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Amir opens 2nd Pledging Conf. for Syria
January 15, 2014, 12:36 pm

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah opened here Wednesday the Second Kuwait Pledging Conference for Syria.  His Highness the Amir, in his speech before the conference, announced a USD 500 million donation from the public and private sector in order to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.

His Highness the Amir praised the "faithful" Kuwaiti people for their assistance of the Syrian people either inside their country or in refugees camps in neighboring states. His Highness Sheikh Sabah also praised the expatriates, NGOs, the civil society organizations, private sector and philanthropists for their generous aid for the Syrians. He called on all warring parties in Syria to put into consideration the safety of the Syrian people above any other interest.

His Highness the Amir, in his speech, said he shared with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon the the "common feeling of the magnitude of the responsibility that we shoulder, with regard to the persistent bloody conflict in Syria, and our continued and relentless pursuit to alleviate the suffering of the people there." He said that this was added to the the "great and increasing challenge of the Syrian refugees in the neighboring countries." His Highness the Amir said in accepting Ban's request to host this conference, Kuwait "clearly reflected and demonstrated ... historical responsibility towards the people of Syria, its awareness of the magnitude of the disaster they suffer, as well as the need to mobilize the international efforts to confront this disaster and alleviate its consequences." He said the conference was held while the scope of the humanitarian tragedy in Syria was widening and claiming tens of thousands of innocent lives, destroying all forms of life, and forcing millions of people to flee, as a result of an unjust and continuing conflict, where all kinds of weapons were used, including the internationally prohibited weapons, against an unarmed people.

His Highness Sheikh Sabah noted the alarming numbers of refugees both inside and outside Syria, as the conflict has claimed the lives of up to 140, 000 people. "This is in addition to the displacement of millions of refugees, both inside and outside of Syria, who are suffering tragic living conditions, exacerbated by the onset of winter." He said the latest report of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) confirmed that the agricultural and livestock sector have deteriorated to a degree that has destroyed the basic components and the capacity of the country to provide its own food security.
"Deterioration affected an important sector relating to the future of generations in Syria, where education sector was left behind, curriculums were disrupted, and schools were destroyed, threatening the future of children and their country," he said. "This requires setting educational programs in cooperation with specialized international organizations."

His Highness the Amir highlighted the drop in the level of health services, which contributed to the outbreak and spreading of many diseases, as evidenced by the report of the World Health Organization on the spread of Polio, inside and outside Syria, proving the magnitude of the tragedy and the suffering that befell the Syrian people. "I appeal to you our dear guests participating in this conference, and to other non-participant countries worldwide, as well as all international organizations and agencies to hastily donate and provide assistance to the Syrian people.

"We are called upon to prove to the world our sense of responsibility that we shoulder, to save the innocence of children, the frailty of elderly and women, and the future of the youth, in order to achieve the aim for which we are holding this conference," said his Highness the Amir. He said Kuwait has participated in all efforts aimed at reaching a political solution for the war there, and has repeatedly declared its readiness to exert further efforts for the achievement of this goal.

"Kuwait continues to mobilize, at both the official and public levels, support and aid for the Syrian people, whether internally displaced, or living outside in refugee camps," he said. Kuwait fulfilled all the pledges it made at the first donors conference, by paying in full its donation of USD 300 million to the UN and its specialized agencies, so that they can distribute aid according to their individual assessments of the needs of the Syrian people.

"This brings the total of Kuwaits contribution to USD 430 million. Kuwait charitable societies have also achieved considerable results in their efforts to alleviate the pain of thousands of refugees and displaced persons," said His Highness the Amir.
He called on the UN Security Council (UNSC) member countries to put aside their differences and disputes, and to concentrate on finding a solution to this disaster, which has been raging for a long time, with increasing catastrophic consequences affecting not only the region, but entire world as well, to restore to this international forum its credibility and ability to assume its historical responsibilities.

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