(with photo) UNITED NATIONS, April 6 (KUNA) -- Kuwait delivered late on Thursday USD one million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to aid Syrians refugees who fled to neighboring countries fleeing repression of the regime forces.
The permanent delegate to the UN, Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi, delivered a check of the donated sum to the head of the agency, Udo Janz, during a meeting in New York. Following the meeting, the diplomat said the donation was given in line with a pledge in this respect, made by Kuwait during the recent Syria's friends' conference in Turkey.
He indicated that Kuwaiti associations had donated up to USD 12 million to the Syrian refugees.
Also following the meeting, Janz told KUNA "I am extremely appreciative of the generous contribution of the Government of Kuwait to the refugee crisis that is currently unfolding in the Middle East. Kuwait has been a regular annual contributor to the High Commissioner's budget, which benefits refugees globally." "But," he added, "Kuwait has also been quite generous over and above that regular annual contribution to earmark contributions to particular refugees situations as it did in this case to assist Syrian refugees who are in the neighboring countries." "Clearly," he noted, "that situation is unfolding. It is not a static situation and we will have to see how the situation unfolds in the next couple of months. But, of course, the immediate needs of the population in the neighboring countries are such that the (Kuwaiti) contribution will be dedicated to improving their livelihoods and their accommodation wherever they may be." Kuwait recently also gave a check to the UNHCR Chief in Geneva Antonio Guterres. It was Kuwait's annual contribution for the year 2011, with an additional earmarking of USD 250,000 each for the situations in Somalia and in Thailand, Janz recalled.
"Both of them are extremely valuable because they are not necessarily regions that are receiving the full attention of the international community," he added.
More than 130,000 Syrian refugees were estimated to have fled Syria, mostly finding refuge in neighboring Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
The United Nations and its humanitarian partners late last month issued an appeal for 84 million to help those refugees. The Syria Regional Response Plan outlines the response needs for Syrian refugees who have fled the country since March 2011, as well as anticipating the needs of future arrivals, as the Assad regime continues its bloody crackdown on his people who demanded political reform and democracy. (end) sj.rk KUNA 060935 Apr 12NNNN