Abu Dhabi: Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, has donated $1 million to the Fund for Refugee Women.
The Fund, launched in 2000 in collaboration with the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, and the UN High Commission for Refugees, seeks to provide protection and assistance for refugee woman and children.
The donation aims to create new opportunities to empower refugee women, as part of Shaikha Fatima’s attention to philanthropic work and ease the suffering of needy and affected people, including refugee women and children all around the world.
Shaikha Fatima praised the leadership’s role in improving the humanitarian and charitable work and the efforts being made to improve the stability of refugees, provide them with basic needs and help them overcome the challenges facing them. She stressed that paying attention to refugee issues is a constant principle in the UAE’s humanitarian approach.
She went on to say that the UAE has always placed the plight of refugees and displaced persons at the forefront of its foreign aid agenda, to help ease their suffering and improve their dire living conditions.
“The strengthening of partnerships between humanitarian organisations is necessary to improve the status of refugees, and draw attention to their urgent needs. The UAE’s refugee aid policy reflects the values of tolerance, love, and brotherhood between peoples, as instilled by the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.”
Shaikha Fatima expressed her hope that the Fund for Refugee Women will make greater strides in assisting vulnerable communities, and providing refugee women and children with necessary support and better living conditions, away from the consequences of natural disasters, crises and wars.
She highlighted the role the UNHCR plays in providing care and protection for the millions of displaced persons and refugees across dozens of countries, adding that she is proud of the strong partnership between the Fund and UNHCR, which promotes wider horizons of cooperation and serves the interests of refugee women and children.
As part of this framework, she endorsed the signing of an agreement between the ERC and the UNHCR, to implement a project to assist Southern Sudan Refugees so that they can establish themselves in Uganda, which will cost $1 million in the form of a grant from the fund.
Shaikha Fatima highlighted the importance of such types of projects to empowering refugees economically and encouraging them to work, develop and benefit from their skills, as well as enabling them to continue living with determination.
According to the agreement, which was signed today at the headquarters of the ERC, the project will provide opportunities for refugees from Southern Sudan to work productively in agricultural and livestock programmes. The project is expected to benefit 41,660 refugees, with 60 per cent of them being women.
The agreement was signed by Dr. Mohammad Ateeq Al Falahi, Secretary-General of the ERC, and Khalid Khalifa, Regional Representative of the UNHCR in the GCC.
Dr. Maitha Bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, said the fund was established through the generous initiative of Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, to ease the suffering of female refugees and provide them with the means of a decent life, while adding that starting the project will support her efforts to empower women economically and socially, and will help improve their living conditions.
Al Shamsi stressed that Shaikha Fatima’s initiatives to support refugees have made her one of their leading donors and supporters.
Dr Al Falahi praised the humanitarian efforts of Shaikha Fatima and added that she is a symbol of unlimited human giving, not only in the UAE but also in the region and around the world.
He noted that the ERC, under the leadership of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Zayed, has prioritised development projects that aim to benefit victims of conflicts and disasters, which he considers a fundamental solution to fulfilling their growing humanitarian needs.
“We are confident that this agreement will coordinate the efforts of the ERC and the UNHCR and make them more efficient, to reduce the suffering of refugees from Southern Sudan in Uganda,” Khalifa said.