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UAE always comes to the aid of refugees

When it comes to refugees, their condition can be summed up in these terms: homeless, helpless and hopeless. Take the plight of Syrian refugees for instance.  There are thousands of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Turkey among other countries. These refugees are struggling to make ends meet, and now the coronavirus has only worsened their predicament.

Jordan is one of the major countries harbouring Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict in their homeland. According to one report, there are over half a million refugees in the kingdom.

It is the responsibility of the world to take care of these refugees. Paying lip service does not help. In these matters, the UAE jumps into help mode  rightaway.

When it comes to helping the poor and needy, the UAE goes into overdrive, sparing no effort. This particularly applies to refugees. The food aid operations of the “100 Million Meals” campaign have been completed in two refugee camps in Jordan, providing over 4.7 million meals in cooperation with the UN World Food Programme (WFP).The massive distribution comes a month after the 100 Million Meals campaign concluded, securing 216 million meals, double its target, to vulnerable communities in 30 countries across four continents.

In collaboration with the WFP, about 52,000 Syrian individuals and families in Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps in Jordan received reloadable food e-vouchers, equivalent to 4.7 million meals raised from the campaign, to empower them to purchase their food at contracted shops.

The campaign’s organiser Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) signed a partnership with the WFP to provide food aid to refugees in Jordan and Bangladesh and low-income individuals and families in Palestine.

The UAE will remain a staunch supporter and advocate of refugee issues across the world.

Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, and Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), in a statement ahead of the World Refugee Day, said contributing to innovative and appropriate solutions to help refugees, and limiting resulting humanitarian and development effects, is a longstanding principle in the UAE’s approach.

In this regard, Sheikh Hamdan noted that many innovative initiatives recently adopted by the UAE contributed to improving the conditions of refugees, the most important of which is the health campaign currently being implemented by the ERC to vaccinate refugees in Jordan and Iraq against the COVID-19 virus and address its spread in their camps.

The Sheikha Fatima Fund for Refugee Women has been working to empower refugee women economically, socially and psychologically in developing communities, he added.

The plight of hapless refugees, which calls for immense compassion and concern, has not been lost on Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) and Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The Big Heart truly lives up to its title when it deals with these helpless refugees, not just in words but action also. Last year, the Sharjah-based global humanitarian charity, The Big Heart Foundation, TBHF, announced the allocation of $1.6 million to launch five humanitarian projects in Kenya, Pakistan and Jordan.

The Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support (SIARA) has turned the spotlight this year with its Dhs500,000 ($136,000) cash prize on RefuSHE, a Nairobi-based humanitarian agency founded in 2008 to address the significant, unmet needs for child and girl-focused refugee services in Kenya.

As High Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, rightly remarks, “Sharjah will always be steadfast with building on the values of cooperation and partnership to create a world where love and justice will always prevail. In our religion, as in our Arab culture, standing by the vulnerable and people in need is a duty, not a choice.”


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