Int'l Conference for Syria illustrates Kuwait's humanitarian role
KUWAIT, Jan 29-- His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah's initiative to host the "International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria" in Kuwait illustrates the Kuwaiti humanitarian role around the world and especially with the Syrian people.
The Kuwaiti hosting of the conference comes in response to the Unites Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's call for an international conference for donors to support the Syrian people during its crisis.
Participants of the conference, which is held tomorrow, aim to collect an estimated amount of USD 1.5 billion. One billion US dollars to be granted to the Syrian refugees in neighboring countries, and USD 500 million for displaced Syrians in the country. The United Nations had announced that its agencies need USD 1.5 billion to provide adequate funding until next June to help up to one million Syrian refugees, as four million Syrians were affected by this crisis, but they did not leave the country.
The UN reported that half of the civilians affected by the crisis are children, as the UNHCR recorded that more than 500,000 Syrian refugees, expecting the number to double by next June, approximately 14.4 percent of the Syrian population.
Statistics show that there are about 600,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, with hopes that there would be extensive interactions with the conference to result with aid that would fulfill the Syrian people's needs at such tragic times.
Upon the instructions of His Highness the Amir and coinciding with the conference, the International Islamic Charitable Organization holds today a meeting "Charitable organizations donors to Syria", non-governmental organizations to carry out an extensive humanitarian role, and lessen the suffering of Syrian refugees during the harsh winter days.
The International Islamic Charitable Organization launched two days before a campaign to collect donations for the Syrian people on Kuwait TV.
Meanwhile, Director of the Office the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), in New York, Richard Wright said in a statement earlier that (UNRWA) is seeking to raise 17 percent of the amount expected to be collected by the donors conference, "as such large numbers require an exceptional response from donors." Wright said that (UNRWA) needs about USD 91 million for the next six months to take care of the refugee community in Syria, as USD 75 million of this amount will be set for Palestinian refugees in Syria and USD 16 million for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, stressing that (UNRWA) got so far five percent of the amount requested.
Among the most prominent participants in the conference of non-governmental organizations from Kuwait are the Public Authority for Awqaf, Kuwaiti Zakat House, Direct Aid Society, Social Reform Society, the Revival Of Islamic Heritage Society, Abdullah Al-Nouri Society, The Patients Helping Fund Society (PHFS), the Red Crescent Society and the Fahad Al-Ahmad Humane society.
Participants also include non-governmental organizations from Saudi, UAE, Bahrain, Lebanon and Turkey.
The amount of donations collected by the International Islamic Charitable Organization to aid the Syrian people so far is USD 29.23 million since the outbreak of events in Syria mid-March 2011.
However the magnitude of the tragedy in Syria by all standards, victims need nearly USD 400 million per month, as the number of refugees exceeded in neighboring countries to more than 600,000 displaced people and a daily flow exceeds three thousand refugees.
The Kuwaiti cabinet had allocated USD 20 million to aid Syria under the instructions of His Highness the Amir, USD 5 million to be distributed via charity organizations, another USD 5 million through the Red Crescent and USD 10 million for international humanitarian organizations in aid of Syrian refugees.