Arab conference to strengthen humanitarian action opens in Kuwait
(Kuwait City/New York/Geneva, 12 September 2012): UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos highlighted the need for strengthened partnerships between regional Governments and the international humanitarian system today as she opened the Third Annual Conference on Humanitarian Partnerships and Information Sharing in the Arab World in Kuwait City. The conference is being held under the auspices of H.E. Deputy Prime Minister of Kuwait and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
“I hope that we will continue to strengthen our relationships with governments and organizations in the Gulf region, and that you will continue to see OCHA as a strong partner helping to make it easier for national organizations and international actors to join forces and maximise the impact of our response,” said Ms. Amos in her opening remarks. “Together, we can make a real difference to the millions of people around the world who need and deserve our support.”
The two-day conference, held at the headquarters of the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO), brings together senior regional and international officials, aid workers, private sector companies and media representatives. The participants will discuss ways to improve strategic planning and achieve better results through effective collaboration and sharing of information.
“The conference is considered as a platform to discuss real time humanitarian challenges and to come out with practical solutions,” said Abdullah Al-Maatouq, the head of the IICO. “The conference aims to enable humanitarian organisations to fulfil their roles towards currently occurring humanitarian disasters,” he added.
A web-based Arab Humanitarian Portal, www.arabhum.net, offering information in Arabic on humanitarian affairs, was launched at the conference to serve as a platform for dialogue and data sharing.
During her visit, Ms. Amos met Crown Prince Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to discuss OCHA’s partnership with Kuwait. She thanked the Crown Prince for Kuwait’s strong support for humanitarian efforts around the world.
OCHA’s partnership with the Government of Kuwait was formalised through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding which outlines key areas for cooperation. The Memorandum focuses on better information sharing and preparedness for emergencies, including through the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination teams (UNDAC), the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG), and the protection of civilians in armed conflict.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.