KUWAIT: The new expansion of the National Assembly’s building. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Seeking to mitigate suffering of people affected by global wars and conflicts, Kuwait - a country honored by the UN as an International Humanitarian Center- has continued to offer aid to people in several countries throughout the week.

Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) last Sunday launched a campaign to collect donations for Yemeni people affected by the ongoing war in the country.  The campaign aimed to ease living conditions for Yemenis, as there are over 18 million Yemenis affected by the war and more than two million children suffering from lack of food and medical care.

Yemen is facing one of the worst famines in the world, said KRCS' Chairman of Board of Directors Dr Hilal Al-Sayer, calling on philanthropists and organizations to contribute to the donation campaign held at KRCS' headquarters.  Last Monday, the KRCS continued for the second consecutive day its campaign to collect donations for people affected by the ongoing war in Yemen.  This campaign came in support of Yemen to tackle the worst hunger crisis in the world due the current war in this country, according to a recent report by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Head of the Public Relations Department at KRCS Khaled Al-Zaid said.

He described the response to the campaign as "good," calling on Kuwaitis to increase their donation, noting that the campaign will continue online for a month.  Last Thursday, the health committee of the Kuwait Relief Society has provided 55 tons of medical supplies and a number of ambulances to some governorates.  In Lebanon, the Kuwaiti International Center for Qualitative Education, an affiliate of the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO), on Sunday held its first forum.

Up to 30 charity schools where about 13,000 Syrian refugee children are taught, took part in the forum that brought together the teaching staff and principals.  Representative of Kuwait Embassy's in Lebanon Mohammad Al-Khaldi attended.  Talking on the sideline of the event, Khaldi lauded efforts by the center, which is better known as the Kuwaiti Charitable Studies' Center, for supporting thousands of Syrian children in Lebanon, securing them opportunities for good education.  The qualitative education center offers through its schools in Lebanon, mainly in the north, a real elevated style for backing the Syrian refugees, especially children, preparing them for a better future, he added. Since the center's establishment in 2013, it has realized remarkable achievements, with schools rising from only eight serving 8,000 children in 2013, to 30 teaching 13,500 students now, Khaldi said.

Up to 46,000 students have graduated from these schools through the years.  In Kuwait, the KRCS last Monday distributed, in cooperation with the Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation, purchasing vouchers for nearly 2,000 needy families in the country.  Director of the Local Aid Department in the KRCS Maryam Al-Adsani stressed the society's keenness to support the needy families in the country. Adsani said that the KRCS has distributed the purchasing vouchers to help the needy families face the burdens and responsibilities of life.  She explained that the list of beneficiaries and needy families have been identified as well as the value of the vouchers based on a mechanism set by the KRCS.

As for Somalia, the Direct Aid Society launched Wednesday a relief aid campaign for the country, through its local branches and electronic media sites, in order to combat famine that threatens the lives of Somali people.

The campaign aimed at collecting KD 500,000 (around $1.65 million) for digging big water wells at Somali villages to meet their needs for at least 10 years.  The first stage of this campaign collected KD 300,000 (around $900,000) to deliver 15,000 food baskets for about 90,000 Somalis.

The second stage gathered KD 200,000 (around $660,000) to build eight health centers.  In a statement to KUNA, the Society's General Director Dr Abdullah Abdulrahman Al-Sumait said the collected money would be spent on a number of projects to save the lives of Somalia people who are suffering from severe drought and famine.  He added that the Society would start the implementation of the projects as of next week.

In Turkey, the Kuwait Zakat House distributed on Friday aid to Syrian refugees in the Turkish city of Kilis. The Zakat House team delivered financial aid and other essential items to patients and others injured in the Syrian war, during a visit to several hospitals in the city, head of the team Abdulrahman Al-Turkait said.  The team also visited poor families in neighboring areas on the Turkish-Syrian borders.  The Zakat House had launched several campaigns to aid Syrian since the war broke out in 2011, said Al-Turkait. The campaigns target those inside Syria and also in neighboring countries.  The aid items included food, medical equipment, clothes and financial aid to provide proper education for Syrian children.

Also in Turkey, Kuwaiti volunteers have launched a fresh humanitarian campaign aiming at alleviating the suffering of Syrian refugees in the country.  The program, provided by an International Islamic Charity Organization (IICO) team of volunteers, included the distribution of food parcels to 200 Syrian refugee families, cleaning utensils to another 200 families and shopping coupons to 300 families at a refugee camp in Turkey's southern Sanliurfa City, the team leader Nasser Al-Bassam said. The Kuwaiti aid team visited Syrian families at Al-Karama camp in Sanliurfa and called on sick refugees in the city, he added.

The program also involved humanitarian aid to 100 orphans, in addition to psychological help to 400 Syrian refugee children, Al-Bassam pointed out.  Meanwhile, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi Friday praised cooperation between the UNHCR and the State of Kuwait for addressing global humanitarian crises.

Grandi was speaking after emerging from a meeting with the State of Kuwait Permanent Delegate at the UN and International Organizations in Geneva, Ambassador Jamal Al-Ghunaim. The UNHCR commissioner said his discussions with the senior Kuwaiti envoy dealt with preparations for the donors' conference for Syria, due in Brussels in April, as well arrangements for another convention for Yemen, scheduled in Geneva in late April.

In the meantime, Ambassador Ghunaim said that his talks with Grandi dealt with outcome of the latter's visit to Kuwait, last month, which was part of coordination between Kuwait and the international agency. He underscored significance of the forthcoming convention for states pledging aid for the Syrians noting the State of Kuwait's keenness on tackling the Syrian humanitarian file and alleviating the refugees and immigrants' hardships. A UNHCR delegation would visit Kuwait, soon, as part of coordination on joint humanitarian programs. - KUNA