Diplomacy

Charitable by Tradition

Humanitarian Center

In the post-2015 global sustainable development agenda, the UN has put into action an ambitious plan to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing humanity and the planet over […]

In the post-2015 global sustainable development agenda, the UN has put into action an ambitious plan to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing humanity and the planet over the coming 15 years leading up to 2030. With social, economic, and environmental dimensions, the UN’s post-2015 agenda entitled “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development“ calls upon all nations and major stakeholders to take measurable action to realize greater peace and prosperity around the world. The plan envisages a collective partnership for the coming 15 years, during which we are set to witness a dramatic shift in the state of global affairs.

Kuwait has historically placed humanitarian aid as a top priority in its affairs abroad, particularly with the establishment of the Kuwait Fund for Economic Development in 1961. This was recognized as the first institution in the Middle East to take an active role in financing development efforts worldwide. In providing data, technical assistance, and training to locals in over 100 beneficiary countries, the Kuwait Fund is a gateway for support between Kuwait and developing nations around the world. The fund has announced plans to contribute $15 billion alone leading up to 2030 in order to help realize UN Sustainable Development Goals.

To support efforts towards easing major crises in the region, Kuwait has held three donor conferences in 2013, 2014, and 2015 for Syria, the first of which resulted in pledges of $300 million, followed by $500 million in 2014, and $500 million in 2015. Notably, Kuwait’s Red Crescent Society was the leading donor to Syria out of all Red Crescent Societies worldwide.

Notably, Kuwait has gone beyond the designated 0.7% of GDP that the UN encourages countries to set aside for humanitarian efforts across the world, and contributed 1.24% of its GDP in 2014, ranking number one out of all donor countries. That same year, Kuwait was honored by Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-moon, highlighting the Gulf state as a universal humanitarian center, awarding HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as a “humanitarian leader,“ and a leading global actor in the field of humanitarian work.

As demonstrated by its leading humanitarian organizations and policies, Kuwait has historically been a leading international player in the field of humanitarian aid, being a first responder in many cases providing emergency aid and assistance to conflict areas across the world. It has mobilized both funds and resources to areas hit by natural disasters, and is an active organizer and facilitator of social and economic development projects and initiatives around the world.

At the end of December 2015, the UNDP held the first national workshop on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and met with policymakers from key ministries of government in Kuwait. With the growing urgency and importance placed on the 17 established goals, the event made it clear that Kuwaiti charitable work and aid will continue to be a reliable force at a humanitarian level, and that the country will remain a critical partner in sustainable development in decades to come.

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