(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) By Nawaf Al-Degbasi DOHA, Sept 8 (KUNA) -- UN Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Ambassador Ahmad Al-Mraikhi has valued the humanitarian role undertaken by the State of Kuwait and His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to relieve victims of crises and catastrophes worldwide.
Ambassador Al-Mraikhi's statement to KUNA on Friday marked third anniversary of the UN designation of the State of Kuwait as a global humanitarian center and His Highness the Amir as humanitarian leader -- on September 9, 2014, during a session of the UN General Assembly.
The State of Kuwait has always been sympathetic toward people around the globe and its humanitarian leadership, namely His Highness the kind Amir, has responded to humanitarian situations.
Such Kuwaiti efforts have saved hundreds of lives and motivated many to take part in coordinated humanitarian operations, he indicated, singling out Kuwait's aid for the Syrian people, "an action that deserves to be praised." Moreover, he noted Kuwait's hosting of three consecutive international conventions to raise funds for the Syrian people, where up to USD seven billion had been collected.
Kuwait, during these conventions, donated USD 1.3 billion. And, in London in 2016, it took part in the international conference to support Syria and the region, also pledging an additional USD 300 million, in addition to its chairmanship of the "support for Syria and the region" convention, held in Brussels this year, where it pledged USD 100 million.
Furthermore, Kuwait had hosted scores of other meetings for donors for Syria and five annual conferences on "effective partnerships and information swap for improving humanitarian action." Al-Mraikhi indicated at Kuwait's generous contributions to various humanitarian conditions globally.
He expressed gratitude to His Highness the Amir for his devotion for the cause of the people in need worldwide.
As to the UN role in coordinating relief aid worldwide, he said the organization plays a main role in this respect, noting that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) plays a key role in crises.
Elaborating, Al-Mraikhi said that number of people in need for aid since 2017 has climbed to 141.1 million in 37 countries. The UN and its partners have dedicated priority to 101 million people.
Up to USD 23.5 billion were needed for aiding people in 2017, he said noting that such aid is quite necessary for many people threatened with hunger, in addition to protecting the helpless as well as for educating children.
As to the Middle East, Al-Mraikhi said there are more than 5.1 million Syrian refugees and relocated since 2011. As to Yemen, it suffers from lack of food security, while in Iraq relief aid had been given to 4.8 million people in the first half of this year.
The Kuwaiti humanitarian efforts were crowned in September 2014, at the UN, when the former chief, Ban Ki-moon honored His Highness the Amir and the State of Kuwait in appreciation for the outstanding global relief role. (end) nnd.rk
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