UN thanks Sheikha Jawaher for Syria efforts

ABU DHABI // The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, has congratulated Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi on her humanitarian efforts to help refugees affected by the crisis in Syria.

Mr Guterres has sent a letter to Sheikha Jawaher, thanking her for her contribution. The letter coincides with the first anniversary of her appointment as an Eminent Advocate of the commission.

“Over the span of only one year, the extraordinary efforts of Her Highness have inspired thousands of people throughout the region to lend support to UNHCR and to our humanitarian mandate,” Mr Guterres was quoted as saying in a statement to media on Wednesday.

In June last year, Sheikha Jawaher launched in the UAE ‘The Big Heart Campaign for Syrian Refugee Children’. The effort raised more than US$13 million from individuals, companies and semi-government entities in the country.

Her Highness has subsequently announced the extension of the campaign until the conflict in Syria comes to an end. In January this year, a new phase of the campaign, aiming to provide education opportunities to Syrian refugee children, was launched.

“I am particularly grateful to Her Highness for launching the Big Heart Campaign for Syrian refugee children which has made an enormous difference in the lives of tens of thousands of Syrians uprooted by this horrific crisis,” said Mr Guterres.

“I have no doubt that Her Highness, in her capacity as Eminent Advocate will continue to be an invaluable supporter, partner and friend of UNHCR and refugees,” he said.

Last year, after her appointment, Sheikha Jawaher travelled to Lebanon, where she visited a school enrolling Syrian refugee children and a community centre providing social services to refugee women. At the UNHCR office in Beirut she signed a pledge to donate another US$1 million to strengthen access to education for more than 8,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.

Early this year, she visited the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Published: May 7, 2014 04:00 AM

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