NEW YORK, March 9 (KUNA) -- The United Nations Women for Peace Association (UNWFPA) honored late Thursday the spouse of Kuwait's Ambassador to the US and Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR Sheikha Rima Al-Sabah with the prestigious Peace Award for her extraordinary philanthropic work for over a decade.
During the UNWFPA's annual awards luncheon, held at the UN headquarters, which also marks the International Women's Day, the US Permanent Representative to the UN Nikki Haley presented Sheikha Rima with the Peace Award describing her as a "a doer, a mover, a shaker and a global game changer," saying "today it is our turn to celebrate you and honor all that you have done." Haley highlighted in her remarks all the great philanthropic work Sheikha Rima has done, saying "she doesn't sit around and talk about people in need... she goes out, she gets to work and she helps people," having raised over USD 18 million over the last 12 years to support different causes.
She shed light on the Syrian refugee women on the ground in Jordan and Lebanon and how their lives were changed because of the medical and education resources that Sheikha Rima has helped provide.
"I think about women in the Middle East who have graduate study scholarships and microcredit loans to empower their lives, give them the financial independence and provide for their children because of Rima," she noted.
She added "I think about the girls in Afghanistan who have schools and the children in Basra, Iraq who have a hospital all because Rima did something about it," as well as the help she provided the American wounded service members and their families here in the US.
"So much good in this world can be traced backed to Rima and the ripple effect of generosity she had for causes including fights against malaria, epilepsy, breast cancer and so much more," she remarked.
Haley stressed that Sheikha Rima "has long used the power of her voice for good as a philanthropist but has done so much more with her voice than talk." For her part, Sheikha Rima said in a speech that for the past three years through her work with the UN Refugee Agency, she has come to "deeply appreciate the critical and live-saving work that it does for refugees and other forcibly displaced persons." On this occasion, Sheikh Rima noted that "Kuwait has been one of the biggest humanitarian donors trying to alleviate the enormous suffering witnessed in our region. A fact that led then UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to bestow His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah with the title of Humanitarian Leader in 2014." Meanwhile, she said that UNHCR works hard to "ease the particular struggle faced by women and girls. We do this, first of all, by ensuring that women are individually registered and provided with relevant documentation to ensure their individual security, freedom of movement and ability to register and trace children.
"We also work to ensure girls' access to education and manage programs that help women to improve their leadership skills and access livelihood opportunities," she remarked. (end) si.hb