UNEP, Al-Sayer Group to pro­mote dig­nity, health of Syr­ian refugees

Clean en­ergy ini­tia­tive im­ple­mented

Arab Times - - LOCAL -

KUWAIT CITY, April 13: The United Na­tions En­vi­ron­ment and its main part­ner from the pri­vate sec­tor, Kuwait’s Al-Sayer Hold­ing, im­ple­mented to­day a first-of-its-kind ini­tia­tive in one of the largest Syr­ian refugee camps in the north­ern town of Bib­nine, Akkar- known as Al-Ri­hayniyeh camp. The ini­tia­tive en­tailed equip­ping the camp with so­lar en­ergy that al­lowed light­ing the tents and ex­ter­nal walk­ways, and pro­vid­ing ac­cess to hot wa­ter in­side the camp.

A del­e­ga­tion in­clud­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the UN En­vi­ron­ment, the UN In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre in Beirut and Kuwait’s Al-Sayer Group, the main fun­der of the ini­tia­tive, car­ried out a field visit to­day to Al-Ri­haniyeh camp to sur­vey the project and as­sess its im­pli­ca­tions on peo­ple’s lives. Refugees ex­pressed their grat­i­tude to this ini­tia­tive that helped pro­vide them with ba­sic ser­vices al­low­ing them to over­come their suf­fer­ings, es­pe­cially chil­dren, with re­gards to the use of cold wa­ter, and the in­jus­tice that threat­ened their health and se­cu­rity.

Af­ter a tour of the camp, UN En­vi­ron­ment Re­gional Di­rec­tor Iyad Abu­moghli com­mended the strate­gic part­ner­ship with Al-Sayer Group that is a cor­ner­stone for the ser­vice of man and the en­vi­ron­ment. He said that this ini­tia­tive is the fruit of a part­ner­ship be­tween the UN En­vi­ron­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor to im­ple­ment the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals, and specif­i­cally those re­lated to re­duc­ing the reper­cus­sions of poverty and crises on the dig­nity of peo­ple. Abu­moghli un­der­scored the gen­eros­ity of Kuwait’s Al-Sayer Group, which pro­vided fund­ing for the project and over­saw the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the project with the UN En­vi­ron­ment.


“This is why we are here to­day in Le­banon and in Al-Ri­haniyeh camp, which groups around 1,000 Syr­ian refugees, mostly chil­dren, women and el­derly, liv­ing in dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances with­out ac­cess to hot wa­ter or light­ing in­side and out­side the camp. This is hin­der­ing their move­ment in­side the camp, ex­pos­ing chil­dren to many dan­gers and lead­ing to the spread of dis­eases due to the in­abil­ity to meet­ing health needs,” Abu­moghli said. He added, “We all wish for the war to end and for the safe re­turn of refugees to their coun­try and land to re­store their full rights; how­ever, we can­not stand idle in the face of their hu­man­i­tar­ian sit­u­a­tion. We took the ini­tia­tive to im­prove their health and liv­ing con­di­tions in a clean and en­vi­ron­men­tally-sound man­ner.”

For his part, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Al-Sayer Fran­chis­ing (Imtiyazat), Ha­mad Al-Sayer, said that in line with the nam­ing of His High­ness the Kuwaiti Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad as Hu­man­i­tar­ian Leader and Kuwait as Hu­man­i­tar­ian Cen­ter, AlSayer Group Hold­ing has cho­sen to of­fer some­thing unique and sus­tain­able to meet the needs of Syr­ian refugees in Al Ri­haniyah camp. He added that this ini­tia­tive goes hand in hand with Al-Sayer Group Hold­ing’s pol­icy of be­ing lead­ers in sus­tain­able economies. “Through­out its his­tory, the Group has been keen to pro­vide as­sis­tance to those in need in co­or­di­na­tion with the United Na­tions En­vi­ron­ment and the Union of Re­lief and De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tions in Le­banon,” Al-Sayer said.


He added that the ini­tia­tive is di­vided into three stages: The first stage en­tails equip­ping all tents with so­lar light­ing sys­tems and this has been ac­com­plished. The sec­ond stage in­cludes pro­vid­ing all pub­lic util­i­ties with so­lar wa­ter heaters, and this will al­le­vi­ate the suf­fer­ings of chil­dren, women and the el­derly dur­ing the cold sea­son. And the third stage in­cludes erect­ing so­lar light­ing poles to light the walk­ways and the vicin­ity of the camp. This will be achieved once things set­tle down.

Al-Sayer thanked all part­ners in this ini­tia­tive in­clude the UN En­vi­ron­ment and the Union of Re­lief and De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tions, as well as the spe­cial team who had worked for months with great en­thu­si­asm and pro­fes­sion­al­ism to achieve this ini­tia­tive.

Also from Al-Sayer Hold­ing, Ni­had AlHajj Ali, said the so­lar light­ing sys­tem will spare the gov­ern­ment at least 10,000 watts on daily ba­sis and will re­duce CO2 emis­sions in the area. He added that so­lar wa­ter heaters al­low to heat up to 10,000 liters per day, and spare a large amount of elec­tric­ity and diesel that would have been used for the same pur­pose. He ex­pressed hope all Arab coun­tries will re­sort to clean and re­new­able en­ergy.

Top & above: Some pho­tos from the ini­tia­tive launched by UNEP and AlSayer Group.

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