Kuwait keen on sup­port­ing UNRWA op­er­a­tions: Ma­touq

Kuwait Times - - Local -

KUWAIT: The State of Kuwait is keen on sup­port­ing the United Na­tions Re­lief and Works Agency for Pales­tine Refugees in the Near East’s (UNRWA) op­er­a­tions, said Chair­man of Kuwait’s In­ter­na­tional Is­lamic Char­i­ta­ble Or­ga­ni­za­tion (IICO) and Amiri Di­wan ad­vi­sor Dr Ab­dul­lah Al-Ma­touq yes­ter­day. Dr Ma­touq’s state­ment came on the side­lines of his meet­ing with Chief of the UNRWA Donor Re­la­tions Di­vi­sion Marc Las­souaoui and the agency’s Ex­ter­nal Re­la­tions and Projects Of­fi­cer Mu­nir Man­neh.

The IICO chair­man said that Kuwait, un­der the di­rec­tives of His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, will al­ways pro­vide a help­ing hand to their brethren in Pales­tine. He added that GCC and Arab coun­tries should in­ten­sify their ef­forts to cover the deficit at UNRWA af­ter the US de­cided to pull out its $350 mil­lion con­tri­bu­tion.

UNRWA plays an in­te­gral role in at­tend­ing to the ed­u­ca­tional, health, and so­cial needs of all Pales­tini­ans es­pe­cially in the Gaza Strip and the di­as­pora, said Dr Ma­touq who com­mended the brave stance of Na­tional As­sem­bly Speaker Mar­zouq Al-Ghani in fa­vor of the Pales­tinian cause dur­ing his global par­lia­men­tary par­tic­i­pa­tions. Re­gard­ing the IICO’s fu­ture en­deav­ors, Dr Ma­touq re­vealed that the or­ga­ni­za­tion will kick start on Novem­ber 26 the Eighth An­nual Con­fer­ence on Ef­fec­tive Part­ner­ship and In­for­ma­tion Shar­ing for Bet­ter Hu­man­i­tar­ian Ac­tion. The event will wit­ness the launch­ing of an ini­tia­tive to feed one bil­lion peo­ple around the globe. The ini­tia­tive also in­cludes pro­grams to pro­vide soft loans, launch small busi­ness projects, and other in­te­gral ob­jec­tives to em­power those who are in need, said the IICO chair­man. Mean­while, UNRWA’s Las­souaoui said that the agency was fac­ing great chal­lenges that might af­fect its op­er­a­tions as a re­sult of the US con­tri­bu­tions pull­out. This year, the EU, Swe­den, Ja­pan, Hol­land, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Ara­bia, and the UAE pledged $390 mil­lion; how­ever, UNRWA only re­ceived $51 mil­lion so far, said Las­souaoui who af­firmed that de­spite the cur­rent sta­tus quo, the agency con­tin­ues to pro­vide as­sis­tance to Pales­tini­ans.

In the mean­time, UNRWA’s Man­neh re­vealed that the agency faced a $446 mil­lion deficit, adding that the pledges this year helped to re­duce that num­ber to $64 mil­lion. He said that Kuwait and other donor coun­tries were up to the chal­lenges that lie ahead, af­firm­ing that UNRWA will man­age to at­tend to the needs of Pales­tini­ans es­pe­cially those re­sid­ing in the Gaza Strip. The United Na­tions Re­lief and Works Agency for Pales­tine Refugees in the Near East’s (UNRWA) was founded in 1948 to as­sist some five mil­lion Pales­tini­ans in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jor­dan, Le­banon, and the Mid­dle East.

KUWAIT: Chair­man of Kuwait’s (IICO) and Amiri Di­wan ad­vi­sor Dr Ab­dul­lah Al-Ma­touq meets with Chief of the UNRWA Donor Re­la­tions Di­vi­sion Marc Las­souaoui. — KUNA

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