‘Aid does not reach those in dire need’
KUWAIT CITY, April 16: After the end of first week of total lockdown in Jleeb Al- Shuyoukh area, many of the Kuwaiti and expatriate residents have become accustomed to the daily routine imposed on them.
As soon as the curfew is over at 6:00 am, many of them step out of their homes to go shopping in the central markets, purchase their needs, and return home before it is 5:00 pm.
However, several residents have been complaining about running out of money to buy their daily needs. The tour was conducted in the area recently and documented the availability of food items and other basics of life in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh over the previous days.
It focused on inspecting the conditions of the residents in this area. Most of them expressed appreciation and understanding of the precautionary measures implemented by the government of Kuwait to prevent escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak.
They highlighted the lack of organization for the distribution of food aid based on the needs of the people. Some indicated that volunteer and donor vehicles sometimes wait in some inner streets and distribute food baskets to passersby, but such aid does not reach those in dire need. Walid Ali, an Egyptian resident who works in a clothing store in the same area, affirmed his commitment to all the procedures approved by the government that contribute to the non-proliferation of COVID- 19.
He said the shop where he works is closed, and he has no income, but his landlord has been insisting for him to pay the rent. Ali lamented, “What will happen to me if I don’t pay the rent?” He revealed that, in the past, he would seek help from a friend or relative if he was not able to pay rent, “but today where can we go when all of us are in the same boat?”
Ali said, “The government is aware of our situation. It has the necessary data about each person’s workplace and whether or not his monthly income has stopped as a result of these conditions. I hope there will be financial aid for those whose income has stopped”.
Also, Abu Muhammad, who lives with six others of his same nationality in one flat, said they are now cooperating more than ever while living in isolation, and have become like one family that shares everything. He revealed, “Indeed there is excess food stock in Jleeb markets but who has the money to buy? We all have stopped work, and we have parents and children in Egypt who need what we send them monthly.”
Abu Muhammad explained that he sent a message via WhatsApp to an advertiser about distribution of food baskets in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh area. The latter took his data and phone number, and promised he will come to give the food basket. Later the philanthropist informed Abu Muhammad about the depletion of the food baskets. He stressed that the food aid do not reach those who are more in need and those who are restricted in their homes.
In addition, Islam Javed explained that he was working in a real estate company and his services were terminated at the beginning of last February. Since then, he has been looking for another job. However, the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic limited his chances of finding another job. He has now become dependent on his friends, and he doesn’t have even KD 1 with him. His presence in the isolated Jleeb Al- Shuyoukh area has increased the severity of the crisis he is facing since the beginning of 2020.