We occasionally read about criticism against the activities of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), because it ignores the needs of the Kuwaiti society, especially with regards to education, housing and infrastructure projects, at a time it offers massive aid, loans and grants to many countries around the globe.
I have never written on this subject, although the activity of KFAED is not a secret or hidden and is often mentioned as a matter of pride and success, because we as a geographically small country crossed the borders many years ago and moved out of the box to support many poor countries, even ones that we do not have diplomatic relations with. This did not prevent Kuwait to work on such missions, which I believe deserves praise.
Kuwait has done well in the establishment of this fund since the 1970s, as there is always a need for rich countries to support poor countries, whether we know the name of the state or the project, that is often related to electricity or health services. The process of this aid is not random, but goes with a study, agreements and follow-up operations by the staff of the fund. Also, the money is spent within a specified budget and stages until the completion of the project.
Even faraway states that Kuwait does not have political, economic or cultural ties with, this kind of relationship with KFAED is more than enough. Even the political goal to enhance the country’s position is acceptable. KFAED supports poor nations with projects that finance themselves in the end.
Some accuse KFAED of never stopping its activities or falling into a loss, whatever the circumstances, while the state budget has a deficit. Also, some claim that some countries that benefited from the fund’s grants stood against Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion in the 1990s.
But we should not mix between the aid we offer by our free will and out of our humane perspective with a demand that an entire state should be loyal to us for good. Any political leadership can have a different perspective towards our cases, even the ones we believe are right.
Let us remember that many rich countries sell weapons and military protection systems to small states to defend themselves. International trade, whether humanitarian or military, is permitted for all those who need it and there is no need to complain.
By Muna Al-Fuzai