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Kuwait opens hearts and wallets for quake victims

KUWAIT: Kuwait launched a 12-hour “Kuwait by Your Side” campaign to help people affected by the earthquake in Syria and Turkey on Saturday, with a livestream on Kuwait TV to receive donations from noon till midnight. At the time of going to press, the campaign had raised more than KD 20 million, donated by around 100,000 individuals and entities.

The campaign, organized by the ministry of social affairs in cooperation with the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of interior, is tasked by the Cabinet to collect donations as part of Kuwait’s continuous humanitarian role. Minister of Social Affairs and Women and Children’s Affairs Mai Al-Baghli said the campaign aims to ease the suffering of those affected by the deadly earthquake that has killed thousands in Syria and Turkey and destroyed buildings and houses.

Kuwait’s relief initiative for quake-hit Turkey and Syria comes at the behest of HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, said the minister of information and culture. The fundraising campaign, also directed by HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf Al-Sabah, is meant to alleviate the woes and anguish of quake-affected people in Turkey and Syria, said Abdulrahman Al-Mutairi while launching the initiative in a televised statement.

No sooner did the powerful earthquake strike southern Turkey and northern Syria, Kuwait, at both official and unofficial levels, moved to stand side by side with both Syrian and Turkish peoples, reflecting Kuwait’s enduring commitment to aiding the needy, said Mutairi, who is also minister of state for youth affairs.

He underlined the media coverage by the ministry of information, through its bodies, correspondents and Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), of the powerful earthquake, along with Kuwait’s relief efforts for quake-hit people. The minister urged Kuwaiti citizens and residents alike to join the fundraising initiative in order to ease the agony of both Turkish and Syrian peoples in the aftermath of the 7.8 earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria.

Meanwhile, Al-Sadu House held a charity drive on Saturday, in collaboration with Kuwait Textile Art Association (KTAA), Khayt Group and the Turkish Embassy to produce warm clothing for those affected by the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Volunteers made a total of 502 pieces, including 270 hats, 100 scarves, 67 blankets, 45 pieces of children’s clothing, nine jackets, six pairs of socks and five pairs of gloves. Also, in support of efforts by Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) to help earthquake victims, Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry donated KD 250,000. People around the country also donated relief supplies at various collection points.


KRCS announced on Saturday that 42 tons of medical supplies were sent to the victims. Speaking to KUNA, KRCS Chairman Dr Hilal Al-Sayer said the current batch of supplies is part of Kuwait’s overall campaign to aid those affected by the devastating earthquake. Sayer commended the assistance provided by both the ministries of defense and foreign affairs to KRCS in this humanitarian campaign. He reiterated calls towards civil society and private sector to step up support to the “Kuwait by Your Side” humanitarian campaign, revealing KRCS has already sent 100 tons of aid to Turkey.

Kuwait plays an integral role in relief aid and humanitarian efforts worldwide, said an international official on Saturday. Speaking to Kuwait Television on the sidelines of “Kuwait by Your Side” campaign, Hossam Al-Sharqawi – Regional Director at International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) for Middle East and North Africa – lauded the relentless efforts carried out by KRCS in the current campaign.

He noted that the natural disaster’s impact might be felt for years to come, saying it was important to push for more relief aid. Meanwhile, the ministry of social affairs announced 50 percent of cooperative societies’ charity collections will be directed towards the campaign. Some 37 charitable societies had submitted requests to join the campaign and all were approved. Around 12 charitable societies have collected over KD 2.3 million ($7.54 million), which will be all directed towards the relief campaign that began at 12:00 pm local time on Kuwait TV and continued until midnight. – Agencies


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