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Kuwait gives $500m to UN … honors first part of its pledges Humanitarian solutions to tackle Syrian crisis: Dr Matouq

GENEVA, April 7, (KUNA): Kuwait is giving $500 million to honor the first part of financial pledges it made during the second donors’ conference for Syria, held in Kuwait in January 2014, Advisor of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait announced Monday. Speaking at a ceremony for distribution of Kuwaiti grants to UN agencies for victims of the Syrian crisis, Dr. Abdullah Al-Matouq explained that that the Kuwaiti government will give $250 million, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development will grant $50 million, while $250 million will come from various Kuwaiti NGO’s.

Hence, Kuwait’s financial contribution will amount to 500 million that will be distributed to UN agencies for victims of the Syrian crisis. Dr. Al-Matouq also added that a $100 check will be going to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and another check of $34 million will go to UNICEF. World Health Organization (WHO) received $10 million, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) received $15 million, World Migration Organization (WMO) received $5 million and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) received $3 million.

“Kuwaiti aid will not cease or become less,” Dr. Al-Matouq said in a press conference after the ceremony. He added that Kuwaiti aid will keep reaching various parts in Somalia and the Philippines and other disasterstricken areas. On his part, UN’s High Commissioner for UNHCR Antonio Guterres expressed appreciation on behalf of all the UN relief agencies for His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah’s efforts in hosting successful donors’ conferences for the Syrian people. “The two conferences contributed greatly to generate the necessary funds to help the Syrian People in their crisis,” Guterres pointed out. “Kuwait’s great contribution in the first donors’ conference encouraged other countries to follow suit,” he added. Kuwaiti aid helped providing shelter, education, healthcare, drinking water, and protection for women and children; it saved millions of Syrian refugees from poverty and starvation; it also corrected their living situations, he said.

Guterres also lauded Dr. Al- Matouq’s efforts in delivering the aid to the designated charity organizations. Director General of WMO Lacy Swing said expressed similar appreciation to Kuwait and stressed that all humanitarian workers share the responsibility of delivering the Kuwaiti contribution to its beneficiaries. “Every cent has an impact in lessening the severity of the humanitarian Syrian crisis.” Meanwhile, Chief Operating Officer of the United Nations World Food Programme in the Middle East Amir Abdullah also lauded Kuwaiti generous contribution to help the Syrian people and pointed out that hosting two successful donors’ conferences generated more fund to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.

Meanwhile, Dr. Abdullah Al-Matouq, the Advisor of His Highness the Amir (of Kuwait) Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah, on Monday affirmed “humanitarian solutions and efforts are insufficient to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Syria,” stressing on need for finding a political settlement to this question. Speaking at a ceremony for distribution of Kuwaiti grants to UN agencies for victims of the Syrian crisis, the Amir’s Advisor said, “humanitarian action alone cannot face the Syrian catastrophe in shadow of mounting needs by the victims.” Dr. Al-Matouq, who also serves as the UN Secretary General’s Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs in Kuwait, called on all relief and charitable organizations as well as the UN agencies to deepen coordination to reach “sustainable solutions to humanitarian causes.” “Kuwait has become the hard number in the international humanitarian equation due to resolve of the Amir, the government, people, public associations and the private sector to support humanitarian issues in the world, safeguard the human race dignity, offer aid to the needy without discrimination along religious, racial or gender lines,” the Amiri Advisor stated. Kuwait has been renowned for its continuing humanitarian activities since a long time ago and the Kuwaiti generations have adopted such noble traits. Almost not a single country in the world hasn’t witnessed relief aid or support by Kuwaiti charities. “This what has prompted the United Nations Secretary General to describe Kuwait as a universal humanitarian hub, its Amir as the Amir of humanity in appreciation for his continuing humanitarian contributions and cooperation with partners in humanitarian activities,” Dr. Al-Matouq added.

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