Weekly roundup of Kuwait relief efforts
Living up to its status as a ‘humanitarian center,’ Kuwait continued its relief work and campaigns to all those in need in the Middle East and beyond throughout the justended week. Last Saturday, in northern Lebanon, the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) reaffirmed keenness on helping Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
The needs of the Palestinian refugees’ are enormous and much efforts need to be exerted, KRCS Secretary General Maha Al-Barjas said after a meeting with officials of the Palestinian Red Crescent in Lebanon.
The meeting was held in Al-Beddawi camp for Palestinian refugees north of the Lebanon. Barjas noted that Kuwait’s relief efforts are extended to the Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, as well as to Lebanese families.
The KRCS will support the Palestinian counterpart to provide the urgent medical needs of the Palestinian refugees, she said. Over the coming two month, the KRCS will offer bread to 2,000 Palestinian and Syrian refugee families in Lebanon, as part of a project the society launched in 2011, she added.
Director General of the Palestinian society Dr Samer Shehada voiced optimism over cooperation with the KRCS, lauding the latter’s leading role for helping the refugees and the needy. The meeting focused on the framework of working together in Lebanon, to help refugees in the country, he added.
The two sides also discussed supporting the five hospitals the Palestinian society administers in different parts of the country. They have concluded an initial agreement on the form of backing over the coming period.
Lebanon hosts up to 400,000 Palestinian refugees at 12 camps. On Friday, the KRCS and the Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) signed two agreements to provide drinking water for the Syrian refugees, and to help those who are suffering renal disease in east Lebanon’s Bekaa.
On Monday in Riyadh, a Kuwaiti aid campaign distributed 6,209 food baskets to more than 43,000 people in Yemen, which capped off an aid package for the war-torn nation. Tawfik Mohammad, a member of the Yemeni-Kuwaiti Relief Authority, said that the endeavor to dole out more than 6,000 food parcels in the impoverished nation’s northwestern Sadah province was unprecedented, read a press release by the ‘Kuwait is By Your Side’ campaign. He added that a number of similar projects are impending, all of which are geared towards the province’s neediest people.
The Kuwaiti aid campaign provided urgent relief for the Yemeni people, running the gamut from nutritional and educational assistance to healthcare aid. On Thursday, institutions from across the Palestinian national spectrum joined forces for 13 agreements worth $3 million, financed by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED).
Rabhi Al-Sheikh, the deputy head of a Palestinian office tasked with reconstructing the Gaza Strip, said that the agreements hammered out by 13 institutions from across Palestinian territories, entail projects to rebuild Gaza through a $3 million grant provided by Kuwait.
He noted that Kuwait has contributed a sum of $200 million for reconstruction efforts, of which $75 million has been allocated for the residential sector. Meanwhile, Palestinian Minister of Public Works and Housing Mofeed Al-Hasayneh, on the sidelines of a ceremony where the agreement was signed, thanked Kuwait for the country’s support of the Palestinian people.
He divulged that a sum of $500,000 will be earmarked for the agricultural sector, which is now in tatters due to the war. Egypt, Norway and the Palestinian territories convened an international conference on reconstructing Gaza in October 2014, to respond to the needs of the Palestinian people in the aftermath of Israel’s military offensive.
Aid to Yemen
Also Thursday in Yemen, Kuwait Red Crescent announced that it will continue to provide medical, relief and developmentrelated humanitarian aid to Yemen in cooperation with local bodies with recent repairs to water desalination and medical facility centers, its Secretary General said.
After meeting Yemen’s Ambassador to Kuwait Ali Saffaa, KRCS’s Maha Al-Barjas said that after concluding the two projects, the organization is setting up a camp for surgeries that can accommodate up to 200 cases.
The project follows a similar initiative that has already resulted in the successful completion of a large number of orthopedic, brain, nerve and ophthalmologist operations. The organization has also handed out electrical generators to hospitals across the southwestern city of Taiz, wheelchairs and crutches to around 750 Yemenis along with food and cholera medicine distributed across Yemeni governorates. In the meantime, the Yemeni ambassador hailed these initiatives, saying they “stem from honest and brotherly feelings.”
Meanwhile, on Friday, the humanitarian efforts exerted by KRCS to aid Syrian refugees inside Syria and Turkey are still ongoing in cooperation with humanitarian relief organizations, a KRCS official affirmed. The Kuwaiti humanitarian body has opened, in cooperation with the Turkish-based IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a plant in Atme village, northern Syria, to manufacture medical gauze, Barjas stated, noting that the plant is one of a kind and provides free gauze to field medical centers in Syria.
Obviously, KRCS and IHH have realized the importance of providing medical gauze inside Syria due to its current scarcity in that country, Barjas noted, commending IHH’s efforts in launching that vital plant and cooperation in supervising it as well. Furthermore, KRCS has also implemented, in collaboration with Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS), a cooperation deal on sending 10 mobile medical clinics to Syria for the internally displaced persons and families hailing from Aleppo city, she mentioned, adding that the clinics were fully equipped with medical sets, instruments, and pharmacies. The mobile clinics also included medical examination tents that covered vast geographic areas in Idlib and Aleppo, KRCS chief said, noting that the tents helped in treating around 17,000 patients.
KRCS has also began to cooperate with its Qatari counterpart in backing Al-Amal Hospital in Rehanli, Turkey to treat sick Syrian refugees, Barjas said, noting that the hospital is part of KRCS’ humanitarian projects for the Syrian refugees. The Kuwaiti humanitarian body has also backed an orphanage in Gaziantep, Turkey to qualify orphans and empower them to integrate in their society, she said.
Currently, KRCS is working in several arenas through development projects and programs geared towards rehabilitation and empowerment to help conflict-stricken societies restore their ordinary life and social integration, Barjas mentioned. —KUNA
KRCS volunteers provide support to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
Kuwait Red Crescent Society workers distribute humanitarian aid.
KRCS supports Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
KRCS Secretary General chief Maha Al-Barjas meets with Yemen’s Ambassador to Kuwait Ali Saffaa.
KRCS delegation inspects Al-Beddawi camp for Palestinian refugees.