The United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, received contributions worth over $26mn from Qatar, during 2017, making it the largest donor from the Middle East and North Africa region, it was announced on Friday.
The figures were revealed in a summary of contributions to UNHCR for 2017 placing Qatar as UNHCR’s 19th top donor. The generous donations helped UNHCR secure life-saving assistance for hundreds of thousands of forcibly displaced women, children and men globally, including uprooted families in Iraq, Yemen, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Ethiopia, and Somalia, amongst others.
Commenting on the importance of increased support for displaced persons globally, Khaled Khalifa, UNHCR Regional Representative to the GCC countries noted “At a time when 20 people are forcibly displaced every minute, Qatar’s generous contributions are much needed, and have played an integral role in UNHCR’s emergency response.”
“Thanks to the generous contribution, UNHCR was able to secure shelter, health services, cash assistance, education and other essential support for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.” Khalifa added.
In addition to contributions in 2017, Qatar recently responded to UNHCR’s emergency appeal for the Rohingya refugee emergency, which has displaced over 650,000 people since August 2017. Moreover, the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) has provided $6mn to support basic needs and shelter for displaced Iraqis.
“Qatar has a long-standing history of addressing the needs of those affected by conflict and persecution. As a nation, we believe that we must, whenever possible, assist those less fortunate, particularly those who have been forced to flee their homes” said QFFD director general Khalifa al-Kuwari.
“UNHCR’s work in that regard is of utmost importance, and we look forward to jointly alleviating the plight of the forcibly displaced globally,” he added.
Since 2012, Qatar has donated over $76mn for refugees and Internally Displaced Persons globally through UNHCR, notwithstanding its bilateral contributions through local partners.