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THE Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, with its irresponsible decisions, slapped every Kuwaiti citizen hard because it serves all countries of the world except the homeland.
Some may say that its establishment decree stipulates this, but we will respond by saying that the decree was aimed at the provision of soft loans for development projects, but the fund has instead opened the door wide for non-refundable loans, that is to say gifts.
Now our country is more in need than other countries, especially when we see the destruction of our infrastructure wherever we turn our faces.
The fund has built desert cities, bridges, hospitals, schools and universities outside Kuwait, while we drown even in an inch of water if it rains. Abdul Razzaq’s Derwaza, which is linked to our childhood, has been closed to traffic for more than two years.
As an activist of human rights, I was greatly shocked when the fund admitted to offering loans even to countries where the rulers oppress their people.
I learned this from the fund’s response to a question posed by one of the committees of the current National Assembly. I hope that the questioning parliamentary committee would follow up on that with the concerned minister and force him to change this shameful policy.
In response to the committee’s question about whether the fund takes into account the human rights situation and the extent to which the borrowing country respects them, the representatives of the fund said, before any loan is signed, a team from the fund is sent to study all the political and economic aspects of the countries that wish to obtain the loan, but these aspects do not include commitment to human rights.
This shameful answer is in contradiction to the status of the State of Kuwait, which received the title of “humanitarian country”, and our late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad who received the title of “world humanitarian leader”. This must be taken into account, and the fund must be obligated to stop the shameful gifts and ensure those countries respect the principles of human rights both in word and deed in order to enjoy our money, as it is not the money or legacy of the fathers of the officials of that fund. Neither the fund nor Kuwait is obliged to lend or give the money of our future generations to anyone here and there.
We also hope that the committee that raised the question – I think it is the Human Rights Committee of our National Assembly – should hold accountable those responsible for ignoring the application of human rights principles because this contradicts our absolute belief in those principles and our insistence on their application both in Kuwait and abroad, especially the countries to which we grant development loans or free grants.
This is an initial message from us to the officials of the shameful Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. We will follow up on its generosity with our money to who deserves and who does not deserve.
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil