Amir thanks World Bank for award – Senior officials hail unprecedented honor

WASHINGTON: World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristilina Georgieva, Kuwaiti Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf, Kuwait’s Ambassador to the US Sheikh Salem Al-Sabah and other senior officials are seen during a ceremony to award HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Friday. – KUNA

KUWAIT/WASHINGTON: World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristilina Georgieva announced on Friday an exceptional award handed to HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in recognition of his support of economic and social development worldwide and global peace. This came at a press conference announcing the award in Washington, attended by representative of HH the Amir, Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf. This is another recognition by an international organization for HH the Amir’s endeavors to helping people and countries in need, after the UN named the Amir a “Humanitarian Leader” in Sept 2014.

Georgieva revealed World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Ferid Belhaj will be visiting Kuwait on April 28-30 to present an official commemoration to HH the Amir in person. The occasion is unprecedented and is the first time the World Bank has bestowed such a recognition upon a world leader. It comes in appreciation of HH the Amir’s globally-recognized role in supporting political, economic and social stability, in addition to his tireless efforts in assisting people in need around the world.

On behalf of HH the Amir, Minister of the Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah expressed gratitude to the World Bank Group and Ivanova for offering the special award to the Amir in recognition of his support to social and economic development in the Arab region and beyond. The World Bank honoring reaffirms the eminent status of HH the Amir and Kuwait in the eyes of the international community and comes in recognition of the relentless efforts to foster humanitarian causes on the regional and international levels, the minister said.

Sheikh Ali cited the numerous humanitarian initiatives launched by HH the Amir to alleviate the suffering of needy people in crisis-hit areas. HH the Amir is deeply grateful for the World Bank’s kind and unprecedented award, and is looking forward to the visit of Belhaj to Kuwait later this month to present the award certificate, the minister added.

HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah congratulated HH the Amir for the award. The World Bank honoring deservedly crowned the march of giving and humanitarian efforts of the Amir and the generous people of Kuwait across the Arab and Muslim nations and worldwide, the Crown Prince wrote in a cable to the Amir. The world’s most prestigious organizations recognized HH the Amir as an icon of peace and humanitarian action, he said. He expressed pride in the leadership of HH the Amir, who affirmed the eminent status of Kuwait at the international level.
Hajraf said during the ceremony the award was a recognition of HH the Amir’s regional and global efforts to support peace, development and humanitarian assistance. Under the Amir’s wise leadership, he said, Kuwait has the diplomatic ability to lead the march in support of peace and humanitarian and development initiatives in the region. The status of Kuwait today is amongst the ranks of advanced nations in the field of development-related work.

Speaking to KUNA after the ceremony, Hajraf said the award “shows how this leader and historic man is being highly appreciated by international institutions”. “We and the World Bank Group are sending a message of appreciation for the great role of His Highness the Amir which has contributed to this well-deserved recognition…and for his relentless faithful endeavors to promote peace, support sustainable development at the social and economic levels, as well as help countries in need around the globe,” he said.

Georgeiva also commended the partnership between Kuwait and the World Bank. She praised Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development’s role in supporting development in developing countries, and said Kuwait’s hosting of the Feb 2018 international conference for the reconstruction of Iraq reflected the Gulf country’s development, peace and humanitarian role. Belhaj thanked Kuwait and its leadership for supporting sustainable development and elimination of poverty worldwide. Belhaj also commended Kuwait’s contributions to regional and international institutions, including the International Development Association (IDA), which is a World Bank Group’s key body.

Kuwait’s Ambassador to the US Sheikh Salem Al-Sabah, in a statement to KUNA, congratulated HH the Amir for his unprecedented award by the World Bank, the second international institution to honor the Amir in five years. HH the Amir “plays a great role in the humanitarian and development work. We in Kuwait know that very well, but now it is global; this is why this day should be a source of pride for people of Kuwait,” said Sheikh Salem.

Mirza Hassan, World Bank’s Executive Director and Head of Board of Executive Directors, said: “We are very proud of this well-deserved honoring of HH the Amir.” Mirza, a Kuwaiti himself, commended Kuwait’s contribution to development ever since it joined the World Bank in 1962 and establishment of KFAED a year earlier. Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait Mohammad Al-Hashel said the award was a reflection of HH the Amir’s instructions to help the needy and spread peace around the world. Director of Kuwait’s Cultural Bureau in Washington Aseel Al-Awadhi congratulated HH the Amir, who she considered a “role model”. – KUNA