Kuwait celebrates the third anniversary of His Highness the Amir’s UN Humanitarian honoring
On September 9, 2017, Kuwait celebrated the third anniversary of the UN honoring of Kuwait as a global Humanitarian Center and His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as being a Humanitarian Leader in recognition of efforts in supporting charitable work for all needy people around the globe. Through its humanitarian diplomacy, the State of Kuwait was able to draw the attention of the international community and the relevant international organizations to the humanitarian efforts of the country and His Highness the Amir’s endeavors in this regard.
The United Nations organized a celebration on September 9, 2014 during which it granted the State of Kuwait the title of Humanitarian Center and His Highness the Amir a Humanitarian Leader. At the celebration, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon praised the efforts of His Highness the Amir, who contributed to enabling the international organization to face the suffering, wars and disasters of the world. Kuwait has shown extraordinary generosity under the leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and despite the small size of the country, its heart was greater than crises, poverty, and epidemics. The initiatives undertaken by the State of Kuwait prompted the international community to collect more assistance, thanks to the efforts of His Highness the Amir, a matter that helped the United Nations to carry out its humanitarian mission and that the continued support of His Highness the Amir enabled the UN to do so.
Kuwaiti charitable associations and peoples' fundraising committees have set an example in their continued support of many humanitarian projects in Asia and Africa, by individual initiatives that have become a shining example of benevolence characterizing the Kuwaiti people. The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), which was established in 1961, was an expression of sincere desire of Kuwait in providing assistance to Arab states and friendly countries through providing soft loans and technical assistance in support of their efforts to achieve their development.
The gross amount of loans provided by the fund during more than half a century reached USD 17.6 billion benefitting 103 countries, representing 1.2 percent of Kuwait's gross national income (GNI), exceeding the 0.7 percent of GNI the UN has determined in 1970 as an indicator of the official development assistance to be provided by developed countries.
His Highness the Amir, through many events, has made Kuwait a pioneer country in humanitarian philanthropy and international humanitarian initiatives, in addition to making Kuwait a leading center for hosting many related activities.
He is also keen to participate personally in conferences concerned with humanitarian work, chiefly his chairmanship of Kuwait's delegation to the World Summit for Humanitarian Action which was held in Istanbul, Turkey, in May 2016.
In the past years, the country has witnessed many activities supporting humanitarian action. Since 2014, the Kuwait International Humanitarian Action Forum has been organized with the participation of governmental, civil and international bodies, local and international experts and volunteers to achieve common goals to serve humanitarian work and complement Kuwait's humanitarian march as a center for humanitarian action.
The State of Kuwait, through the Kuwait Red Crescent Society, provided relief assistance to flood and flood affected areas in Sudan in 2016. In Tanzania, 35 water wells have been opened since late 2016 until the end of July 2017 as part of a "Well For Every School" initiative covering various African nations, besides another initiative dubbed "A Lab For Every School" aimed at supporting the education sector.
Kuwaiti relief efforts have been extended to include non-Arab countries. In 2007, the State of Kuwait donated USD 10 million to Bangladesh to help the victims of a local cyclone, which left thousands dead and wounded.
After Japan suffered a severe earthquake and a subsequent tsunami in March 2011, which left a lot of material damage, His Highness the Amir made a donation from Kuwait of five million barrels of crude oil equivalent to about USD 500 million.
Kuwait has also donated USD 250,000 to help Turkey deal with the consequences as a result of an earthquake in 2012 through the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to support the humanitarian efforts of the Fund for earthquake victims.
The State of Kuwait also donated USD 10 million in 2014 to help the Philippine people affected by a hurricane, which has caused extensive destruction in the country. In August 2014, Kuwait donated USD five million to address the global Ebola crisis and to enable the World Health Organization to deal with the epidemic. The humanitarian efforts of the State of Kuwait continued in 2017, especially in the crisis-stricken Arab states.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, during his visit to Kuwait in August 2017, also praised the crucial role and efforts by the State of Kuwait and its Amir in promoting humanitarian action. The United Nations honoring of the State of Kuwait and His Highness the Amir have enjoyed unprecedented accolades by senior leaders and officials of international organizations and personalities who have paid tribute to Kuwait's outstanding and unprecedented efforts in international humanitarian action.