Tuesday, 19 October 2021 11:51 GMT

Qatar's aid to Philippines highlighted on 40th year of diplomatic ties

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Qatar's commitment to supporting nations in times of need makes it a significant global contributor in the humanitarian field. Over the years, Qatar and the Philippines have shared a special relationship diplomatically, economically. Qatar is home to around 300,000 Filipinos making it one of the largest expatriate communities in the country. In times of need, Qatar has provided significant relief to many countries, including the Philippines through several government organizations like the Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD), Qatar Red Cross Society (QRCS), the Embassy of Qatar in Manila.

The State of Qatar does not forget its duty towards friendly countries, like the Philippines when the need arises to support them during crises such as aftermaths of natural disasters like typhoons, volcano eruptions, and earthquakes. Following Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, the Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) donated around $70,000 in aid, while an appeal to raise a further $2m was launched.

The Ministry of Foreign affairs sent two planeloads of aid to affected areas. Also, under the directive of the Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar sent two planes carrying 80 tonnes of relief supplies to the Philippines on November 13, 2013. The urgent aid included food, medicine, tents, and blankets to address the immediate needs of the victims of Yolanda.

The Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) and other major charity organizations organized a ‘Day of Solidarity' to help raise financial aid and relief donations for the victims of Yolanda.

The fundraising drive raised financial support and relief aids for the most immediate needs of the victims. QRCS also provided shelter repair kits to families whose houses have been partially damaged and transitional shelters for those who lost their homes.

To ease aid contribution, Doha Bank and other financial institutions and remittance centers in Qatar waived their remittance fees for a certain period to allow the immediate flow of financial aid to the typhoon victims.

Over the last few years, QRCS has implemented many relief interventions through its representation mission in the Philippines. These include responses to Typhoon Haiyan (2013), Typhoon Hagupit (2014), the Surigao earthquake, Typhoon Vinta (2017), Typhoon Mangkhut (2018), and more recently, Typhoon Vamco (2020). In December last year, Qatar's government sent more than 40 tonnes of food and nonfood items to help Filipino families affected by Vamco. Meanwhile, the Philippine Azkals (the national football team) will hold a training camp in Qatar as part of their preparations for the Joint 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asia Cup qualifiers in China next month.

The camp, which will be hosted by the Qatar Football Association, will be held from May 18-31, 2021 in Doha. Philippine Football Federation president Nonong Araneta was quoted during a virtual press conference that, 'We have communicated with the Qatar Football Association to host our team for a training camp in Qatar. As you know very well, it's so hard to train in the Philippines right now. so we have decided to do the training camp in Qatar.

The team is also slated to play friendlies against Palestine and Syria during the camp. Besides, to mark the 40th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties, Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani exchanged greetings with the Philippines President H E Rodrigo Duterte. The Amir and the Philippines President expressed their satisfaction with Qatar and the Philippines' growing relations and partnerships over the past four decades. The Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, H E Teodoro Locsin also asserted his country's keenness on deepening and developing bilateral relations with Qatar.

The secretary thanked H H, the Amir, for Qatar's constant generosity towards others, including Filipinos, especially in difficult times. He added that last year, Qatar donated around 50 metric tonnes of rescue and relief equipment to the Philippine Red Cross following the devastation caused by the typhoon that struck the Philippines. He said his country will always remember and remain grateful for this help


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