By Mahdi Al-Nemr
ROME, Jan 14 (KUNA) -- The World Food Program (WFP) Tuesday praised His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah's hosting of the second donors conference, saying Kuwait was playing a leading humanitarian role.
WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, in an interview with KUNA, said she would be participating in the January 15 donors conference as the Syrian conflict was approaching its third year.
Cousin said she was optimistic the conferees would meet the international community's expectations in order to help alleviate suffering of the Syrian people. She noted the success of the first donors conference that was held in Kuwait which raised USD 1.5 billion, of them USD 300 million were donated by Kuwait.
The fact Kuwait is hosting the second donors conference, she added, has given the WFP an opportunity to directly meet with the donors to explain the UN agency's needs.
Cousin said the WFP presented to the government of Kuwait a detailed report, which explained how the Kuwaiti donation contributed to honoring needs of a large number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Syria as well as the Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.
"We have to start thinking for the long-term needs and to provide some of the requirements of long-term development as well, which, as far as the WFP is concerned, is about nutrituion, taking care of pregnant women and providing necessary food for new born," she said.
Cousin complained of the high food prices, a matter that required provision of more food for the vulnerable families.
Cousin, who visited camps of the IDPs in Syria last week, said challenges facing the WFP have been growing like difficulties in delivering food supplies to the needy families nationwide, specially in conflict zones.
The solution of the Syrian crisis should be political thus the Geneva II conference must succeed, she said. "We need this conference to succeed in order to have peace in the region so people can start their lives again." Cousin said she was optimistic a political solution for the Syrian crisis could be reached.
She said that Syria has lost 35 years worth of development, which would require at least twice that time for the reconstruction.
On the second donors, Cousin hoped the pledges would meet the expectations of the UN, which has set a target of USD 6.5 billion. (end) mn.bs KUNA 142227 Jan 14NNNN