Weekly roundup of Kuwait’s humanitarian action
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Khaled Al-Jarallah
KUWAIT: Living up to its UN recognition as ‘International Humanitarian Center’, Kuwait continued assisting needy people in a number of countries in the region throughout the week. In Irbil, head of Barzani Charity Fondation Mousa Ahmad said that Kuwait has provided enormous humanitarian assistance to more than 43,000 displaced and refugee people in Iraq’s Kurdistan region. He said in a statement that it is expected that many of those displaced families living in shelters would return after the liberation of their towns from the so-called Islamic State.
He noted that those who returned to the liberated areas are suffering from severe shortage of basic services. He referred that Kuwait, in collaboration with Barzani foundation, has distributed about 7,000 food packages to the families returned to the liberated areas. Meanwhile, Kuwait paid for conducting operations on installing prosthetic limbs to 60 patients in Mosul, within a campaign which has covered so far 322 cases. The campaign is funded by the Kuwait Society for Relief and Kuwait Red Crescent Society, and supervised by Kuwait’s general consulate in Irbil.
General consul in Irbil Mohammad Al-Kanderi said in a statement to KUAN that Kuwait continuing covering expenses of making prosthetic limbs to those injured by military operations in Mosul. More than 266 cases were cured in a specialized center of prosthetic limbs in Irbil over the last period, he stated. This campaign is in line with the great initiative by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah calling for standing by the Iraqi people through offering different humanitarian aid, he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Kuwait distributed 30 tons of food for displaced Iraqis in Sulaymaniyah, North Iraq, in Irbil. More than 1,000 food packages were distributed to 500 families under supervision of Kuwait’s General Consulate, funded by Kuwait Society for Relief and Secretary-General of Awqaf, said head of Barzani foundation Ismael Abdulaziz in remarks to KUNA. He added the displaced families from Tuzhermatu were in bad need of humanitarian supplies due to extreme shortage in social services and lack of income.
Abdulaziz expressed his thanks to Kuwait and its organizations for its various humanitarian assistance to the displaced and the poor as well as people with special needs. “In light of difficult economic conditions experienced by the Kurdistan region, such aid helps to alleviate suffering of the displaced people, and support local government,” he noted. In 2018, Kuwait started a relief plan to help displaced people of Kurdistan region by distributing more than 40,000 food packages to people returning to their homes in Mosul, and people of Irbil, Sulaymaniyah and Halabja.
In Baghdad, the United Iraqi Medical Association for Relief and Development, the liaison of the Kuwaiti Society for Relief, has begun distributing a large number of food baskets to families returning to Kirkuk province, north of Baghdad. Ahmad Al-Heiti, head of the Iraqi association, told KUNA on Saturday that 1,025 food baskets were distributed today to those families, within the framework of the “Kuwait by your side” campaign.
He added that about 5,000 food packages were doled out to the families over some days in a row. Every basket is 30 kgs and included rice, sugar, tea, flour, oil and basic needs, he noted. The campaign offered support to displaced families over the last period that included the distribution of aid and the building of schools and medical centers. In Geneva, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Khaled Al-Jarallah said Kuwait is pledging $250 million to international relief aid efforts in Yemen this year.
In Kuwait’s speech to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ (OCHA) 2018 Yemen High-Level Pledging Event, Al-Jarallah said that this donation would hopefully help the Yemenis survive the upheavals they are facing in their country. The donation came in line with His Highness the Amir of Kuwait and UN humanitarian leader Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s directives to aid the fellow Yemenis, said Al-Jarallah who indicated that the pledge came on time especially with the nearing of the month of Ramadan in mid-May.
Al-Jarallah said that his country took all necessary steps to find a resolution to the Yemeni crisis, indicating that several inter-Yemeni meetings were organized by Kuwait to find a political solution to the dilemma. He said that the resolution to the Yemeni crisis must be based on the tenets of the GCC peace initiative, the outcomes of the national Yemeni dialogue, and UNSC resolution 2216 regarding the end of violence in Yemen. Al-Jarallah called on the Houthi militias to abide by international laws and stressed that national unity is the only way to end the situation in Yemen.
He took the chance to condemn the Houthi’s ballistic missile attacks launched from Yemeni territory towards Saudi Arabia, affirming that the State of Kuwait was against such vile acts. Al-Jarallah urged the international community to gather three billion dollars to support relief aid efforts in Yemen this year, saying that its an humanitarian obligation. Al-Jarallah thanked the Saudi-led Arab coalition for Yemen in its efforts to provide assistance to the Yemenis and also expressed gratitude towards the Swiss Confederation, Kingdom of Sweden, and OCHA for organizing the one-day high-level pledging event.
Loan to Lebanon
In another development, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) will grant Lebanon a loan worth $500 million over five years. KFAED Director General Abdulwahab Al-Bader made the announcement in his address to the Cedar conference for supporting Lebanon’s economy in Paris. He reiterated Kuwait’s continued backing to Lebanon till it restores its past economic status. The sharp fall of Lebanon’s economy to an annual growth rate of just 1 percent is a main concern of the Kuwaitis and Lebanese, Al-Bader said. He urged “friendly and sisterly countries” to support Lebanon which “experienced hard conditions over the past years.” The Kuwaiti delegation to the Paris conference includes a host of official from the fund and the foreign ministry. – Agencies