13 Jan 2018 - 0:59
Qatar leads region with over $26m donations to UNHCR
DOHA: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN agency for refugees has received contributions worth over $26m from Qatar, over the past year, making it the largest donor from the Middle East and North Africa region.
The figures were revealed in a summary of contributions to UNHCR for 2017 placing Qatar as UNHCR’s nineteenth donor. The generous donations helped UNHCR secure life-saving assistance for hundreds of thousands of forcibly displaced women, children and men globally, including uprooted families in Iraq, Yemen, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Somalia and others.
Commenting on the importance of increased support for displaced persons globally, Khaled Khalifa, UNHCR Regional Representative to the GCC countries noted, “At time where twenty people are forcibly displaced every minute, Qatar’s generous contributions are much needed, and have played an integral role in UNHCR’s emergency response.”
“Thanks to the generous contribution, UNHCR was able to secure shelter, health services, cash assistance, education and other essential support for some of the world’s most vulnerable people,” Khalifa added.
In addition to contributions in 2017, Qatar recently responded warmly to the UNHCR’s emergency appeal for the Rohingya refugee emergency, where over 650,000 people have been displaced since August 2017. Moreover, the Qatar Fund for Development has provided $6m to support basic needs and shelter for displaced people in Iraq.
“Qatar has a long-standing history of addressing the needs of those affected by conflict and persecution. As a nation, we believe that we must, whenever possible, assist those less fortunate, particularly those who have been forced to flee their homes” said Khalifa Al Kuwari, (pictured), Director General of Qatar Fund for Development.
“UNHCR’s work with regard to the oppressed and displaced people is of utmost importance, and we look forward to jointly alleviating the plight of the forcibly displaced people globally,” he added.
Since 2012, Qatar has donated over $76m for refugees and IDPs globally through UNHCR, notwithstanding its bilateral contributions through local partners.