Kuwait's humanitarian aid extends to Arab, African nations

Volunteers of Kuwaiti associations delivered humanitarian aid to victims of floods

Report by Ahmad Sanad

Kuwait's humanitarian aid extends to Arab, African nations


KUWAIT-- Kuwait's institutions and humanitarian agencies continued to provide relief assistance to Arab and African countries over the past week.

In this regard, Kuwait inaugurated schools in Tunisia's inner provinces of Qairawan, Mahdia and Siliana that had been rebuilt with Kuwaiti funding as part of a restoration project.

Upon the occasion, Kuwaiti Ambassador to Tunisia Ali al-Dhafiri said the project included restoration and maintenance of schools, and equipping the buildings with latest technology, which positively affects the educational process The first phase of the venture was funded by the Foreign Assistance Committee in the Kuwaiti Cabinet, in coordination with the Tunisian Ministry of Education, while other Kuwaiti donors would co-finance the second stage, he explained.

In Kenya, Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) on Thursday launched a project to restore water supply systems and wells in Garissa town, in cooperation with Kenya Red Cross.

In a statement, KRCS's envoy to Kenya, Dr. Musaed Al-Enezi, said the project aims at supporting more than 17,000 people in areas affected by drought.

As part of the project, two wells, one of a 55-meter depth and the other of a 150-m depth, were drilled. The wells were equipped with pumps powered by solar energy, he noted.

The project also included rehabilitation of a flood-damaged water supply system in Qarashi.

Kuwait's donation aims to provide sustainable sources of safe water to people in the region and neighboring areas who suffer from recurrent natural disasters, Al-Enezi added.

Meanwhile, Kuwait's efforts to support people with disabilities have won experts' approval of the International Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as declared by Jamal Al-Ghunaim, Kuwait's permanent delegate to the UN in Geneva, in remarks to KUNA at conclusion of meetings of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The committee members also reviewed Kuwait's compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The experts presented a positive evaluation of Kuwait's report, which confirmed Kuwait's keenness on rights of people with disabilities, he noted.

Al-Ghunaim also says Kuwait spares no efforts to grant full rights for the disabled people in diverse fields including education, health and services.

 Meanwhile, Mohammad Al-Awash, the assistant undersecretary for press affairs at the Kuwaiti Ministry of Information, met with members of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

   Speaking to KUNA after Kuwait presented the first report on conditions of the handicapped to the committee, Al-Awash affirmed that the country ranks among states advanced devoting care to this segment.

   Experts, during the session, presented recommendations, he said, indicating that the Kuwaiti authorities would examine the proposals and adopt those that conform with Kuwait Constitution, Kuwaitis' traditions and customs.

   UN Secretary General Representative and Resident Coordinator to Kuwait Dr. Tareq Al-Sheikh lauded Kuwait' continuous efforts for global peace, development and human rights.

   Speaking at a news conference marking the fifth anniversary of the UN designation of His Highness the Amir as "Leader of Humanitarian Action," Dr. Al-Sheikh hailed Kuwait's continuous efforts to realize international peace and security as well as its role in promoting development and human rights.

   Kuwait's contributions in the field have manifested some of the eminent characteristics of Kuwait's foreign policy since becoming the 111th member of the UN on May 14, 1963, he said.

   Kuwait's humanitarian and development march had been launched a long time ago and the international honoring of His Highness the Amir came as a fruit of the humanitarian-development diplomacy spanning throughout a decade, he said.

   This Gulf State has affirmed its effectiveness through its presence at international quarters as member of many international organizations, such as the Universal Postal Union, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) the International Atomic Energy Agency.

   Devoting special attention to the UN, Kuwait inaugurated the UN House in 2009, with participation of the former secretary general, Ban Ki-moon. It houses offices of all UN agencies operating in Kuwait, he said, noting its presence depicted the deep-rooted UN-Kuwait relations.

   Kuwait has increased contributions to international humanitarian and development activities by more than 3.1 percent of its gross domestic product, exceeding the internationally set level of 7.0 percent. It also allocated 10 percent of its voluntary contributions to back up the UN and its agencies.

   Moreover, Kuwait has established the fund of dignified life at USD 100 million to overhaul agriculture in developing countries and donated USD 150 million for a fund that was established during the 2007 OPEC summit for research in energy, environment and climatic change.

   Lauding Kuwait's prompt reaction to help nations cope with disasters and diverse challenges, Dr. El-Sheikh eyed with high value efforts of the Kuwaiti mission at the UN Security Council, namely when Kuwait as a non-permanent member of the council took part in drafting resolution 2474 for resolving plights of missing persons in armed struggles.

   Furthermore, Kuwait along with 79 others states adopted the resolution 2427, stipulating explicit condemnation of attacks on schools and hospitals and urging parties of armed struggles to abstain from hindering children's access to education and health services.

   He announced launch of the "cavaliers of humanitarian development" competition, involving Kuwait youth, civil and private as well as public associations and establishments, also on the fifth anniversary of designating His Highness the Amir as "Leader of Humanitarian Action" and the 10th anniversary for establishing the new UN headquarters in Kuwait.

   The contest aims to give impetus to creative and improvising initiatives from the three sectors, in and outside Kuwait.

   Registration will be during the UN Day in October. Also on the occasion, a UN website has been launched promoting its celebration of naming Kuwait as the "Center of Humanitarian Action" and His Highness the Amir as the "Leader of Humanitarian Action."

   Elsewhere, the Kuwaiti General Consul in Irbil, Dr. Omar Al-Kanderi, declared in a statement to KUNA launch of a new phase on a project for treating eye diseases among relocated Iraqis at a hospital in the northern city.

   Dr. Safin Al-Jassem, director of a local ophthalmology surgical center, says in remarks to KUNA that the center has recently treated 40 patients.

   In Sudan, volunteers of Kuwaiti associations worked throughout the week, delivering humanitarian aid to victims of floods. Three Kuwait-dispatched aircraft boarding 110 tons of food and housing materials arrived, as part of Kuwait's "relief bridge."

   Volunteers of the Kuwaiti Direct Aid Association delivered relief supplies to flood victims in the southern region of Sennar. The local governor, Ahmad Saleh Abboud, commended in remarks to KUNA Kuwait's aid for the victims, thanking donors namely the association.


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