Kuwait helping in rebuilding Iraq: A new milestone in aid
Gauhar Zahid Malik
Representatives from all over the world, particularly the developed nations, Middle East, international donors, the UN and global aid agencies are participating in the International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq today (Monday) at JW Marriott to pledge funds for rebuilding and reconstructing the war-devastated nation and to ensure emergency funds for those millions of men, women and children affected by the war on the so-called Islamic State (IS). The credit for this timely conference goes to the Kuwaiti government that has provided a forum to international stakeholders to contribute to this noble cause and help the great nation of Iraq back to its feet with all the renewed energies and potential.
The special status given by the State of Kuwait to Iraq is evident in the wake of its announcement in 2015 of $200 million donation to help the displaced people in Iraq, which reaffirms the basic premise in Kuwait’s foreign policy, a work toward achieving security and stability in Iraq.
Kuwaiti institutions and bodies have followed several parallel paths in providing humanitarian aid to Iraq during the past period, most of which concentrated in the areas of health, education and reconstruction, as well as relief sector, which was a high priority, including the provision of lifesaving emergency aid such as food, heating fuel and other basic household needs.
According to a senior Kuwaiti participant the conference aims to build bridges and constant concern for stability and peaceful coexistence in the region.
Monday and the next two days will see top world Humanitarian aid officials, public and private sector representatives, representatives of the governments discuss and find out ways and means to alleviate the suffering of millions of displaced and affected victims of war that devastated Iraq. The conference is setting a new rebuilding era by Kuwait’s great efforts to help the Iraqi people.
After the opening session on the inaugural day, the first session of the conference is devoted to “Government of Iraq Reforms Program.” The session will be chaired by Dr Salman Al-Jumaili, Iraqi Minister of Planning while Dr Mahdi Al-Alak, Secretary General of the Cabinet of Ministers of Iraq will deliver keynote address. The second session will be held on “Recovery, Reconstruction Plans and Funding Needs” and Deputy Minister of Planning of Iraq government Dr Maher Johan will speak on the subject. In the session devoted to “Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience Platform” speakers include DG Ministry of Planning, Government of Iraq, Dr Hussein Ali Dawood and Director of UN HABITAT office Baghdad, Dr Erfan Ali. On “The Damages and Needs Assessment,” DG Ministry of Planning, Government of Iraq, Qusay Abdulfattah will be the keynote speaker.
Other subjects related with humanitarian aid, recovery, reconstruction, rehabilitation and resilience of Iraq include: Role of International Development Institutions in Iraq; Role of Arab Aid in Reconstruction of Affected Areas in Iraq; Governance and Accountability; Human Dimension of Reconstruction; Social Rehabilitation in the Liberated Areas; ReFAATO Activities in the Liberated Areas; German Credit Facility to Assist the Return of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Iraq; JICA’s Practice in Supporting Reconstruction in Iraq and post-conflict countries and Vision of Islamic Development Bank Group on Supporting Reconstruction in Iraq.
Besides, a separate conference for NGOs to support the Humanitarian Situation in Iraq is also scheduled for Monday. The conference is organized by International Islamic Charitable Organization. Besides topics on psychological and social rehabilitation and emphasis on charitable work for uplift of education, health and social sector, declaration of Pledge to Support the Humanitarian Situation for Iraq in 2018 will be the highlight of the this conference.