Qatar will mark World Refugee Day today. The day was set by the United Nations to honour refugees from around the world and highlight the strength and courage of people who were forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution, as well as mobilise sympathy and understanding for their plight and appreciation of their determination to rebuild their lives.
This day was celebrated worldwide for the first time on June 20, 2001, in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention.
It was previously known as “African Refugee Day” before the UN General Assembly officially designated it as the international day of refugees around the world in December 2000.
Qatar has always been one of the main supporters of the UN efforts in supporting refugees and displaced persons.
It is a constant partner of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in addition to its permanent membership in the support platform dedicated to the solutions strategy for Afghan refugees.
The total contributions provided by the government and Qatari authorities to UNHCR amounted to more than $354mn. Qatar’s support for UNHCR’s efforts is not limited to financial assistance; it has always been present alongside UN organisations and agencies.
Last November, Qatar signed an agreement with the World Food Programme to provide a financial contribution of $90mn to help meet urgent food security needs in Yemen.
In the same month, Qatar also signed an agreement with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), amounting to $18mn, with additional comprehensive support for Palestinian refugees in Syria in the health, education and economic development sectors, with a total amount of $7mn.
Qatar’s continuous support and generous contributions to organisations concerned with migration stem from its commitment to strengthening the strong strategic partnership with the UN system to achieve the goals of the international organisation, and its strong commitment to the principles of shared responsibility and multilateral action as it is one of the leading countries in providing development and relief assistance.
Qatar and its institutions and charities continue to provide various forms of support to the UNHCR, sign several partnership and co-operation agreements and establish an office for UNHCR in Doha, believing in the importance of strengthening international co-operation and confronting international crises collectively and in co-ordination.
Qatar has confirmed in many international forums, especially the UN, that it will continue to provide the necessary support to the efforts of the UNHCR to enable it to implement its humanitarian programmes and activities around the world, as well as enhance its ability to respond to the increasing humanitarian needs resulting from waves of asylum and forced displacement.
Qatar is committed to providing all support and assistance to refugees, and its support is not limited to spending or allocating financial or medical or food aid and others, but also includes diplomatic participation to end conflicts in countries whose residents have been displaced due to the ongoing conflict.
In the context of support provided by Qatar to those affected by conflicts in the world, the State announced the allocation of financial aid for refugees in various amounts, the latest of which was $5mn through the Qatar Fund for Development for humanitarian aid, to support those fleeing the Ukrainian war.
At the same time, Qatar announced that the difficult humanitarian situation facing millions of refugees, considering the escalation and tension between Moscow and Kyiv, requires the solidarity of the international community to develop emergency plans to respond to their necessary needs, calling for an immediate cessation of military action in Ukraine and securing humanitarian corridors to ensure the arrival of aid, in addition to shifting to resolve the dispute through dialogue and through diplomatic means and not to do what would lead to further escalation.
Qatar’s call came out of its keenness on the UN Charter and the well-established principles of international law, including the obligations under the Charter to settle international disputes by peaceful means, and its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of states, considering its continuous efforts to mediate and find solutions to international crises.
Qatar had a prominent global role, whether in aiding the displaced Afghans, or in assisting countries of the world in evacuating their nationals from Afghanistan during the transitional period it recently went through.
Doha took the lead in accommodating thousands of Afghan refugees fleeing the scourge of the conflict in their country at the time and providing aid to the Afghan people through all forms and mechanisms.
In this context, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani received a written message from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, in which he expressed his thanks and gratitude to His Highness for Qatar’s support and sending emergency winter relief materials to the Afghan capital, Kabul, by organising an air bridge onboard four aircraft of the Qatari Armed Forces to transport 91 tonnes of relief materials.
In his message, Grandi praised the leading humanitarian role played by Qatar in Afghanistan and its support for the work of the UNHCR for the benefit of displaced persons, especially at that critical time that coincided with the deteriorating economic and humanitarian conditions for all Afghans.
He also expressed his appreciation for the strong partnership between the UNHCR and Qatar, saying that he is looking forward to further co-operation in this field.
Qatar, a permanent member of the support platform dedicated to the solutions strategy for Afghan refugees, is a consistent partner of UNHCR, as it has always supported its operations around the world to assist refugees and forcibly displaced people around the world.
The state has a firm commitment to support refugees and other forcibly displaced people around the world.
The Qatar Fund for Development, in support of the UNHCR, signed an agreement to provide flexible funding to UNHCR for the two years (2021/2022), with the aim of supporting its humanitarian efforts around the world.
This form of funding allows emergency assistance to be provided at any time and wherever the needs are greatest, thus enabling UNHCR to ensure a rapid response to the growing needs of the 84mn forcibly displaced people around the world.
It seems that the coming years will be more severe for refugees in the world.
While refugees are paying the bill for the widespread spread of the Covid-19 virus, the war in Ukraine has emerged to add to the list of refugee, and increase global crises, foremost of which is the food crisis due to the disruption of global supply chains.
Observers believe that the food security crisis fuelled by the Ukraine war will push more people to flee their homes in poorer countries, leading to higher levels of global displacement.
The latest UN report showed that about 89.3mn people were forcibly displaced around the world as a result of persecution, conflict, abuse and violence at the end of last year, and since then millions more have fled Ukraine or been displaced within its borders with the high prices linked to the ban on grain exports, which would cause more displacement to other places. – QNA
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