Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Sharjah - UN Refugee agency says she is instrumental in bringing about awareness and inspiring action
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has lauded Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi - wife of His Highness The Ruler of Sharjah; Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children at the UNHCR and chairperson of the Big Heart Foundation - for supporting UN Refugee Agency and her ongoing work in "giving a voice to those who are often not heard."
Filippo Grandi, the UNHCR also commended her for launching the Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support (SIARA) and its role in telling the often untold stories of the displaced to the world.
Filippo Grandi said that the award, launched by Sheikha Jawaher, has been instrumental in bringing about awareness and inspiring action.
He also emphasised the importance and impact of Sheikha Jawaher's status as a humanitarian role model to raise awareness among the public at large and government representatives of the dire conditions that children and their families must endure each day.
Commenting on Sheikha Jawaher's activities, Grandi said: "Since her appointment as UNHCR Eminent Advocate, Her Highness's contributions have enabled essential humanitarian assistance and protection to reach more than 800,000 refugees and internally displace people - a truly inspiring achievement.
"In doing so, Sheikha Jawaher has also demonstrated the power of individual action, and the impact this can have in inspiring thousands of people to support the refugee cause. The UNHCR deeply appreciates Her Highness's support to UNHCR and her ongoing work in giving a voice to those who are often not heard."
As refugee crises continue to deepen, the SIARA Award provides an important regional and global platform to tell the often untold stories of the forcibly displaced while, at the same time, spotlighting the contributions of individuals and organisations that have dedicated their lives to their protection and well-being.
With more than 65 million men, women and children worldwide estimated as refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced people,
according to Grandi, a wide range of partners from government, the private sector, and humanitarian organisations have to join hands to empower the refugees to help them "become self-reliant and active contributors within their host communities".
"Experience shows that when given access to education and labour markets, refugees are better able to maintain a dignified life, while also fuelling the local economy, and ultimately easing the pressure on host communities," he added.
As per the UNHCR figures, 40.3million are internally displaced while 22.5million are refugees outside their country and 2.8million are asylum seekers.
Further research shows that one person becomes displaced every three seconds and that one every 113 people globally is either an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee.