Under the patronage of H.E. Deputy Prime Minister of Kuwait and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the Fourth Annual Conference on Effective Partnership & Information Sharing for Better Humanitarian Action opened today in Kuwait City. Organized by the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO), Direct Aid and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), this year’s conference brings together prominent actors from the government, humanitarian and corporate sectors to tackle the challenges facing humanitarian organizations today. “This conference aims to expand the horizons of partnership in the humanitarian field and works actively to raise it to a new level that meets international humanitarian standards,”said Dr Abduallah Al Ma’atouq, Chairman of the IICO Board and UN Humanitarian Envoy.”This is particularly important given the growing numbers of disasters and the significant increase in humanitarian needs around the world.” The three-day conference will address a number of key humanitarian issues facing the world today, including how to build and sustain partnerships, working with partners in complex emergencies and developing effective networks to strengthen humanitarian action in the field. This year’s speakers come from organizations operating in some of the world’s most challenging humanitarian contexts and from organizations working behind the scenes. They include representatives from the Saudi National Campaign to Support Brothers in Syria, Qatar Red Crescent Society, IICO, UN, International Humanitarian City, Kuwait Red Crescent Society, Caritas and the International Islamic Relief Organization. Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, attended the opening and said: “This year we are showcasing the important role of the corporate sector in humanitarian aid and I am pleased that we can do this from Kuwait, a valuable partner for us in the region. Businesses in the Gulf countries have a vital contribution to make in helping the most vulnerable people affected by crises.” The conference, which ends Thursday, highlights the increasing involvement of the youth and corporate sector in humanitarian initiatives, bringing together for the first time du Emirates Integrated Telecommunications, JWT Kuwait, DHL, the Alexandria Businessmen’s Association, Takatuf, the UN Associative Experts Program and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth.”Thanks to the commitment of all parties, much has been achieved since the last effective partnership and information sharing conference for better humanitarian action, which was also held in Kuwait,” said Dr Abdulrahman Al-Muhailan, Chairman of Direct Aid. “Concrete outcomes from previous years include partnership missions to the Sahel and Philippines, bringing together diverse humanitarian actors, joint training programs and the creation of an online Arab humanitarian portal”