Meteorology Department and United Nations Program Sign a Memorandum of Understanding
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, represented by the Meteorology Department, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Human Settlements Program (Habitat) to achieve the 17th Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda. The Memorandum was signed by the Director-General of Civil Aviation - Eng./ Yousef Al-Fouzan on the Kuwaiti side, while it was signed fjor (Habitat) by Dr. Amira Al-Hassan - Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Program (Habitat) for the Arabian Gulf States and Kuwait, in the presence of a number of ambassadors, authorities and government bodies. Eng./ Al-Fouzan said in a press statement on the sidelines of the signing that the purpose of the Memorandum is to achieve the domestic development goals, the issues of urban development and reconstruction of cities, and also to provide a framework for collaboration through which the two sides will work together to contribute to making cities and human settlements in Kuwait inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. He explained that the Memorandum would contribute to monitoring climate changes and weather conditions inside Kuwait and their impact on the resilience of the cities, and identifying the positive impact resulting from the United Nations Human Settlements Program project to combat cross-border dust. He stressed that this Memorandum will result in collaboration and exchange of climate studies and data related to the Kuwaiti cities most affected by the dust storms, in addition to working on joint collaboration programs to execute specific projects between the two sides. He pointed to a recent scientific study on sand and dust storms passing over the State of Kuwait, extends to Bahrain and Qatar, which confirmed the existence of eight wind paths that raise dust on the country, equivalent to 60 tons per square kilometer, causing health, environmental and economic problems, where losses are estimated at about 190 Million Dinars annually (nearly US. Dollars 618 Million). Eng./ Al-Fouzan indicated that there are several government bodies in the country, including the Meteorology Department, that have agreed with the United Nations Human Settlements Program in the first phase concerning the project of adaptation and resilience to cross-border sand and dust storms between Kuwait and Iraq, to handle and stabilize soil at the two sources of sandstorms in the two governorates of Thi Qar and Muthanna with an area ranging between 150 and 200 square kilometers between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and is 250 kilometers away from the borders of Kuwait. He stated that the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development has assumed financing the project, where the duration of the first phase will be five years, at a cost of about Four Million Kuwaiti Dinars (nearly US. Dollars 13 Millions), and is expected to contribute to alleviating more than 40 percent of the dust that crosses Kuwait. The Human Settlements Program (Habitat) was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 19, 1977 and turned into a program under its resolution on December 21, 2001, which is considered the coordinating agency for human settlements activities within the United Nations system. Moreover, the Human Settlements Program (Habitat) is responsible, in collaboration with governments, for enhancing and reinforcing collaboration with all partners, including the local authorities, private and non-governmental organizations, in the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, especially the 11th Goal of making the cities and human settlements inclusive, sustainable, safe and resilient.