Kuwait donates additional US$2 million for UNDP’s support to people affected by crisis in Syria

18 Apr 2013

imageThe Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the UN Mansour Al-Otaibi with UNDP Administrator Helen Clark in New York

New York – The State of Kuwait has contributed US$2 million towards the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) emergency support to the people of Syria as they struggle to rebuild lives and livelihoods disrupted by the ongoing crisis there. 

The funds will be used by UNDP in several ways, supporting programmes that provide internally displaced persons (IDPs), including women and people with disabilities, with emergency employment, which will improve community infrastructure and livelihoods.

UNDP’s specific support includes providing emergency short-term job opportunities to IDPs living in communal shelters, contributing to rubble and garbage removal and the repair of basic infrastructure like schools, health centres and water networks.

UNDP will also use the money to help women find emergency employment, including the manufacturing of blankets and clothing, food processing work and other small businesses they have experience in.

The initiatives will additionally work with IDPs with disabilities and other special needs, including psycho-social support, provisions of critical disability aids such as prosthetics, crutches and wheelchairs, and specialized job trainings.

Kuwait already disbursed an initial $1 million to UNDP in January for its work in Syria.

“These funds certainly come at the right time for all of our agencies,” UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said. “But the Syria crisis is not resolved and the needs continue to be very great. I suspect that the international community will be asked to provide even more to help their very, very distressed people.”

The crisis has escalated dramatically both within and outside of Syria’s borders over the past three months.  Basic services in Syria have collapsed in many places, with more than half of public hospitals and one third of the housing stock damaged or destroyed; one in five schools can no longer be used for education.

Necessities such as bread, clean water and medicines are in critically short supply. At the same time, some 7,000 Syrian people are registering in neighbouring countries as refugees every day.  As a result, millions have become internally displaced and need aid inside Syria, while 1.3 million have become refugees in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and parts of North Africa.

Kuwait’s support to UNDP’s work in addressing the Syrian crisis is part of a larger fund of $300 million it has released to humanitarian agencies providing urgently needed aid to millions of Syrians both in and outside the country.

On 30 January, more than $1.5 billion, including $300 million from Kuwait, was pledged by donors at a conference hosted by H.H. Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait, and chaired by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. With the disbursement from Kuwait, a combined $700 million of these pledges has now been secured for the aid operation.