(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) By Mousa Ahmad
KUWAIT, Aug 18 (KUNA) -- The humanitarian aid provided by Kuwait has helped save lives across large swathes of the globe, with the recipients being people from different walks of life, irrespective of religion, creed or language.
The world celebrates tomorrow (Sunday) "World Humanitarian Day," an initiative launched by the United Nations (UN) to pay homage to aid workers who risk life and limb in humanitarian service, while also to rally support for people affected by crises all over the world.
Given the copious amounts of aid Kuwait has given those in need, the UN has named the Gulf state a "Humanitarian Center", and its leader, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, was deservingly christened "Humanitarian Leader." By virtue of His Highness the Amir's penchant for altruism, Kuwait has transformed into a huge benefactor of foreign aid, delivering much needed assistance to countries torn apart by conflict, particularly in the wider Arab region.
Case in point, Kuwait hosted a trio of major donor conferences for Syrian refugees, where it pledged a sum of USD 500 million in aid to the war-torn nation on two separate occasions, in January of 2014 and March of 2015, respectively.
Meanwhile, the plight of Palestinians has also been a core concern for Kuwait, as evident by His Highness the Amir's promulgation of an aid package worth USD 34 million back in 2009 to support the mission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
In March of the same year, Kuwait donated an amount of USD 200 million to fund reconstruction efforts in the Gaza Strip, while it sent a convoy of trucks laden with humanitarian aid to the densely populated territory in 2014.
Kuwait-based charities also leapt into action when war broke out in impoverished Yemen, launching a myriad of aid campaigns as military operations and the ensuing violence there led to dismal humanitarian conditions.
The comprehensive aid Kuwait has provided Yemen through the works of its charities, such as the venerable Kuwait Red Crescent Society, and civilian organizations, runs the gamut from healthcare and educational assistance to infrastructure repair.
War-ravaged Iraq has not been left out as well, having received humanitarian aid from its smaller neighbor on numerous occasions, including an aid package worth USD 176 million Kuwait pledged back in 2016.
More recently, Kuwait hosted an international conference over reconstruction in Iraq last February, a generous initiative that yielded a staggering USD 30 billion worth of loans and grants to help the country emerge from years of devastating war.
Countries prone to natural disasters have also been the beneficiaries of Kuwaiti aid, chief among them is Bangladesh, which was decimated by Cyclone Sidr in 2007.
As a result, Kuwait delivered urgent aid through a donation worth USD 10 million to the victims of one of the world's worst natural disasters, in addition to another sum of USD 250,000 four years later when calamity struck again in Japan in the form of a tsunami.
Similarly, when an Ebola outbreak morphed into a global epidemic in 2014, Kuwait donated an amount of USD five million to help the World Health Organization deal with the disaster. (end) mad.ysa.nam