Kuwait's long record of humanitarian aid for the needy has become quite rich due to unaccountable relief programs and campaigns to relieve peoples suffering from poverty or entangled in repercussions of catastrophes.
Kuwaiti organizations and associations have scrambled for many years to respond to crises and disasters, adding a new concept in diplomatic work, the humanitarian diplomacy.
Anwar Al-Hasawi, the deputy chairman of Kuwait Red Crescent Society, affirmed in an interview with KUNA, marking the World Humanitarian Action Day (August 10), that Kuwait is highly visible on the international map for relief work, given enormity of the relief campaigns it has launched over many years.
Kuwait had to deal with two major recent catastrophes that afflicted Libya, ravaged with the devastating hurricane Daniel and Morocco that suffered a a powerful quake rendering whole villages heaps of ruins.
As part of Kuwait's relief air bridge for Libya, at least five planeloads of supplies had been dispatched to the stricken country. Hamad Al-Aoun, the deputy director general of "Al-Salam" charity told KUNA that the association had dispatched detergents and chemical substances to fight viruses, amid fears that Libya might witness epidemics' outbreak due to rotting dead bodies, many still submerged in mud or drowned, particularly in Derna, the hardest hit region.
The tons of supplies included masks, beds, wheelchairs and other medical accessories, he said.
Abdullah Al-Traiji, Chairman of Kuwait Scout Association, declared that the society along with Arab counterpart associations have raised donations to relieve the victims in both Libya and Morocco.
Omar Al-Thuwaini, the general supervisor of the relief campaign, "fazaat al-maghreb," said 14 Kuwaiti spocieties joined hands to assist the quake victims in Libya. He indicated that the aid included blankets and food parcels.
Meshari Al-Enezi, an official of "Al-Najat" charity, said the next phase of the humanitarian operation would be rebuilding houses, schools and medical centers. Moreover, the Kuwaiti embassy in Morocco organized a blood donation campaign for helping the injured.
Kuwait, since start of 2023, has established an air bridge sending 16 planeloads of tons of relief, medical and food supplies to the Sudanese people.
It had scrambled to relief hundreds of thousands of Rohinya who fled persecution in their country to Bangladesh where they ended up in impoverished camps. The ICRC Regional Head of Delegation for the Gulf Cooperation Council, Mamadou Sow, lauded Kuwait for backing the IRCS efforts to relieve the Rohingya.
In Turkey, the Kuwaiti medical team "shifaa" was present in the south of the country in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that jolted the nation earlier this year. They had been present there attending to the needs of hundreds of thousands of Syrians who escaped war in their home country.
Dr. Husam Bechir, the head of a Kuwaiti team of surgeons, said the group arrived in Hatay, South Turkey, to follow-up on previous missions that had been undertaken by other Kuwaiti doctors with backing from Kuwait Zakat (alms) House.
The "shifaa" team has a record of executing relief missions in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Gaza and Somalia. Up to 8,500 patients have been treated or given medical aid in these countries.
Also regarding the region, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and Sheikh Abdullah Nouri Charity signed a cooperation agreement for aiding Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The UNHCR acting representative in Kuwait, Maher Ishaqat, said in a statement the accord was the third to be inked with Abdullah Al-Nouri society, indicating that the two entities have become bonded with a strategic partnership and involved in joint fund raising for aiding the refugees in winter times.
The Kuwaiti good hands have been stretched for many miles across the region reaching Egypt, where Kuwait Office for Charitable Projects delivered 24 fishing boats and tools to limited-income Egyptian fishermen. Up to USD 30,000 had been granted by the Kuwaiti Al-Najat charity to assist fishermen who depended on ramshackle boats to earn bread.
For its part, the International Islamic Charity Organization distributed 11,000 sacrificed live stocks to 440,000 people in 25 countries. IT distributed sacrificial meat to the needy every year during Al-Adha eid. The granted meat reached people in need in Kuwait and many countries.
"Rahma around the world" launched a project in Gaza to aid cases of special needs -- with support from the Kuwaiti Al-Awqaf Secretariat General.
In the aftermath of the fiery blast that rendered Beirut port and nearby residential districts largely heaps of ruins, Kuwait Red Crescent Society renovated and reequipped the maternity ward of Al-Makassed Hospital. Kuwait had also given aid to other hospitals that were damaged in the explosion that affected wide sections of the Lebanese capital.
Khaled Al-Zaid, the KRCS director of public relations and media, said that the Kuwaiti humanitarian aid for many years helped in shaping a positive image of the State of Kuwait abroad. "Kuwait's diplomacy has constituted a soft power for the state especially that it has gained a humanitarian aspect," he said.
Al-Zaid, who was speaking during the Qatari Red Crescent celebration of International Day for Humanitarian Law in Doha, said the participants in the event discussed a task paper themed "media and the humanitarian diplomacy," shedding light on Kuwait as an oasis for good deeds.
The name Kuwait has become synonymous with humanitarian deeds, he said.
Heartened with Kuwait's generous assistance for peoples in need, the UN had designated it as the center for humanitarian action and the former Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as the leader for humanitarian action.
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