Humanitarian aid from Kuwait for the Yemeni people
KUWAIT: The State of Kuwait, along with many nations of the globe, mark today the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, boasting a long record of aiding the needy and soothing pain of people in hardships. According to the UN, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the declaration by the UN General Assembly, in its resolution 47/196 of 22 December 1992, of 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The theme of this years’ commemoration is ‘coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity.’
Celebrations in 2018 also marks the 30th anniversary of the Call to Action by Father Joseph Wresinski — which inspired the observance of October 17 as the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty — and the recognition by the United Nations of the day as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
Fight against poverty
Kuwait on its part continues to encourage the global community to contribute to the fight against poverty as an integral part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Since its independence in 1961, Kuwait has sought to aid those in need for a hand of mercy, both at official and grass-root levels, providing support, tangibly, for those who need help around the globe, and backing relevant UN resolutions. The GCC member-state has a prolific record in eradicating poverty and providing humanitarian and financial aid to several world countries.
The Kuwaiti government relief efforts, since His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, was proclaimed Amir in 2006, have intensified to aid the poor, with emergence of a unique theme ‘humanitarian diplomacy.’ The government has hurried relief aid to peoples stricken with catastrophes throughout the globe, basing its campaign for relieving the cash-strapped people on the conviction that poverty is a fertile ground for wars, violence, and conflicts, as well as communities’ disintegration.
Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), the state’s philanthropic arm, has been active since more than half a century ago, helping nations cope with poor resources or other menaces such as unemployment. According to KFAED’s records, up to 106 nations have witnessed the incoming Kuwaiti aid, which financial contributions backed those countries’ development projects in agriculture, industry, transport, communication, power, energy, education, and health fields. Kuwait is also a main contributor to the World Food Program, in addition to its support for the jobless youth, establishing the $2 billion small enterprise fund, with a Kuwaiti contribution amounting to half a billion dollars.
Moreover, Kuwait has launched several initiatives since era of the late Amir, His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who acted globally to relieve debts’ burden afflicting poor nations. In 2008, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah launched the honorary living fund, contributing with $100 million, to help peoples cope with soaring necessities’ prices. KFAED confirms that up to 22 states have benefited from this fund. The endless wave of Kuwaiti charities in local, regional, and international arenas have prompted the UN in 2014 to designate His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad as the world’s number-one ‘Humanitarian Leader,’ along with Kuwait, named as ‘Humanitarian Center’ of the globe. During the UNESCO executive board’s 196th session in Paris, held in April 2015, Kuwait called anew on the international community to coordinate efforts for fighting the scourge of poverty.
Kuwait’s philanthropic societies and individuals have also given substantial aid to war-torn countries around the world, including Arab states such as Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, and Sudan, with the aim of helping those affected by crises or natural disasters. The societies rush to help people suffering from hunger, providing them with shelter and establishing educational and vocational projects to pave way for their development and to depend on themselves.
Recently, Kuwaiti charities focused on helping the Syrian refugees in neighboring countries like Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan, as well as assisting the Yemenis, Iraqis and Palestinians. They are also funding projects in African and Asian countries. Alongside government efforts, Kuwaiti charitable societies and relief aid organizations also took part in helping the Syrians to overcome their dire situation.
In 2016, His Highness the Amir took part in the humanitarian summit in Turkey, during which he highlighted Kuwait’s contributions to humanitarian causes around the world. During the conference, His Highness has indicated that Kuwait had offered over $1 billion in the last five years to support global humanitarian efforts. He also mentioned that most of the allocated sums were delivered to the needy suffering from wars in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and Yemen.
In Yemen, Kuwait announced in 2015 a generous donation of $100 million for the Yemeni people suffering from the ills of civil war. In 2016, Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) provided relief aid to the people who were affected by the catastrophic floods and torrents that struck wide areas in Sudan. While on the level of the Palestinian cause, Kuwait always support the rights of the Palestinian people.
In 2009, Kuwait donated $34 million to cover the expenses of operations carried out by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The Gulf country also offered $15 million in 2013 to help the Palestinians and launched in 2014 a relief aid campaign for the Gaza Strip, which was hit by a brutal Israeli operation in July of that year.
In Iraq, Kuwait continued to offer aid there, giving in 2015 a sum of $200 million to displaced Iraqis. Kuwait pledged $176 million during an Iraqi aid conference held in Washington. Kuwait also proposed in 2017 to host and international conference on reconstructing Iraqi liberated cities from the grip of the so-called Islamic State (IS). – KUNA