the children said that the suffering their children faced before operations, stressing that the KRCS support saved lives of children. The parents thanked Kuwait and its people for providing immediate medical assistance, affirming that this effort is appreciated.
Meanwhile, Head of the KRCS mission in Lebanon Dr Musa’ad Al-Enezi said the society would always provide support to those who are in need especially when the matter concerns young children. Enezi affirmed that KRCS would pounce on any opportunity to aid the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, adding that the society was also keen on offering help to Palestinians residing in the fellow Arab country. A month ago, the KRCS covered the surgery expenses of three Syrian refugees who suffered from hearing loss.
In Yemen, the “Kuwait by your side” campaign distributed 18,000 school bags and needed tools to students of different academic grades in the Yemeni governorate of Taiz. Abdel-Qawi Al-Mekhlafi, undersecretary of the governorate, lauded Kuwait’s efforts in this regard since the start of the crisis, the campaign said in a statement. He thanked His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, confirming that Taiz is facing major sufferings in several fields. As a result, he calling for further support.
Meanwhile, Raed Ibrahim, a member of the Kuwaiti-Yemeni relief body, said the aid aims to support the Yemeni families and mitigate their suffering. This will curb the issue of dropping out of school due to tough conditions facing the Yemeni families, mainly in Taiz, he said.
The campaign seeks to provide the pressing needs of Yemenis and to respond urgently to ensure such needs through carrying out a package of projects in different vital sectors, he stressed. Ibrahim thanked deeply the State of Kuwait, a “Humanitarian Center”, and His Highness the Amir, a “Humanitarian Leader”, for backing and standing by their brothers and sisters in Yemen. – KUNA