UN Commission receives US$18.5 million from Kuwait this year, $500 million in past 10 years


United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees Kelly Clements, who was on a two-day visit to Kuwait last week, affirmed Kuwait’s generous contribution for critical humanitarian situations around the world, with the country providing US$18.5 million donations in support of the UNHCR’s work in affected areas during the current year so far. She added that the country has also donated a total of $500 million to the agency over the past ten years.

“Kuwait has always been committed to the same generosity towards refugees and humanitarian cases, and we would not have been able to do what we did towards refugees without Kuwait during the previous period,” Clements said in a press conference held on World Refugee Day.

Clements explained that Kuwait has provided political, economic, and humanitarian assistance to countries affected by natural disasters, political conflicts, and wars. This assistance has helped to support political solutions, develop sustainable economic solutions, and ease the burden on those affected by these crises. She added that she met with several officials during her visit to Kuwait, such as Kuwait Zakat House, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and the Sadu House, praising the role of the Kuwaiti people, charitable organizations and the private sector in supporting the Commission’s initiative, as well as other humanitarian organizations to provide assistance to the afflicted.

The Deputy Commissioner said that World Refugee Day is a day to highlight the struggles and needs of refugees, and to give them a voice to talk about their dreams for a better life. She explained that despite the support of many countries and organizations, funding for refugees is still not enough. World Refugee Day is a call to action for the world to unite and work together to solve the desperate situation facing millions of families.

Clements said that the UNHCR faces many challenges in addressing the needs of refugees. She noted that the number of refugees in the world has reached 110 million, including 2 million who have been displaced from their homes in Sudan recently. She said that each refugee has a unique story and set of needs, while hoping to see a cease-fire to curb their rising number. She also said that the Commission will continue to raise awareness of forgotten disasters through periodic reports, media campaigns, and its direct activities in 550 locations in 135 countries.

For her part, Nisreen Rabian, the UNHCR’s representative in Kuwait, said that the country has been one of the largest donors to humanitarian operations in the region over the past ten years. She pointed out that Kuwait was the first country to respond to the earthquake in Turkey this year with emergency in-kind aid and $100 million in funding. She also mentioned that it has pledged $6 million to Sudan, adding that Kuwait’s humanitarian role is immeasurable, as its government and people always respond to emergencies and help those in need.

On 20 June, which is marked as World Refugee Day each year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) held an event to affirm Kuwait’s relationship with UNHCR and showcase Kuwait’s role in providing humanitarian aid. The event was hosted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Salem Al-Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, along with visiting UN Deputy Commissioner for Refugees, Kelly Clements, and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Sheikha Rima Al-Sabah, in addition to ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions serving in Kuwait and senior state officials.

In his address to the gathering, Sheikh Salem expressed his satisfaction and pride on the relationship between Kuwait and UNHCR under the leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

He emphasized Kuwait’s efforts in devoting all available resources for establishing international peace and security, saying cooperation between Kuwait and UNHCR goes back 30 years. He mentioned Kuwait has donated significantly in aid to UNHCR for Syria and Turkey to help deal with the repercussions of the earthquakes that struck the region recently, confirming Kuwait will always stand by the side of refugees.

Clements expressed her gratitude and admiration for Kuwait’s concerns and dedication to address oppressed people’s issues. She said the world is witnessing a remarkable increase in the number of refugees that has never happened before, due to conflict in different places around the world such as Ukraine and Sudan.

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