KUWAIT, Feb 24– International Organisation for Migration (IOM) deputy chief Laura Thompson said her visit to Kuwait was to thank the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for his “leadership” in regional humanitarian response efforts.

“The objective of my visit was to thank the government of Kuwait, His Highness (the Amir) for not only the collaboration with us but also his leadership in his whole humanitarian response in the region,” she said in a speech at a UN House event.

During the event which announced her publication on IOM joint efforts with Kuwait, she described her visit as “very successful”, saying “I leave from here very happy for the collaboration that we have with the government.”

Several meetings she had held with Kuwaiti government officials and lawmakers, including parliament deputy speaker Mubarak Al-Khrainij, Thompson said, “reflects a strong partnership that we (IOM) have been able to develop with the government of Kuwait (and) with the institutions, and this is an excellent result.”

Thanks to the “generosity of the people of Kuwait and His Highness the Amir”, she said “the IOM has been able to assist a lot of people that are in terrible need both in Syria and Iraq.

“The needs are great (and) the funds that we have received are still limited compared to the needs that exist, and we have seen the situation (go into) degradation.” Her talks with Kuwaiti officials discussed around 12.5 million in Syria that have been either internally displaced or are living as refugees in countries neighbouring their own, she added.

She added, “we talked about two million people in Iraq that have been displaced within the country, and certainly the humanitarian needs in these two places are huge.”

The UN official paid homage to the Amir for his organisation of three international donors conferences for Syrian refugees and those displaced, along with neighbouring nations hosting Syrian refugees.

“The whole UN system has been receiving a lot of support, and particularly his ( the Amir’s) convening of the two conferences before and the next conference, which is to come on the 31st of March, have been a determinant for securing a lot of the funding.”

These efforts received esteemed recognition from the UN Secretary-general Ban ki-moon who awarded the Amir a one-and-only accolade for his contributions, dubbed the Humanitarian Leader award in Geneva in November 2014.