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Kuwait to host donor conference to promote education in Somalia

BRUSSELS: Ambassador of Kuwait to the European Union, NATO, Belgium and Luxembourg, Jasem Al-Budaiwi, has announced that Kuwait is to host a Donors Conference in Support of Education in Somalia. “We, in Kuwait, firmly believe that education is one of the most important, if not the most important tool, in combating extremism, terrorism, and poverty,” he said speaking in a forum on Somalia Tuesday evening.

“This conference in Kuwait, will serve as a cornerstone to secure the future generations of Somalia, and we call upon the international community, to join our efforts and actively participate in it. Once you educate a child, you educate a generation,” said Kuwait’s top diplomat in Brussels. Budaiwi noted that this forum is an “excellent opportunity for the international community to renew its commitment to supporting Somalia’s stability and development.”

“Together, my friends, we will continue the efforts of the United Nations in supporting Somalia’s transitional phase in every aspect. We have a responsibility towards the Somali people and they need to feel our commitment on the social and economic levels, and in their day to day life,” he stressed. He pointed out that in 2017 only, the State of Kuwait provided $50 million in response to international calls to support the humanitarian situation in Somalia. Furthermore, Kuwait has provided $1.5 million in agricultural technical assistance, as well as grants worth $28 million allocated to airport development. In addition, the Kuwait Fund recently decided to ease the debt burden of Somalia. “Now is the time to switch from crisis mode to investment mode in Somalia,” he added.

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Turning to the Somali President, Budaiwi said “Mr President rest assured that nothing has gone unnoticed and, you are extremely appreciated by the international community for all the great and steadfast efforts you have taken to revitalize your country in every aspect.” The Somalia Partnership forum was co-chaired by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and Margot Wallstrom, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden.

Representatives from 58 countries and six international took part in the two-day forum and issued a joint communique saying they agreed on commitments to strengthen peace, security and economic recovery in Somalia. Somalia is on an upward trajectory and is making progress in a number of critical areas despite extraordinary challenges, it said. However, progress in Somalia cannot be taken for granted. Institutional capacities need to be strengthened, as well as the required accountability mechanisms that underpin long-term progress, said the communique. —KUNA


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