WAM KUWAIT, 15th January, 2014 (WAM)–The U.A.E. has announced an additional USD 60 million to support humanitarian situation in Syria.
The country has already pledged to provide USD 300 million dollars and the total contribution now stands at USD 360 million.
H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs who was heading the U.A.E. delegation announced this while addressing the 2nd International Donors Conference to Support the Syrian People in Kuwait today.
The UAE delegation to the Conference included Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Co-operation, Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Obaid bin Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs , Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State.
Here is the full text of the speech of Sheikh Mansour: H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait, Secretary General of the United Nations, Their Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen I am pleased to thank H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait, on his generous initiative to host this important conference and to Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations on the efforts exerted by the United Nations to support the humanitarian situation in Syria and I also thanked all donors for contributing in alleviating the humanitarian sufferings of Syrian people and we are pleased with the participation of the Syrian delegation in the conference.
The first International Donors Conference to Support the humanitarian situation in Syria a year ago hosted by the sisterly State of Kuwait has achieved a great success in collecting more than USD1.5 billion donation money, however it was not sufficient to mitigate the sufferings faced by the Syrian people especially with the presence of more 2.2 million displaced Syrian people in the refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and many other countries in the region, in addition to the increased number of displaced people inside Syria which approximately reached to 6.5 million.
We look forward to consolidate the efforts of the International Community to find a solution to address the tragic situation and we also hoped that the upcoming meeting on Syria in Geneva will lead to a political solution among the conflicting parties.
Syrians secured a special place in the heart of U.A.E.’s people and the country today is hosting more than 200,000 Syrian people, who are living and working in the State. The people of UAE responded to the initiative of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to donate for the Syrian people and more than USD 32 million poured in only in three days of the campaign. The humanitarian aid from UAE for the Syrian people has exceeded so far to over USD 300 million, which is being used in building camps, hospitals, schools, as well as providing food and establishing other projects.
Today I’m pleased to announce an additional pledge of USD 60 million from U.A.E., in addition to USD 300 million, which was announced earlier.
We have made efforts to support the Syrian people in all aspects and were able to create “Syrian Recovery Trust Fund” with the help of our partners in Germany, the United States and a number of other donor countries, in particular the financing of projects to rebuild the basic infrastructure in Syria.
The Fund has started its operations and will approve first set of projects during our presence here. We have succeeded in collecting EUR 50 million and aim to raise EUR 100 million in the first phase of funding and to this end, we will hold a conference in Abu Dhabi on March 6, 2014. Although the fund is not under the umbrella of the United Nations, but it supports the humanitarian efforts carried out by the same Organisation and we look forward in the future to work with the United Nations to support this fund.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the Emir of State of Kuwait and the Government and people for hosting this important conference and thank all of you for having responded to the call of the United Nations.” WAM/Hanaa/AAMIR