BAGHDAD: This archive photo shows ambulances and medical equipment donated by Kuwait to Iraq. – KUNA

KUWAIT: As the State of Kuwait marks the 31st anniversary of the Iraqi invasion today, Kuwaitis themselves focused on closing the rift with their Iraqi brethren via continue humanitarian aid and relief. Despite the heavy impact of the 1990, Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, which caused harm on various levels, the State of Kuwait took on the responsibility of aiding the Iraqi people since 1993. In April 1995 – upon directives from late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah – the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) delivered aid to the Iraqi people, knowing well that the people suffering in the fellow Arab country should not confused with their brutal regime led by Saddam Hussein.

After toppling of the Iraqi regime in 2003, Kuwait managed to become one of the top countries providing aid to the Iraqi people through the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Those displaced within Iraq as a result of armed conflict also benefited from Kuwait’s humanitarian assistance. In 2010, Kuwait donated $1 million to the UNHCR and in 2014, it provided $3 million to support humanitarian operations in Iraq. In 2015, the UNHCR received $200 million to help those displaced in the fellow Arab country. In October of 2016, Kuwait donated to the UNHCR a sum of $8 million to aid Iraqis fleeing from the brutality of so-called Islamic State (IS).

Kuwait donated in the same month a sum of $6 million to the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to cover their operations in Iraq. In July 2016, the State of Kuwait donated a sum of $176 million during a conference held in Washington to aid Iraq. In December 2016, Kuwait pledged a sum of $5 million to WHO to help its operations in Iraq. The State of Kuwait-in its position as a UN humanitarian aid center-hosted in February of 2018 the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq (KICRI). The conference resulted in a $30 billion donations to help Iraqis overcome the destruction caused by IS.

Meanwhile on the Iraqi side, the visit by the late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to Iraq on June 19, 2019 and the continued efforts by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah had helped in mending some of the pain caused by the Iraqi invasion. In recent history, the cooperation between two countries helped Kuwait receive the remains of 10 Kuwaiti POWs on July 11, 2021.The KRCS, on its part, provided various modes of assistance to the displaced Iraqis in cooperation with the government and international organizations.

Some 500 units were constructed in the Iraqi region of Kurdistan by the KRCS in addition to the distribution of 56,000 foodstuff on suffering and needy families. The KRCS also handed in 2018 40,000 food baskets for displaced Iraqis in Kurdistan. Kuwaiti charities also played part in aiding Iraqis. In September of 2016, Kuwait-based International Islamic Charity Organization (IICO) provided $1 million to displaced in Anbar and Salahuddin provinces as well as providing $1.8 million to some 600,000 displaced Iraqis. – KUNA