UAE foundation pledges Dh1.3m to aid Syrian refugees
SHARJAH -The UAE’s Big Heart Foundation has pledged to give Dh1.3 million to two UNHCR projects to help Syrian refugee families in Lebanon and Iraq.
The charity will give Dh920,000 to the Warm their Hearts campaign of the UN refugee agency, which provides winter aid to more than 400,000 Syrians in Lebanon.
The foundation will also donate Dh370,000 to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’s work in Iraq.
The money will aid 300,000 Syrian refugee families in Iraq by providing them with the necessities of life to survive the harsh winter.
These include thermal blankets, stoves, kerosene and money. The charity is under the patronage of its chairwoman, Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, the wife of the Ruler of Sharjah.
The foundation has provided medical services to 365,000 Syrian refugees and given food and financial aid to 400,000 people.
During the winter months in Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon, the foundation provided essential items such as shelters, blankets and clothing to families and children.
Last July, the charity donated Dh7m to the UNHCR to help 46,000 Syrian refugees and 4,000 Rohingya Muslims in Indonesia.
The funds were also used to provide healthcare to people in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan.
A clinic at the camp afforded primary, mental and reproductive healthcare services.
About 2,000 refugee families living in Jordan’s urban areas were also supported with rent payments, food, fuel and clothes.
In an appeal on its website, the UNHCR said this was the fifth winter for Syrian families who were struggling to survive, as many lacked basic household items for winter.
The UNHCR is appealing for public donations. According to the agency, US$20 (Dh73) can provide winter clothes to a refugee family in Jordan, $50 can buy thermal fleece blankets, $100 will provide a heating stove for a family to cook, and $500 can insulate a family’s shelter to protect them from the cold.
In May 2013, UNHCR appointed Sheikha Jawaher as its Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children because of her work in alleviating the sufferings of women and children affected by war, persecution and disasters.
Mariam Al Hammadi, director of Salam Ya Seghar, an initiative of the Big Heart Foundation to improve refugees’ welfare, said: “These two pledges will go towards helping Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Iraq to ensure they are able to live through the harsh winter conditions as well as can be expected.
“We at BHF were swift in our response to the extreme winter weather conditions that have recently swept the area. In Lebanon and Iraq, temperatures can go as low as -15°C and displaced Syrian refugees struggle to survive these conditions. Some are forced to live in temporary accommodation that are no more than flimsy huts and makeshift shelters.
Source: The National UAE