x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

UNHCR applauds UAE’s strong support for Syrian refugees

The UNHCR has praised the UAE for their support to Syrian refugees

Syrian refugees carry off aid handed out by the Emirates Red Crescent as they head to their tent in north-east Jordan, near the border with Syria. The UAE has raised more than Dh120 million through the Our Hearts Are With The Syrian People campaign, launched by the President, Sheikh Khalifa. Salah Malkawi / The National
Syrian refugees carry off aid handed out by the Emirates Red Crescent as they head to their tent in north-east Jordan, near the border with Syria. The UAE has raised more than Dh120 million through the Our Hearts Are With The Syrian People campaign, launched by the President, Sheikh Khalifa. Salah Malkawi / The National

The UAE’s strong support for Syrian refugees has been applauded by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The Our Hearts Are With The Syrian People campaign, launched by the President, Sheikh Khalifa, raised more than Dh126 million.

The funds will go towards helping thousands in desperate need.

A shipment of 250 tonnes of aid has been dispatched since the launch of the drive and 25 lorries carrying 625 tonnes of relief are expected to be sent during the next two weeks.

The UAE’s support comes at a critical time – thousands of refugees are suffering from a harsh winter in Jordan and Lebanon, with temperatures below freezing.

“We are grateful to the UAE Government and its people for their fast response to this campaign, which reflects deep understanding to humanitarian issues, and a great sense of suffering of Syrians in their big ordeal,” said Nesreen Rabean, the acting director of the UNHCR office in Abu Dhabi.

“We are confident that thousands of Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon will benefit from these donations.”

The agency said the greatest tragedy of the 21st century was that 5,000 refugees flee Syria daily.

Humanitarian organisations have called for US$4.2 billion (Dh15.4bn) to keep providing refugees with aid this year. The number of those in need is expected to reach 4.1 million.

The UAE raised funds with the help of the Emirates Red Crescent Authority this month, with donations pouring in from a two-day telethon on Abu Dhabi TV.

The authority will tour its stores in Abu Dhabi and Dubai ports on Tuesday to prepare materials to be sent to the refugees.

Mohammad Yusuf Al Fahim, the deputy secretary general for Support Services at the Red Crescent, said that 25 lorries would be dispatched within the next two weeks, each carrying 25 tonnes of aid in clothes and blankets. Foodstuffs will be bought from markets in host countries.

The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments also lent its support to the campaign, with a Dh1m donation.

Unicef has also praised the UAE Government for its support.

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