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‘Kuwait hosting of Syria confab emanates from moralistic duty’ Amir will declare the donation during conference: Al-Otaibi

NEW YORK, Jan 11, (KUNA): The State of Kuwait Permanent Delegate at the United Nations Ambassador Mansour Ayyad Al- Otaibi has expressed hope the Second International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria due, in Kuwait on Jan 15, would result in raising sufficient funds to aid the brotherly Syrian people. In an interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Ambassador Al- Otaibi said His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah’s consent to host the conference “emanates from Kuwait’s sense of humane and moralistic responsibility that certainly warrants standing on side of the brotherly Syrian people in these hard circumstances.” Choosing Kuwait as venue for the international conference constitutes recognition of its balanced policies toward crises in some regional countries and signals appreciation of its role for resolving these crises, he said. Moreover, Kuwait’s hosting of the convention “reflects the distinctive relationship bonding Kuwait with the United Nations and its cooperation with its organizations and specialized agencies, particularly in the humanitarian and development realms,” Ambassador Al-Otaibi added. With respect of the fund to be donated by Kuwait for the Syrians, Ambassador Al- Otaibi said His Highness the Amir would declare it during the conference. Kuwait had donated $300 million during the First International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, held in the Gulf State last January, the senior Kuwaiti diplomat said, explaining that it allocated $275 million to the UN agencies and $25 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Ambassador Al-Otaibi expressed regret that reasons that had prompted the UN to hold the first donors conference still existed, adding that Syrian refugees’ conditions in and outside Syria, currently, worsened, with their number swelling from 600,000 to 2.2 million.

Re-emphasizing that humanitarian conditions in Syria, now as compared to earlier phases of the crisis, have dramatically deteriorated, Ambassador Al- Otaibi said the number of relocated Syrians reached six million. Acts of violence and fighting between the opposition and regime forces have continued. Some opposition parties are locked in infighting among themselves and living conditions have deteriorated, he said, noting that the international community must take necessary steps to rally humanitarian assistance to the Syrian refugees. Turning to the first Kuwaithosted convention for Syria, Ambassador Al-Otaibi said it successful by all standards, for the donations exceeded the forecasts, adding that the aid that actually reached the Syrian people, via bilateral channels, international organizations and the UN agencies was higher by 70 percent as compared to the proclaimed assistance. “Such a proportion is a success, for the UN rarely receives all the declared donations, due to lengthy and complex bureaucratic measures with respect of donations’ payment pledged by the countries.”

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