Kuwait: one of world's highest donors of humanitarian aid

KUWAIT, May 27 (KUNA) — Kuwait is by far, “the most generous contributor to humanitarian efforts in the world,” former Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Sheikh Mohammad Al-Salem Al-Sabah was quoted as saying in an issue of Newsweek magazine.
In the May 27, 2016 issue of Newsweek, an article on Kuwait’s generosity is emblazoned on the pages of the weekly periodical.
“We have contributed over USD 4.1 billion to humanitarian efforts recently and it has been acknowledged by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry,” Dr. Sheikh Mohammad noted.
The bulk of that humanitarian aid is largely focused on alleviating the suffering of the Syrian people, whose country’s civil war shows no signs of abating. With the memory of the Iraqi invasion of 1990 etched on Kuwaitis’ minds, it is perhaps that memory, on top of a tradition of kindness that has led Kuwait to provide billions in aid of Syrian refugees.
Moreover, Chairman of the Kuwait Red Crescent Society Dr. Hilal Al-Sayer said that “giving and generosity are in Kuwaitis’ genes.” Reflecting on the willingness of Kuwaitis to help strangers, Al-Sayer remarked, “From New Orleans to Syria, we are committed to being there and helping in times of need.” In September 2014, the UN Secretary General acknowledged the generosity of the Kuwaiti spirit when he convened a special ceremony of the UN headquarters in New York to recognize the role of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, calling him “a great humanitarian leader of the world.” Meanwhile, Director General of Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) Abdulwahab Al-Bader highlighted KFAED’s prominent position in the country’s humanitarian and development program. “We are blessed here in Kuwait, we found a place where were good traders and very open minded,” he said.
Global recognition for Kuwait’s role in humanitarian aid is a point of pride for the nation, and personally, for the KFAED Director General. “We signed an agreement with our 105th country last year, which was South Sudan,” Al-Bader noted, adding that “helping others and giving is something that has become a part of us, of our DNA.” Despite its ancient and rich history, Kuwait is in fact a young country, as according to a recent census, approximately, 74 percent of its citizens are under the age of 34. Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah affirmed that fact, saying “youth empowerment is a long-term solution to some of the most important global issues.” In addition, Sheikh Salman explained that the country strives to better serve its youth in efforts to secure a more prosperous tomorrow. “We are looking toward a bigger role for youth, especially, those active on the social media websites, to immunize their peers and to partake in state building,” he added.
The importance of the youth to the country’s future is well-understood by its leadership for very good reasons, as Undersecretary of the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs Sheikha Al-Zain Al-Sabah points out, “They are not just the new generation, they are the new Kuwait.” (end) nam

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