Kuwait urges in­no­va­tive means to bridge UNRWA bud­get deficit

Sti­fling deficit in bud­get poses a real threat

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

NEW YORK: Kuwait’s Deputy Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the UN Ab­du­laziz AlJar­al­lah has called on the UN to de­velop more in­no­va­tive ways so as to cover the in­creas­ing costs of the ac­tiv­i­ties of UN Re­lief and Works Agency for Pales­tine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The sti­fling deficit in the UNRWA bud­get poses a real threat to the aid pro­gram of the UN Agency, he said in a state­ment on be­half of the Kuwaiti mis­sion to the UN at the meet­ing of the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly’s Fourth Com­mit­tee (Spe­cial Po­lit­i­cal and De­col­o­niza­tion Com­mit­tee). AlJar­al­lah reaf­firmed Kuwait’s com­mit­ment to sup­port­ing the ef­forts of the UNRWA Com­mis­sioner-Gen­eral Pierre Kra­hen­buhl to sta­bi­lize the Agency’s bud­get and en­sure de­cent liv­ing for the Pales­tinian refugees.

Al-Jar­al­lah ex­pressed con­cern over the UNRWA’s fi­nances, which hin­der the Agency’s ef­forts to carry on with its ed­u­ca­tional, so­cial and re­lief ser­vices to the Pales­tinian refugees, both in the oc­cu­pied ter­ri­to­ries and in host­ing coun­tries. Kuwait has al­ways been keen on back­ing UNRWA and has of­fered more than $169 mil­lion, both vol­un­tary con­tri­bu­tions to the Agency’s bud­get, as well as re­spond­ing to ur­gent ap­peals, the lat­est of which was $15 mil­lion to help 500,000 Pales­tinian stu­dents, he said.

Kuwait set aside $50 mil­lion for the Pales­tinian refugees in Syria, dur­ing three an­nual con­fer­ences on the hu­man­i­tar­ian sit­u­a­tion in the war-plagued coun­try, he added. In 2009, Kuwait of­fered Pales­tinian refugees in Gaza $34 mil­lion, af­ter Is­rael de­stroyed 36 UNRWA schools in the Strip.

In ad­di­tion, Kuwait com­mit­ted $200 mil­lion to the ef­forts to re­con­struct Gaza over the last three years since the in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence held in Cairo in Oc­to­ber, 2014, Al Jar­al­lah said. Al-Jar­al­lah reaf­firmed the Pales­tinian right to re­turn to their home­land as per para­graph 11 of the Gen­eral Assem­bly Res­o­lu­tion 194.

He urged the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity ap­ply pres­sures on Is­rael, the oc­cu­py­ing power, to com­ply with all res­o­lu­tions of the in­ter­na­tional le­git­i­macy and put an end to the suf­fer­ing of the Pales­tinian peo­ple. Kuwait, as mem­ber of UNRWA’s Ad­vi­sory Com­mis­sion and a re­li­able donor to the Agency’s re­lief ef­forts, had raised its an­nual con­tri­bu­tion to the Agency to two mil­lion US dol­lars in 2011, he added. Founded by the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly in 1949, UNRWA is man­dated to pro­vide as­sis­tance and pro­tec­tion to some five mil­lion reg­is­tered Pales­tine refugees in Jor­dan, Le­banon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Min­istry of In­te­rior (MoI) seized 18,000 bot­tles of il­le­gal liquor worth KD 15 mil­lion yes­ter­day. Min­istry of In­te­rior Un­der­sec­re­tary Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Su­laiman Fa­had Al-Fa­had said in a state­ment that of­fi­cers at drug con­trol depart­ment ar­rested two sus­pects (a Kuwaiti and an Ira­nian) who tried to smug­gle the largest-ever batch of al­co­hol into the coun­try. Al-Fa­had lauded the drug con­trol of­fi­cers’ care­ful plan­ning and their ded­i­ca­tion to keep the coun­try safe. — MOI

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