The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, called for strengthening these partnerships as she opened the Third Annual Conference on Humanitarian Partnerships and Information Sharing in the Arab World in Kuwait City. “I hope that we will continue to strengthen our relationships with governments and organizations in the Gulf region, and that you will continue to see OCHA [the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] as a strong partner helping to make it easier for national organizations and international actors to join forces and maximize the impact of our response,” she stated. “Together, we can make a real difference to the millions of people around the world who need and deserve our support,” she added. The two-day conference, held at the headquarters of the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO), brings together senior regional and international officials, aid workers, private sector companies and media representatives to discuss ways to improve strategic planning and achieve better results through effective collaboration and sharing of information.The head of the IICO, Abdullah Al-Maatouq, noted that the gathering is considered a platform to discuss real-time humanitarian challenges and to come up with practical solutions. “The conference aims to enable humanitarian organizations to fulfil their roles towards currently occurring humanitarian disasters,” he added. A web-based Arab Humanitarian Portal, www.arabhum.net, offering information in Arabic on humanitarian affairs, was launched at the conference to serve as a platform for dialogue and data sharing. During her visit, Ms. Amos met Crown Prince Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to discuss OCHA’s partnership with Kuwait and thanked him for his nation’s strong support for global humanitarian efforts.