Kuwait’s helping hand reaches out to post-IS Iraq

With the State of Kuwait gearing up to host the International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq on February 12, all participants are optimistic the major event would bear fruit.

The conference comes upon directives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as an embodiment of Kuwait’s principled stand in supporting Iraq in its fight against terrorism and attempts to restore security and stability.

This also comes on the aftermath of liberating the city of Mosul, Irbil, northern Iraq from the clutches of the so-called Islamic State (IS) back in the summer of last year.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi had officially announced the liberation of the city on July 10, 2017. The Islamic State took control of the city in June 2014. During their three-year reign, they committed many atrocities.

Without missing a beat, Kuwait; through its civil society organizations, was the first on ground after the liberation was announced, and even before, cementing its global reputation as a ‘Humanitarian Center’.

Focusing on the tracks of education and healthcare, Kuwait, mainly through the Red Crescent Society (KRCS), had announced in January 2017 that it would build five schools and another three medical centers in Irbil and Dohuk for displaced Iraqis’ camps in Kurdistan, who fled their homes from Mosul.

Consul General of Kuwait to Irbil Omar Al-Kanderi, in previous statements to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) had said that the Consulate General supervised the signing of two agreements between KRCS and a construction company in Iraqi Kurdistan region for building the schools and medical centers to better serve displaced Iraqis.

The first school; “Kuwait First School”, has a capacity of 480 students, he said.

Kuwait also supplied the displaced Iraqis with study desks, class boards and school bags.

The schools, which were erected within a period of two months, were built according to the latest criteria in the field, as three of which were constructed as caravans.

The Kuwaiti-funded schools are part of the relief campaign, “Kuwait on Your Side.” In April of the same year, a new school in Hassan Sham camp for displaced Iraqis western Irbil was inaugurated.

The school caters to the needs of some 500 students, and was the fourth facility funded by Kuwait in Irbil.

Furthermore, Kuwait helped provide necessities to some 20,000 Iraqi students in the governorate.

In May 2017, another KRCS-funded school was opened in Al-Kharez shantytown southeast of Irbil. It accommodates 1,500 students.

As for the healthcare sector, and in May 2017, Kuwait launched three medical centers to meet the needs of displaced Iraqis languishing in camps scattered across the war-torn nation’s Dohuk province.

As copious amounts of Kuwaiti aid poured into the autonomous region to cope with the influx of displaced people, August 2017 came with Kuwaiti medical aid weighing 55 tons into the war-ravaged Mosul.

By that time, and according to Consul General Al-Kanderi, Kuwait has thus far provided 400 tons of comprehensive medical aid to the northern Iraqi region.

Director of Nineveh province’s health department Dr. Laith Abdulaziz told KUNA that the Iraqi people were in dire need of such aid, thanking Kuwait for the continued support.

Similarly, Hoshang Mohammad, the director general of the Kurdish regional government’s joint crisis coordination center, said that hospitals across the region have been inundated with patients, all of whom are in desperate need of the aid.

In October 2017, Kuwait covered treatment expenses of 180 civilians in the Iraqi city of Mosul who needed artificial limbs.

Kuwait’s philanthropic actions were not limited to Mosul, as other schools and medical centers, in addition to many more charity endeavors, were also opened throughout Iraq’s most-needy provinces.

Source: Kuwait news Agency