Sheikha Jawaher calls for urgent action on refugees

"The real crisis in a war continues long after the fighting stops, with families torn apart and people left stateless, homeless and without hope," said Sheikha Jawaher.

Sheikha Jawaher speaks to children in a refugee camp in Jordan. Welfare of the young is a huge concern. Courtesy NNC
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SHARJAH // Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, has called for immediate international action to help the rising numbers of refugees fleeing war to neighbouring countries.

“The real crisis in a war continues long after the fighting stops, with families torn apart and people left stateless, homeless and without hope,” said Sheikha Jawaher, who is a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children.

“If the international community does not come together and take action on the world’s refugee situation now, the impact of war will affect generations to come.”

The call to action comes on World Refugee Day, established in 2001 by the UN General Assembly to renew commitment to end war and conflict, and to help the 51 million people who have been forced to flee their homes around the world.

“Some have been languishing in refugee camps for decades, long after the crisis that drove them from their homes has been forgotten,” said Sheikha Jawaher, wife of Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi.

“Furthermore, there are now nearly 19.5 million registered refugees in the Middle East, and this is a vast and worrying number of people who are displaced and in great need of basic care and support giving rise to a humanitarian crisis.”

Through Sheikha Jawaher’s initiative, the Big Heart Foundation is sponsoring a new project to help Turkish and Syrian women fleeing sexual and gender-based violence.

The project will run until the end of the year, with US$500,000 (Dh1.83 million) made available for care of Syrian and Turkish women who have fled from, or are at risk of, sexual or gender-based violence. About 3,000 Turkish and Syrian women are expected to benefit from the programme.

“The primary objective of the programme is to offer life-saving support and services to survivors, and to raise awareness of issues,” said Mariam Al Hammadi, director of Salaam Ya Seghar, which oversees all projects for the Big Heart Foundation.

“The centres will be equipped to provide psychosocial, medical and legal services for the women of the community who have endured sexual and gender-based violence.”

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