(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Sheikh Hamad bin Nasser al-Thani, chairman of Qatar Charity (QC), and Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), have signed an agreement in support of more than 30,000 vulnerable Syrian refugee families living in Jordan and Lebanon.
The agreement is linked to a contribution of over $10mn by Qatar Charity that will be channelled towards UNHCR's Zakat Initiative. The donation will help secure much-needed cash assistance for more than 150,000 vulnerable Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan until the end of this year.
More than 1.6mn Syrian refugees live in Lebanon and Jordan, with the vast majority of refugees living below the poverty line (approximately 89% of refugees in Jordan and 71% of them in Lebanon). It is estimated that some 1.2mn refugees living in the Middle East and North Africa region are eligible for cash assistance.
Khaled Khalifa, UNHCR Regional Representative to the GCC countries, praised QC's collaboration with UNHCR, noting: 'Qatar Charity's donation to the Zakat Initiative is the first of its kind from any large donor. This generous contribution not only enhances our co-operation with Qatar Charity but also emphasises their philanthropy, particularly with regards to helping hundreds of thousands of refugees secure their basic needs whether rent, healthcare or other necessities.
UNHCR and Qatar Charity have a long track record of co-operation in support of displaced persons. To date, QC has provided contributions of some $23mn in support of UNHCR's operations in Syria, Yemen, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Iraq and Somalia, according to a statement.
Highlighting the importance of supporting refugees, Yousuf bin Ahmed al-Kuwari, CEO of QC, said: 'Syrian refugees face difficulties beyond imagination to meet their basic needs, after having struggled to seek safety and often after seven years of displacement.
'We must, therefore, do everything we can to support those who are victims of circumstances beyond their control. UNHCR's Zakat Initiative provides us and others with alternative ways to directly support refugees with cash assistance.
Since the start of the year, Qatar Charity has provided over $16mn to UNHCR in support of Rohingya refugees and those affected by the humanitarian crisis in Somalia.
Within this context, QC aims to strengthen partnerships with international humanitarian organisations, especially UNHCR, towards further co-operation for the delivery of humanitarian assistance
to the displaced globally. Similarly, UNHCR works to protect and support over 68mn refugees, displaced persons and asylum seekers globally.