Kuwait is one of the only Gulf States that have  experienced war and conflict in its post-oil discovery era. In 1990  it was invaded by Iraq, which led to the temporary displacement of thousands of Kuwaitis. Since the end of the conflict in early 1991, it has remained fairly stable and has continued to make significant contributions to humanitarian activities both in the region and beyond, and is emerging as a supportive base for humanitarian organizations.


With a multicultural population of over 3,368,572 , Kuwait has long been an advocate and actor in global development through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, which was established in 1961. Its leading humanitarian organizations include Direct Aid, the  International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) and the  Kuwait Red Crescent Society. Along with other local humanitarian actors provide humanitarian support to emergency and disaster-stricken countries in the region and beyond. Kuwait is also a hub for several United Nations agencies, providing a UN House to UNDP, UNHCR, UNOCHA,UN Habitat, ILO, WFP and IOM.

Kuwait is one of the world’s richest states and one of the major international donors of humanitarian assistance and is both a pioneer and standard-bearer for the establishment of development funds in the Gulf region. Its foreign assistance is channeled either bilaterally (government to government) or multilaterally through national charitable organizations and/or international organizations. It has participated in UNDAC meetings and many Kuwaiti nationals are UNDAC trained members and the Kuwaiti Red Crescent Society (KRCS) is pursuing UNDAC membership.

Every year since 2011, Kuwait has hosted an  Annual Conference on Effective Partnership and Information Sharing for Better Humanitarian Action, which is jointly organized by IICO, Direct Aid and OCHA and steered by twelve advisory board members from all of the six GCC States. This conference brings together governmental, humanitarian and other stakeholders such as the corporate sector and youth who play an active role in regional mechanisms, disaster response and other humanitarian activities.

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