Sharjah foundation pledges Dh6 million to launch projects for refugees

Filed on July 14, 2020 | Last updated on July 15, 2020 at 01.34 pm
Sharjah charity, pledges, Dh6 million, launch, projects, refugees

(Supplied photo)

The social inclusion of refugees involves providing them with equal opportunities and experiences.

A global foundation in Sharjah on July 14, pledged $1.6 million (Dh5.88 million) to bring hope to refugees through five new humanitarian projects in Kenya, Pakistan and Jordan.

The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) said the fund will benefit more than 25,000 refugees and underprivileged individuals in the three countries. Projects in the pipeline, which will be implemented in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), aimed at improving education and healthcare systems and empowering the communities.

Mariam Al Hammadi, director of TBHF, said refugees should be recognised as part of the community and "not just cases of humanitarian emergency".

"The social inclusion of refugees involves providing them with equal opportunities and experiences, which enable them to develop knowledge, skills, and competencies, to play a full part in all aspects of society," she said during the virtual Press conference on Tuesday.

TBHF and UNHCR have long been partners in addressing the several complex challenges and struggles that refugees and displaced populations around the world have to live with.

"TBHF's assessment of the global humanitarian landscape reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and the directives of his wife, Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of TBHF and Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children at UNHCR," Al Hammadi said.

The foundation's new projects have been put together following the field visits it conducted in Pakistan and Kenya, which were led by Sheikha Jawaher and Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, humanitarian envoy of TBHF, respectively.

Khaled Khalifa, senior advisor and representative to the GCC countries, said the charity's refugee projects would make a difference in the lives of thousands of people at a time when the world needs "exceptional levels of solidarity".

"We take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi for all her efforts to support women and children affected by war and conflict. We are proud to call her a role model for Arab women, who continues to inspire us with several humanitarian initiatives in the East and West," he said.


>Creating livelihoods for thousands of Afghan refugees in Pakistan

TBHF will fund the establishment of a training centre for women and support the rehabilitation of four existing centres in a community of 1.4 million Afghan refugees

>Fighting the spread of Covid-19 in Jordan

The organisation has backed the efforts of Jordan's Ministry of Health to curb the spread of Covid-19. These include covering referral costs for 190 refugees with serious medical conditions, such as heart diseases and blood disorders. It will also support the provision of critical reproductive health services, including normal and cesarean delivery, high-risk pregnancy, complicated births, and neonatal care.

>Sending young girls to school in Kenya

Fathiaa Abdulla, representative of the UNHCR, said that in Kenya, girls constitute only 24.5 per cent of total enrolment in schools. To improve their access to education, TBHF will support the construction of the 'Big Heart Secondary School for Girls', a boarding school that will be able to accommodate about 360 girls. The school's construction is under way and expected to open in June 2021.

>Improving healthcare at a refugee camp

TBHF has allocated USD266,000 (Dh977,000) to cover the operating costs of a health clinic at a camp that serves the needs of about 22,000 refugees. The increased population at the camp, poor immunisation, inadequate water and sanitation facilities make them vulnerable to diseases like malaria, measles and cholera 

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