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Kuwait: Forum to discuss humanitarian principles and challenges currently facing humanitarian work

06-05-2014 News Release 14/70

Kuwait (ICRC) – The first Kuwait International Forum for Humanitarian Workers, the aim of which is to discuss current challenges and principles relating to humanitarian work, started today at the headquarters of the International Islamic Charity Organization in Kuwait. The event will last two days.

The forum is jointly organized by the regional delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Kuwait, the International Islamic Charity Organization, the Kuwait Red Crescent Society, Direct Aid, Patients' Help Fund, the General Secretariat of Endowment in Kuwait, Zakat House and Rahma International Society. High-level representatives of the main organizing institutions and charities inaugurated the forum.

Over 100 representatives of governmental and non-governmental Kuwaiti organizations, Islamic charities and the Kuwait Red Crescent Society are taking part in the event, as are a number of national and international humanitarian practitioners from abroad. The forum provides an opportunity to share ideas and exchange views on best practices in the humanitarian field and to strengthen coordination among local and international humanitarian organizations.

"The forum gives humanitarians an opportunity to openly discuss and share views about the present and future of humanitarian work, and about topics such as the role of women and youth in this field," said Gérard Peytrignet, head of the ICRC's regional delegation for the Gulf countries in Kuwait. "The basic principles of humanitarian work and the relevance of codes of conduct in implementing field programmes will also be discussed."

In the opening speech, Dr Abdallah M. Al-Maatouq, chairman of the International Islamic Charity Organization, stressed the importance of supporting the "partnership efforts and consolidating the communication and consultation bridges among various humanitarian actors in order to meet the increasing needs of the victims of armed conflicts and natural disasters."

The forum will emphasize Kuwait's leading role in the field of humanitarian aid and its generosity and solidarity towards victims of conflicts, crises and other emergencies, a role that was highlighted at the international donor conferences on Syria in 2013 and 2014.

Alongside its other activities, the ICRC endeavours to strengthen its relationship and dialogue with civil society and with non-governmental and charitable organizations, and to spread knowledge of international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles. It also strives to discuss common points of reference and improved coordination in humanitarian activities with Islamic circles and charities in the region.

For further information, please contact:
Fouad Bawaba, ICRC Kuwait, tel: +965 97 87 94 34