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Kuwait honored for presenting aid to Gaza children.

The American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) honored here late Saturday, during its annual dinner, Kuwait for the USD one million contribution it had made earlier this year for the children of Gaza.Qatar was also honored during the dinner for a generous contribution and support it has also offered ANERA for the children of Gaza for two years in a row. With Kuwaits donation, ANERA was able to operate its Milk for Preschoolers program, which has been delivering vitamin-fortified milk and biscuits to 20, 000 preschool children across Gaza since 2003. It will also continue its renovations of preschools and support of education across Gaza.On this occasion, Kuwaits Ambassador Sheikh Salem told KUNA during the annual dinner that Kuwaits support for the Palestinian people and leadership is "constant and historic".He added that the Palestinian issue is considered an "essential pillar of Kuwaits foreign policy, especially that this issue is among the priorities of the Kuwaiti political leadership.Sheikh Salem praised ANERA for its work and the dire humane support it is offering for the people and children of Gaza, indicating that Kuwaits USD one million contribution was used to finance Milk for Preschoolers Program that provides milk for 20,000 preschoolers in Gaza.Interviewed by KUNA, President of ANERA Bill Corcoran said that "we find so often that the people of Gaza are forgotten so something as basic as feeding children in Gaza is very important to us and this should be an easy decision for anybody who is a donor".He added that "we are thrilled that both Kuwait and Qatar have come forward and in their own way decided to trust us with a program that feeds children who are totally innocent between the ages of 2-5 who have done nothing wrong but yet are suffering because they live in Gaza." "Fortunately Kuwait and Qatar have both agreed to help us with this," he noted.Corcoran affirmed that the program is "very simple. We feed 20,000 children per day where the feeding consists of a container of fortified milk and a highly energized biscuit." He indicated that they are also "making certain that we try to support the Palestinian economy by doing this so were buying the milk from a dairy in the West Bank and the biscuits from a manufacturer in Ramallah." "Everyday we distribute these through 150 preschools in Gaza and throughout the year we also try to help the schools by renovating them or rebuild those that were damaged. with the limited building supplies that are allowed in Gaza, " he said.He noted that they are "honored that Kuwait and Qatar have agreed to help us. We are thrilled because it is a vote of confidence on us that they know we can deliver despite the Israeli blockade." "We give credit for Kuwait and Qatar for having been so generous and the end result is that it satisfies the desires of both governments that they are able to do something for the people of Gaza," he remarked.For his part, ANERA Board Chair Ambassador Skip Gnehm told KUNA "we are honoring Kuwait for the very generous contribution that the Kuwaiti Government and Kuwaiti people gave to ANERA for a preschool feeding program in Gaza for children." He added that "what we are able to do, thanks to the generosity of Kuwait, is provide milk and fortified biscuits to children who have been malnourished as a result of the Israeli action and embargo that they have imposed on Gaza." He stressed that "this is a terrible problem with the preschoolers and this contribution has enabled us to carry our program forward and this is one of the great gifts from Kuwait," saying "we are so appreciative".He indicated that the cost of the program annually is a bit over USD two million "so the Kuwaiti contribution is about half of what we need and we feed about 25,000 children in this program in various day schools which is a very significant number." Gnehm affirmed "this is a very humanitarian issue where these are children and people who cannot do for themselves what they would probably do for themselves if they could because of the restrictions that they live under".He said that "what we need is more people to support us and similar organizations," where he also thanked Qatar for being generous.In presenting the awards to Kuwait and Qatar, Gnehm pointed to their concern for Gaza's most vulnerable children, saying "it is a testament to their trust in ANERA and their commitment to investing in Gaza's children who deserve a better future." Kuwaits Amabssador Sheikh Salem accepted the gift which was a hand-painted calligraphy that read "Generosity. Giving. On behalf of the children of Gaza, ANERA extends our gratitude for your generous support."

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Date:Oct 3, 2010
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