How would you describe the role that the KRCS has played over the past year in responding to such crises regionally and in Kuwait?
Currently, the KRCS operates through major humanitarian efforts in providing assistance to vulnerable communities with multiple aid operations conducted throughout the year in countries such as Yemen, Iraq, the Philippines, Indonesia, Somalia, Sudan, Bosnia, Serbia, and more. We also have ongoing major aid operations in Jordan and Lebanon to assist refugees fleeing the difficult situation in Syria, as well as non-stop aid assistance to the people of Palestine in Gaza and the West Bank. Our aid operations as well as our rehabilitation projects and livelihood programs conducted internationally to assist vulnerable communities are millions of dollars' worth of budget programs. On the national level, the KRCS has an internal aid program that is in charge of deploying assistance to less privileged families in Kuwait through the provision of food parcels, non-food item, hygienic kits, clothing, stationary and school bags, hot meals during the month of Ramadan and many more programs that label us a key contributor to the charitable work done within Kuwait. We have earned solid expertise in facilitating assistance during difficult crises such as the one with the Syrian situation. For 2015, our assistance programs to aid the Syrian refugees included many operations in both Jordan and Lebanon. As the Syrian crisis enters its fifth year, we as humanitarians and concerned nations are faced with new challenges for the coming period.
How can the private sector, corporations and institutions, play an even bigger role in supporting humanitarian causes, partnering with the KRCS?
We encourage and welcome any partnerships for the benefit of humanity through our bilateral relationships with similar National Societies, not only in times of crisis but also by expertise exchange through technical workshops and seminar forums throughout the year for capacity building, or through active participation with leading humanitarian agencies and organizations with the IFRC, The ICRC, ARCO, GCC general secretariat and also with any willing organization that can enhance the efficiency of our implementation strategies, whether logistical or operational solutions. Sometimes the magnitude of a crisis obligates us to cooperate with other entities to ensure our assistance reaches each and every one of our beneficiaries best as possible. We are constantly developing innovative techniques to enhance our assistance programs both nationally and internationally.
The International Federation of Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the world's largest humanitarian network, has a collective plan to tackle major challenges facing the world guided by their Strategy 2020 called “Saving Lives, Changing Minds.” What do you believe will be the major humanitarian challenges facing the Arab region during that period?
We are in close and daily interaction with our federation keeping up with the latest pressing matters in the Humanitarian arena. It is no secret that the escalation of the Syrian crisis with its tragic impact on the number of refugee influx to neighboring countries remains a world focus from a humanitarian point of view. Yemen and Iraq are also two major matters that require close attention in terms of the difficulty of the situations and the huge number of innocent souls suffering these circumstances. The KRCS has not stopped its humanitarian assistance to the Syrian refugees both in Lebanon and Jordan since the beginning of the crisis; we also have conducted an urgent and large scale aid intervention in both Yemen and Iraq since June 2015 and still continue to provide assistance there. We continue our yearly assistance in Gaza and the West bank, where we recently had an aid convoy sent to Gaza in November 2015 with food and non-food relief items. We remain loyal and committed to our ethical and humanitarian obligations anywhere in the world. From what we witness, the refugee crisis is one of the top main challenges in our region especially in this tough winter anticipated to be the strongest to hit the region in 30 years, which brings us to one main and internationally growing concern, which is the increasing global environmental threat not only in the world but on our region.