Kuwait urges innovative means to bridge UNRWA budget deficit
Stifling deficit in budget poses a real threat
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