UNDP and Kuwait Expand Partnership for Response to Syria Crisis
New York —The State of Kuwait this week contributed US$2.5 million towards UNDP’s emergency support in Syria and neighboring countries.
“The leadership of the State of Kuwait in the regional and international response to the Syria crisis has been exemplary,” said Sima Bahous, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). “UNDP is thankful for Kuwait’s generous contributions towards our shared goal of a better future for the Syrian people and communities in neighboring countries.”
The contribution follows $3 million of Kuwait support to UNDP for its response to the Syria crisis in 2013. The funds were presented at a ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York, during which Kuwait fulfilled its pledges made to UN agencies at the Kuwait II Pledging Conference held in January 2014.
The funds will be used by UNDP to support emergency livelihood and employment programmes in Syria and to help communities hosting Syrian refugees in neighboring countries to cope with growing stresses on infrastructure, markets and employment, added Bahous.
“Kuwait highly appreciates the role of UN agencies to help alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people,” said Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi, Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait to the United Nations, during a check-signing ceremony at UN Headquarters on 7 April. “Today’s contribution from Kuwait brings the percentage of funds received following the Kuwait conference to nearly 44% of the $2.3 billion pledged in Kuwait II. It is hoped this will encourage other donors to follow through with their pledge.”
Kuwait has taken a leading role in coordinating and contributing to the international response to this crisis in recent years, hosting two major International Humanitarian Pledging Conferences for Syria, which have brought the international community together for a coordinated response that led to pledges of $2.3 billion from donor countries. The UN says needs a total of $6.5 billion to meet current humanitarian and development needs.
Kuwait has also been the most generous donor nation so far in helping to deal with the on-going emergency says UNDP, having contributed $300 million to the overall UN response in 2013 and $500 million this year through the State of Kuwait and Kuwaiti NGOs.
“The Syria crisis is compromising hard-won development gains for the whole region,” said Jordan Ryan, Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery. “These funds will enable the worst affected communities to cope with the continuing crisis and embark on a sustainable recovery process to improve lives and livelihoods.”
Kuwait’s support as convener and donor has also helped drive recognition among the international community of the importance of linking the humanitarian response to the crisis with the broader resilience-based approach that guards against the prospect of vast development rollbacks and makes more likely that once peace is achieved, it can be sustained.
At the ceremony, the Permanent Representative added that of the 2014 pledge, $50 million will be channeled through the Kuwait Fund for Development in support of development responses in countries neighboring Syria.
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