Kuwait 19th of August 2021 – On 19 of August of each year The United Nations likes to remind the world of the humanitarian situation faced by millions of people around the globe as a result of natural disasters and armed conflict. Emphasizing the role of workers and humanitarians who risk their lives to deliver humanitarian aid and humanitarian services to those affected and in need. many staff of the United Nations and local and international humanitarian organizations have been and are still trying to tackle the difficulties and obstacles while performing their duty. The severity and ferocity of these conditions have recently increased, which has made it more difficult for humanitarian institutions to secure entry to their staff safely and to provide aid in many countries. In 2003, The United Nations headquarters in Baghdad was attacked, killing 22 staff members of the United Nations and non-governmental organizations, including the United Nations Special Representative in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, and wounding more than 100 people, since then, August 19 has been marked by the general assembly to commemorate World Humanitarian Day.
Each year, World Humanitarian Day focuses on a theme, bringing together partners from across the humanitarian system to advocate for the survival, well-being and dignity of people affected by crises, and for the safety and security of aid workers. This year, the United Nations Secretary General Representative, the Resident Coordinator in Kuwait and the United Nations Country Team invites the local communities to join the global event highlighting the immediate human cost of the climate crisis, under the theme “#TheHumanRace” and how it is affecting the humanitarian and aid workers in delivering the needed assistance to those effected.
The United Nations Secretary General António Guterres stated that “The climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win”
The United Nations secretary general Representative and Resident Coordinator in Kuwait, Dr. Tarek El-Shiekh stated that “ On World Humanitarian Day, the United Nations would like to remind the world that we are caught in a climate emergency which COVID19 pandemic did not slow down, The climate crisis is right before our eyes – from wildfires in Turkey, Algeria, Australia and California, heatwaves in Canada, and floods in Africa and Europe, to severe storms in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Last year Cyclone Amphan in South Asia displaced nearly 5 million people – 2.5 million of them in Bangladesh amid the worst flooding in a decade. Excessive rainfall caused major flooding and landslides across East Africa. The link between increasing global temperatures and extreme weather-related events is clear: Last year was one of the warmest on record; the last decade was the warmest on record. We live in a world where the average global temperature is already 1.2°C warmer than the pre-industrial (1850-1900) level. We are headed for a catastrophic temperature rise of 3 to 5°C this century. And Last year alone, 12 of the 20 countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change had an inter-agency humanitarian appeal and are suffering from conflict. This has a chain effect on famine, conflict, and the most effected of these changes are women and girls. It is crucial to invest in building resilience from the ground up, provide access to vaccines for everyone as soon as possible. Kuwait has always been in the forefront of the humanitarian and development assistance around the world, the support provided by the Government of the State of Kuwait to elevate the suffering of the humanitarian crises around the world has been visible internationally, with the recent support Kuwait has been providing to many countries directly (i.e Turkey, Lebanon, Yemen, Greece, Tunisia and India) or in partnership with the united Nations , proves genuine deep rooted commitment of the government of the State of Kuwait to humanitarianism and multilateralism during difficult times yesterday, today and in future.” Mr. Marwan Al-Ghanem - Acting Director General of Kuwait Fund stated that “Throughout its history, The Kuwait Fund (KFAED) has been considered as an example of cooperation between south-south developing countries. KFEAD has been continually recognized as an active actor in humanitarian relief and development assistance to developing countries focusing on people not contingent on religion, ethnicity or economic or political belief, but instead is based strictly on the depth of need.
The KFAED contribution reflects on Kuwait’s pioneering humanitarian efforts and is a real commitment to creating a brighter future for people in need. We have worked closely with countries and institutions across the world to support immediate responses to help people most in need and to ensure a quick recovery. "
Representative of UNHCR to the State of Kuwait Dr. Samer Haddadin noted “The impacts of climate change are numerous and may both trigger displacement and worsen living conditions or hamper return for those who have already been displaced. Limited natural resources are becoming even scarcer in many parts of the world that host refugees leading to increased risk. Its impact also widens to risk the safety and security of our humanitarian workers who risk their lives amidst hardest conditions to reach people in need.”
Ms. Maha Al-Barjas, Secretary-General of the Kuwait Red Crescent Society, said, “Climate change is a humanitarian emergency, as at present a climate-related disaster occurs every day or two, and it is estimated that about 108 million people needed humanitarian assistance to survive In 2018, that number could double by 2050.
The poorest groups in the world suffer and will continue to suffer more than others, such as the poorest people who do not have the resources necessary to protect themselves from disasters and who suffer from climatic effects such as floods and hurricanes, who often live in areas most affected by droughts and storms. We in KRCS suffer from the effects of recurring climate crises in terms of: the increase of humanitarian crises and increase of needs resulting from climate crises when they occur in countries that suffer from prolonged turmoil, as well as the scarcity of natural resources of food and water and difficulties in obtaining appropriate nutrition with the disruption of farming seasons due to climate change, In addition to the affected sources of potable water, the displacement of many from their homes in the midst of natural disasters and the spread of diseases and epidemics resulting from difficult living conditions.
Thus, it is difficult to respond to disasters and crises in terms of the difficulties resulting from the climate crisis in the safe passage of aid delivery, and what affects our work in the Kuwait Red Crescent is the challenge of sustaining these financial resources that enable us to respond effectively to humanitarian needs in light of the massive increase of crises due to climate change. Such as what is happening in the Congo volcano and the fires in Algeria, Greece, Turkey and now in France, we are constantly thinking about continuing how to reach communities affected and displaced by the disasters caused by recent climate change.”
Mazen AboulHosn, IOM Kuwait’s Chief of Mission, “IOM honors the thousands of men and women on the front lines providing humanitarian relief, protecting the most vulnerable and serving others. The humanitarians are working in evolving challenging situations, amid crisis and pandemic while showing extraordinary acts of humanity. Every year, IOM humanitarian teams reach millions of people living in crisis situations in many countries, including those affected by climate change. Humanitarian workers need to be protected, supported and acknowledged so that they continue performing their inspiring and exceptional work”
The Director General of the International Islamic Charitable Organization, Mr. Bader Saud Al-Sumait expressed his solidarity with the victims of the phenomenon of climate change that is sweeping the world. On the occasion of the World Humanitarian Day, Al-Sumait said, "The charitable organization has spared no effort in working with its humanitarian partners to support these vulnerable groups through its health, educational and development projects that included more than 70 countries around the world. the world".
Al-Sumait praised the efforts of the United Nations to support these vulnerable groups under the slogan "#TheHumanRace", in order to draw the world's attention and urge developed countries to play the expected roles of them towards protecting the population of affected countries from the repercussions of climate change and supporting their humanitarian needs”
Mohammed Zeid Khater, Head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Middle East and North Africa said “The climate emergency is wreaking havoc across the world at a scale that the humanitarian community and people on the front lines cannot manage, and the Arab World is no exception. In addition to the humanitarian crises resulting from the several conflicts in the region, serious water scarcity is facing countries like Iraq, Syria and Egypt among others. Lack of access to water threatens current levels of food insecurity and may to public health. Wild fires in Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco are resulting in deaths and injuries. In Yemen, bee keeping is seriously hit by climate change thus livelihoods. This is exactly what brings us to campaign for climate action.”