Sheikh Salem Al-Sabah urges caring for Syrian student refugees

By Yousef Al-Tatan

WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (KUNA) — Kuwait Ambassador to the United States Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah highlighted on Thursday the need of continued provision of education for the Syrian student refugees to ensure better future for them and for their families.
Addressing a ceremony to unveil the “un-plundered generation” initiative, Sheikh Salem said this initiative focuses on provision of educational services for homeless students whether inside Syria or in neighboring countries.
The ceremony, hosted by Kuwait Embassy in collaboration with the US Department of State, gathered representatives of the US administration and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as well as heads of student unions and rectors of a number of US universities.
The ceremony gains additional significance as it coincides with lobbying for the fourth International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria to be hosted by London and co-chaired by Kuwait, Sheikh Salem pointed out.
“The problem is very clear; a whole generation of Syrian schoolchildren faces the risk of plunder since we failed to do much to care for them,” he regretted.
“This generation will not be able to gain knowledge, skills and confidence needed for rebuilding Syria in the future unless the international community ensures proper education for them,” he warned.
Sheikh Salem noted that the three previous international pledging conferences, hosted by Kuwait in the last three years, raised a total of USD 7.3 billion in aid of the Syrian people.
He voiced hope that the London conference, to be held next week under a joint initiative by the UK, Kuwait, Germany and Norway, will raise more funds and attract more donors to the humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.
Sheikh Salem called on the heads of the student unions, attending the ceremony, to keep in contact with their colleagues and lobby for this humanitarian issue through the social networking websites.
The audience included representatives of the student unions of universities of George Washington, George Mason and Trinity, as well as the Catholic University.
Meanwhile, US Deputy Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said that five years of the Syrian crisis took their toll on the young generation with nearly 12 million young people being rendered internally displaced or refugees.
He noted that the brutal acts of the so-called ISIL exacerbated the suffering of the Syrian people, particularly the children who were forced to leave school for work.
Blinken urged ensuring sustainable education for the Syrian students in order to prevent them from joining the extremist groups and make them better able to contribute to reconstruction process of their country in the future.
He spoke highly of the philanthropic efforts being made by Shaikha Rima Al-Sabah, the UN refugee agency’s (UNHCR) National Goodwill Ambassador.
He noted that Sheikh Rima, of Kuwait, managed, through lobbying among the social and diplomatic circles in Washington, to raise some USD 16 million for the humanitarian issues, particularly the Syrian question. (end)