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Friday , February 28 2020

Kuwait warns against ‘rising’ no of refugees as conflicts continue

‘People in desperate need for urgent solutions’

GENEVA, Oct 2, (KUNA): Kuwait has warned continuous conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq will raise numbers of refugees and displaced people around the world, creating a bigger humanitarian crisis. The remarks were made by Kuwait’s Permanent Representative to the UN and international organizations Ambassador Jamal Al-Ghunaim, during the 68th session of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)’s executive committee on Monday, held from Oct 2-6. UNHCR’s statistics, showing that there are currently 65.6 million refugees and displaced people around the world are freightening, said Al-Ghunaim.

He added that these people are in desperate need for urgent solutions to their condition. Speaking on the Syrian crisis, the ambassador noted that Kuwait had been supporting Syrian refugees since the outbreak of the war. He mentioned that Kuwait had hosted three donors conferences for Syria, while it co-chaired two more held in London and Brussels. Participants in these conferences pledged USD six billion for 2017 and US$ 3.7 billion for 2018-2020 as humanitarian aid to Syrians in need, he added.

Kuwait is also funding education and healthcare programs for Syrian refugees in cooperation with Syria’s neighboring countries, said the ambassador.

Left: His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah with Finance Minister and Director General of PIFSS and (right), with Al-Hajraf, Al-Ghanim and Board members of Capital Markets Authority. KUNA photos Left: His Highness the Crown Prince with Al-Marzouq (center), with Al-Jabri and (right), with Sheikh Tamer.

Moreover, the country is providing financial support to international humanitarian organizations in charge of the Syrian matter, he noted. Meanwhile, Al-Ghunaim said Kuwait had received over 130,000 Syrians since the beginning of crisis, which is ten percent of Kuwait’s total population. As for the situation in Iraq, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah announced that Kuwait is ready to host an international donors conference to reconstruct Iraqi cities, liberated from the so-called Islamic State (IS), the ambassador said.

On the conflict in Yemen, Al- Ghunaim noted that Kuwait is continuously providing financial and humanitarian aid to Yemenis affected by war. As part of Kuwait’s contribution to the issue, His Highness the Amir provided US$ 100 million to support international humanitarian efforts for Yemenis. He added that the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) provided easy loans for development projects in Yemen.

Furthermore, Kuwait played a big role in the global efforts to aid and support Rohingya Muslims who fled the violence and killings in Myanmar, the Kuwaiti official said. He stressed on the need of further global cooperation to face the growing crisis of refugees. Al- Ghunaim, meanwhile, hailed the huge efforts of refugees-hosting countries, despite economic, political and security challenges these states are facing.

The ambassador hoped the current session will ensure the enforcement of “the New York Declaration” on enhancing the protection of refugees and migrants everywhere. Al-Ghunaim concluded his speech by calling on UN member-countries to commit to their pledges in cooperating with UNHCR to support refugees on all levels and provide them with a decent life.

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