Kuwait stressed here Wednesday its support for all international efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Afghani people and help in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Addressing an international conference on Afghanistan in Brussels, Kuwait's ambassador to Belgium Jasem Al-Budaiwi listed Kuwait's contribution to these efforts through a multitude of channels.
He noted that one of Kuwait's greatest contributions has been through the USD 100 million Decent Life Fund, an initiative of His Highness the Amir of the State of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah. This fund has already financed USD 7 million worth of small-scale agricultural projects in Afghanistan.
A further USD 93 million has been donated by Kuwait through a mixture of governmental organizations, NGOs, and private donations.
Through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, Kuwait successfully funded the construction of a highway at the cost of USD 15 million between Kandahar and Spin Boldak.
In addition, Kuwait has contributed to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund from the outset. In accordance with the Heavily Indebted Country Initiative (HIPC), the State of Kuwait signed an agreement with the Government of Afghanistan on 31 August 2015 to provide debt relief. This includes a repayment period of up to 40 years and an interest rate of only 0.5%, he noted.
Al-Budaiwi said that Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world and continued improvement in healthcare, education, infrastructure, and economic development are still required.
"The State of Kuwait firmly believes that the international community's support is crucial in helping the government and people of Afghanistan continue to build on the hard won gains of the last decade," he said.
"The State of Kuwait reaffirms its commitment to supporting all current and future international efforts aimed at promoting peace, stability, prosperity, and easing the suffering of the Afghani people," he concluded.
Speaking to the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) after the meeting, Al-Budaiwi said Kuwait's participation in the conference comes from its responsibility towards the government and people of Afghanistan.
"Kuwait has taken a milestone in steps, economic, social, infrastructure, humanitarian aid towards restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan," he underlined.
"We in Kuwait have done a great work as far as humanitarian assistance as a whole and Kuwait is the number one donor compared with the GDP donation percentage," he said.
"This is something Kuwait is very proud of. Kuwait has always been and will be on the side of Afghanistan and we hope that the international community continue their efforts to ease the life of the Afghani people," he added to KUNA.
About 70 countries and 20 international organisations and agencies are attending the one-day conference which is co-hosted by the European Union and the government of Afghanistan.