Kuwait: Syr­i­ans suf­fer­ing from ‘most hor­rific’ war

Arab League dis­ap­pointed at UNSC

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

The Syr­ian peo­ple are suf­fer­ing from the ‘most hor­rific’ con­flict in the world today and thus Kuwait took on the re­spon­si­bil­ity to re­spond ad­e­quately to this cri­sis, said First Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Ha­maqd Al-Sabah. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled’s state­ment came within the (Kuwait Re­sponds) book pub­lished by the United Na­tion Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

“On be­half of mil­lions of dis­placed peo­ple around the world who have ben­e­fited from Kuwait’s gen­er­ous hu­man­i­tar­ian ac­tion, I am hon­ored to ded­i­cate this book to the peo­ple, Cab­i­net and lead­er­ship of Kuwait as a true tes­ta­ment of grat­i­tude in a world where more than 60 mil­lion peo­ple are forcibly dis­placed by war or per­se­cu­tion, a real­ity not wit­nessed since World War II, ef­fec­tive in­ter­na­tional sol­i­dar­ity, like that of­fered by Kuwait, be­comes in­creas­ingly essen­tial,” said Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled.

He added that un­der the wise guid­ance of the UN Hu­man­i­tar­ian Leader His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait, its na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions, and peo­ple were al­ways at the fore­front, of­fer­ing a help­ing hand to vic­tims of war and nat­u­ral dis­as­ter, sup­port­ing the de­vel­op­ment and re­con­struc­tion of dev­as­tated na­tions through its in­sti­tu­tions, leav­ing an ev­er­last­ing pos­i­tive im­pact.

“Today, if we visit refugee camps, we see refugee chil­dren in field, schools and refugees be­ing ad­mit­ted to med­i­cal cen­ters; this would have never been pos­si­ble without the sup­port of the Kuwait’s cab­i­net, its NGOs and de­vel­op­ment in­sti­tu­tions.” Over the last four years, Kuwait has gal­va­nized sup­port from the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity by host­ing three con­sec­u­tive In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ences for Syr­ian refugees, six con­sec­u­tive top group meet­ings and co-or­ga­niz­ing the sup­port­ing Syria and the Re­gion Con­fer­ence in Lon­don, said the Kuwaiti For­eign Min­is­ter.

Most vul­ner­a­ble

Fur­ther­more, dur­ing 20132015, Kuwait contributed over $1.6 bil­lion to Syria and sup­ported UNHCR op­er­a­tions around the world, stand­ing firmly among UNHCR’s top 10 global donors. “Th­ese con­tri­bu­tions have had a di­rect im­pact on mil­lions of the most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in the world in­clud­ing 3.5 mil­lion Syr­ian refugees and in­ter­nally dis­placed per­sons. For that, I would like to take this op­por­tu­nity to ex­press to His High­ness the Amir of Kuwait and to the peo­ple of Kuwait my sin­cere grat­i­tude and pro­found appreciation,” he said, adding that “I also greatly ap­pre­ci­ate the pi­o­neer­ing role played by Kuwait in the hu­man­i­tar­ian field. I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to strength the im­por­tant strate­gic part­ner­ship that ex­ists be­tween of­fice and Kuwait, wish­ing it peace, se­cu­rity and pros­per­ity.”

“Al­low me at the out­set to ex­presse my appreciation to His Ex­cel­lency Filippo Grandi, the United Na­tions High Com­mis­sioner Refugees, and all those re­spon­si­ble for the pub­li­ca­tion.” The book re­flected some of Kuwait’s ef­forts to re­lieve the plight and suf­fer­ing of the Syr­ian peo­ple and all oth­ers af­fected hu­man­i­tar­ian catas­tro­phe, said Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled who also ex­pressed sin­cere appreciation and grat­i­tude to An­to­nio Guter­res, the for­mer United Na­tions High Com­mis­sioner, and UNHCR staff sta­tioned in con­flict zones around the world. This year the num­ber of those in need of hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance in­creased to 125 mil­lion per­sons, and over 60 mil­lion be­cause of soar­ing of con­flicts and dis­putes around the world, said Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled.

Un­der the guid­ance of His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah, Kuwait held three con­sec­u­tive In­ter­na­tional Pledg­ing Con­fer­ences for Syria since 2013, rais­ing more than $7 bil­lion in pledges from the In­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. The ma­jor­ity of this con­tri­bu­tion, $330 mil­lion was al­lo­cated to UNHCR due to its ex­ten­sive pro­grams and ex­cel­lence in dis­tribut­ing and man­ag­ing aid ef­fi­ciently. More­over, in Fe­bru­ary 2016, Kuwait co-hosted and or­ga­nized the Sup­port­ing Syria and the Re­gion con­fer­ence in Lon­don con­tribut­ing an ad­di­tional $300 mil­lion for the cause.

Mean­while, Arab League Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ah­mad Abul Gheit ex­pressed his dis­ap­point­ment at the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil (UNSC) for fail­ing to reach a uni­fied stand for a cease­fire agree­ment in Aleppo, Syria. The agree­ment al­lows en­try of ur­gent hu­man­i­tar­ian aid to Aleppo, in ad­di­tion to evac­u­at­ing the sick and wounded from the city, Abul Gheit’s Spokesman Mah­moud Afifi said in a state­ment Sun­day. The Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral is hop­ing that UNSC’s mem­bers rise above their dif­fer­ences and find ways to solve the on­go­ing cri­sis in Aleppo, Afifi added. The Arab League Coun­cil has called upon UNSC in its re­cent meet­ing at the level of per­ma­nent delegates, held on Oc­to­ber 4th, to bear its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to­ward the Syr­ian cri­sis and its dan­ger­ous con­se­quences, said the state­ment. Mean­while, Abu Gheit has wel­comed the EU hu­man­i­tar­ian ini­tia­tive, is­sued in co­or­di­na­tion with UN, to aid un­armed civil­ians in east­ern Aleppo, stress­ing the im­por­tance of re­spond­ing to such ini­tia­tive by all par­ties in­volved in the on­go­ing con­flict.

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