- Khaled Khalifa, UNHCR: “This generous contribution will translate into a better future for more than 25,000 less fortunate individuals at an exceptional time”
- Maryam Al Hammadi, TBHF: “The integration of refugees only begins when we accept them as a part of our community and contributors to its development”
Continuing its empowering work to shape a more humane, just, and inclusive future for forcibly displaced populations worldwide, The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) has announced the allocation of USD 1.6 million to launch five humanitarian projects in Kenya, Pakistan and Jordan.
Making the announcement at a virtual press conference held on July 14, 2020, TBHF, the Sharjah-based global humanitarian charity dedicated to helping refugees and people in need worldwide, said the projects to enhance education, healthcare and community empowerment would be implemented in collaboration with its strategic and long-established partner, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The joint press conference, held remotely via the ‘Zoom’ platform, saw the participation of Khaled Khalifa, Senior Advisor and Representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries; Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of TBHF; Fathiaa Abdulla, UNHCR Representative to Kenya; and a host of humanitarian affairs experts and media representatives.
Outlining the key humanitarian initiatives the two entities would undertake in the coming period, Khaled Khalifa said: “We are grateful to TBHF for its continued endeavours to alleviate the sufferings of refugees and displaced persons across the world. This generous contribution will translate into a better future for more than 25,000 less fortunate individuals at a time when the world requires exceptional levels of solidarity and support to be extended to the most vulnerable communities.”
“We take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of TBHF and Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children at UNHCR, 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 added.
Integration of refugees and advocating their right to equal opportunities
Speaking at the event, Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of TBHF, said: “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, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of TBHF and Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children at UNHCR.”
She added: “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. The integration of refugees only begins when we accept them as a part of our community and contributors to its development, not just cases of a humanitarian emergency.”
Highlighting TBHF and UNHCR’s joint efforts at the frontlines of tackling the many complex and long-standing challenges of refugees and displaced populations worldwide, Al Hammadi said the announcement of the new projects gives fresh hope for refugees. “TBHF has today pledged USD 1.6 million to support the education, health, and community empowerment sectors in refugee communities in Pakistan, Kenya, and Jordan in coordination with the UNHCR, following comprehensive fields to Pakistan and Kenya led by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher, and Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, TBHF Humanitarian Envoy, respectively,” she concluded.
5 projects and more than 25,000 beneficiaries
Creation of 3,000 livelihoods for Pakistan’s Afghan refugees
In Pakistan, TBHF will finance the establishment of a training center for refugee women, while also supporting the rehabilitation of 4 existing training centers serving around 3,000 Afghan refugee women who live in a community of 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees.
Stunting the spread of COVID-19 in Jordan
The humanitarian organisation has backed the efforts of Jordan’s Ministry of Health to curb the spread of Covid-19, including the coverage of referral costs of 190 refugees with serious medical conditions such as cardiac ailments and blood disorders. The project will also support in the provision of critical reproductive health services including normal and cesarean delivery, high-risk pregnancy, complicated births, and neonatal care.
Supporting Kakuma’s vulnerable population
In Kenya, girls constitute only 24.5% of total enrolment; and hence, to improve their access to secondary schooling and enhance their learning outcomes, TBHF will support the construction of the ‘Big Heart Secondary School for Girls’. This boarding school will accommodate about 360 girls residing in the
north-western region. The school’s construction is underway with an expected opening in June 2021.
To improve the healthcare services in the camp, TBHF has allocated USD 266,000 to cover the operating costs of a health clinic that serves the needs of about 22,000 refugees who are vulnerable to many communicable and non-communicable diseases such as malaria, measles and cholera due to increased population in the camp, new arrivals with poor immunization, inadequate water and sanitation facilities and poor knowledge.
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