EU: Kuwait pledges $100 million to Coronavirus Global Response

KUWAIT: Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah participates in a senior-level international meeting themed ‘development in era and post COVID-19’ via video conference. —KUNA

BRUSSELS: The European Union Friday published a full list of the countries and the amount they pledged at the Coronavirus Global Response virtual event held on 4 May hosted by the European Commission. Kuwait has pledged $100 million for the Coronavirus Global Response, according to the EU list. The Commission said in a statement that Coronavirus Global Response has so far raised 9.8 billion euro ($10.8 billion), 2.3 billion euro ($2.5 billion) more than expected. The outcome of the 4 May pledging event shows the willingness and capacity of the world to join forces and pool resources to overcome the pandemic, it noted.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Ambassador to the EU, Belgium and NATO Jasem Albudaiwi in a statement to the press underlined the importance of Kuwait’s participation in the global event. He stated that the participation of Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait, who was representing His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait, is in line with “the framework of constructive interaction that the State of Kuwait attaches to its cooperation with the international community, particularly in combating the Corona pandemic.” He noted the State of Kuwait donated $40 million at this conference, which was organized by the European Union on 4 May 2020, in addition to its previous donation of $60 million.

Ambassador Albudaiwi underlined that the role of the State of Kuwait in this global framework will not end and that international coordination and cooperation with the global community will continue until this pandemic is eliminated. He indicated that Kuwait will continue to share its experiences with the virus with other countries in order to mutually benefit in the fight against the coronavirus. He further stated that the $100 million donation by the State of Kuwait to combat the spread of the virus has three goals, to discover a vaccine, find a cure for the virus and increase development of diagnosis ability. In this context, Ambassador Albudaiwi stressed the importance of diplomacy in increasing solidarity among the international community and uniting efforts to confront the common threats facing the world.

In a related development, the pledging marathon that started on 4 May will now see the launch of a new campaign with the international advocacy organisation Global Citizen: Global Goal: Unite For Our Future, that will culminate in a Global Pledging Summit on Saturday 27 June. Together with the Global Citizen, the European Commission said. it will step up the mobilisation of funding to enable the world to overcome this pandemic and avoid another.

COVID-19 meeting

Representing His Highness the Amir, Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah headed Kuwait’s delegation at a senior-level international meeting themed “development in era and post COVID-19.” The conference was held Thursday in response to an invitation from the prime ministers of Canada, Jamaica and the United Nations Secretary General, for coordinating international efforts to find tangible and rapid solutions to challenges facing the world due to spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Conferees have exchanged ideas and visions toward repercussions of the pandemic. The State of Kuwait delegation at the online conference included Minister Plenipotentiary Nasser Abdullah Al-Hayen, the assistant foreign minister for international organizations’ affairs, and a number of senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad also received on Thursday a telephone call from Mark Lowcock, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, during which Lowcock apprised the minister about new developments with respect of regional humanitarian conditions. The UN Under-Secretary applauded the vital role that has been played by the State of Kuwait at the humanitarian level, expressing gratitude and appreciation for this eminent and distinguished role at the regional and international levels.

Int’l efforts

In the meantime, Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah contacted Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation Arancha Gonzalez Laya. During the phone conversation, both ministers discussed bilateral and international efforts to fight the fallout of the novel coronavirus. Sheikh Ahmad Nasser offered sincere condolences to Spain and its people over COVID-19 victims, wishing that the virus crisis would end very soon. He also thanked Spanish authorities for having facilitated the repatriation of Kuwaiti nationals from Spain, and stressed joint cooperation between both friendly countries in response to the pandemic.

Both sides underlined that it is essential to exert concerted international efforts to mitigate the reflections of the crisis and to back the role of international organizations in this regard. The Spanish foreign minister, in turn, thanked Kuwait for having made it easy for Spaniards to return home, while speaking highly of Kuwait’s response to the global pandemic. Also during the phone conversation, both foreign ministers addressed close and firm relations between both friendly countries, along with the latest regional and international political developments. —KUNA

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