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Middle east

Kuwait gives $250m to aid Syrian relief

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-04-08

Kuwait is donating $249.5 million to help relieve Syria’s devastating humanitarian crisis, the United Nations announced on Monday.

The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that the funds would go to UN and international agencies and private groups.

The recipients include the office of the High Commissioner for Refugees ($100 million); the World Food Program ($35 million); the UN Children’s Fund ($34 million); the World Health Organization ($10 million); the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees ($15 million); the Office of the Coordination Humanitarian Affairs ($3 million); the UN Development Program ($2.5 million); and the International Organization for Migration ($5 million).

OCHA said Kuwait was also donating another $45 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross and to various private relief agencies.

On the same day, the UN said it had been forced to cut the size of food parcels for those in need by 20 percent due to a shortage of funds from donors.

The UN’s World Food Programme supplied food provisions to 4.1 million people inside the country last month alone, WFP deputy executive director Amir Abdulla told reporters on Monday.

Donor countries pledged $2.3 billion for aid agencies helping Syria at a conference in Kuwait in January, but only $1.1 billion has been received so far – including Kuwait’s $250 million offering on Monday.

Kuwait tensions

As Kuwait pledged to help Syrian victims of the three-year civil war, tensions between the two countries worsened.

On Friday, the Kuwaiti justice minister resigned following accusations from the US that he “promoted jihad” in Syria.

Minister Nayef al-Ajmi was accused by the US treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, David Cohen, of fundraising for terrorist groups in Syria. Al-Ajmi denied the claims and said he had been relieved of his duties due to health reasons.

Syria’s embassy in capital Kuwait City has been closed since March.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-04-08

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