KUWAIT: A press conference was held Tuesday night to announce a partnership agreement between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Kuwait and Sheikha Intisar Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah, Chairperson of Al-Noweir Initiative, as part of a plan to register Syrian refugees in Jordan through the UNHCR, in order to provide them with basic needs of life.
Dr Hanan Hamdan, Head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Office in Kuwait, began her speech by thanking His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah, the Humanitarian Leader, and the Kuwaiti people for their contributions and support to help the unprivileged, and the leading humanitarian role that Kuwait is taking worldwide. She also extended her gratitude to the staff working on the ground and in difficult circumstances, and the media representatives who play a key role in supporting the efforts of the global humanitarian action and highlighting the urgent humanitarian issues.
Kuwait’s vital role
The Head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Office in Kuwait said that the State of Kuwait has played a vital role in alleviating the suffering of afflicted people as a result of disasters, conflicts, and wars around the world. It did not exclude any sect, race nor nationality from its donations, as its contributions extend throughout Africa, Europe, and Asia. The State of Kuwait’s substantial offerings have lifted burdens from a large population of men, women, and children suffering from many different types of crises, and have improved their daily living standards and raised the quality of assistance provided to them. The State of Kuwait represented by His Highness, its government, its people, and its charitable and humanitarian organizations, has become an exemplar among the international community in its initiatives for helping refugees, internally displaced persons, and disaster victims who are sorely in need, and this leading humanitarian role has been also reflected as the UNHCR Office in Kuwait approached several private sector entities during the past year.
Dr Hamdan said that the UNHCR Office has the honor to establish a partnership with Sheikha Intisar Al-Sabah due to her numerous humanitarian accomplishments that are reflected on her charitable, developmental and professional work. Dr Hamdan praised Sheikha Intisar’s work and initiatives that support and develop the talents of youth in Kuwait, and her constant support to refugees in various fields such as education and health. Dr Hamdan stressed the importance of UNHCR’s partnership with Sheikha Intisar and stated that she is the best person to raise awareness and advocate for the registration and protection of refugees around the world. Based on Sheikha Intisar’s interest, she visited the UNHCR Office and UNHCR’s registration centers in Jordan, including Zaatari camp, during which she attended registration interviews and met with Jordanian authorities and UNHCR employees to learn more about the challenges and obstacles faced by the government and institutions to register and protect refugees in the country, and to acquaint herself with the registration and protection processes of UNHCR. The Head of UNHCR Office in Kuwait said that she believes that this field visit marks the beginning of a long-term partnership between Sheikha Intisar and UNHCR.
Meanwhile, Sheikha Intisar Al-Sabah, who is also the Chairperson of the Lulua Publishing House, stated that the national rate of participation in volunteer and charity work indicates a nation’s development and progress and measures the national prosperous wellbeing of a country, and the State of Kuwait is the best witness to these measures.
Sheikha Intisar said that after UNHCR Kuwait offered her the opportunity to visit UNHCR’s Office in Jordan and witness the exact steps of the registration and protection process carried out on a daily basis to guarantee refugees an identity for themselves and their families, she further realized the importance of registering refugees as it is one of the most crucial and first steps in protecting them. She affirmed that the registration of refugees offers them a better future in their country of asylum, given that it provides them an official identity which simplifies other procedures such as providing refugees with education, health, and shelter. It also helps in the process of family reunification, identifying the percentage of refugee population, registering the birth of children, and providing other necessary rights for every child, individual, and family. Nevertheless, the increasing number of refugees burdens the registration process and financial resources in both the host country and the UNHCR Offices. Therefore, I am pleased to express my pleasure to support UNHCR in registering and protecting refugees worldwide. The first stage of this collaboration will be a project that aims to register 33,000 refugee children in Jordan to guarantee them protection and their basic human rights.
“In conclusion, I would like to express my gratitude and thankfulness to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the attendees, media representatives and everyone who supports the refugee cause, not only in Kuwait but worldwide,” Sheikha Intisar said.
It is worth mentioning that the latest statistics on registered refugees include:
– Total number of Syrian refugees registered worldwide: 4,843,344 refugees
– 39 percent of the total number of refugees are children aged between new-born to age eleven.
– In Turkey, the number of registered refugees reached 2,743,497 refugees
– In Lebanon the number of registered refugees reached 1,048,275 refugees
– In Jordan, the number of registered refugees reached 655,217 refugees
– In Iraq, the number of registered refugees reached 246,589 refugees
– In Egypt, the number of registered refugees reached 120,491 refugees
– In Morocco, the number of registered refugees reached 29,275 refugees
The numbers of refugees is continuously increasing due to the remaining humanitarian crisis faced by refugees around the world.