Supporting refugees lies at the heart of the UAE’s humanitarian strategy and constitutes a pillar of the country’s Year of Giving Initiative.
Within this context, the Big Heart Foundation, a global humanitarian charity established by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohamed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, to help refugees and people in need worldwide, translates this central importance attached by the country’s wise leadership to the humanitarian issue of refugees.
Through this organisation, the nation has been playing a central role in supporting the displaced across the globe, and the country’s efforts in this regard have been recognised by leading organisations worldwide.
On the occasion of Emirati Women’s Day, the Emirates News Agency, WAM, sheds some light on the colossal role played by Sheikha Jawaher in supporting refugees and other humanitarian causes across the region.
It’s noteworthy that United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, appointed Sheikha Jawaher as an Eminent Advocate for Refugees for three terms in a row – a distinguished position that UNHCR gives to compelling individuals to highlight priority issues of the organisation and to draw attention to its operations worldwide.
The international organisation has affirmed that the UAE boasts a long history marked by generosity and giving and has contributed significantly to alleviating the suffering of refugees and the displaced around the world.
Through the Big Heart Foundation, Sheikha Jawaher has extended support to around 800,000 refugees and displaced persons around the world at a total cost of $22 million.
For her part, Sheikha Jawaher said in exclusive statements to WAM that the UAE has been making history in areas of humanitarian aid since the country’s establishment until now.
“The Big Heart Foundation reflects the core beliefs entrenched in the conscience of the UAE in general and the Emirate of Sharjah in particular.
“The Foundation translates our deep conviction purporting that goodness exists as long as humanity exists. The history of the UAE shows in no uncertain way that the values of giving and charity chart the country’s path toward excellence and distinction.”
“The Founder of the Union, Late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, God bless his soul, used to have his indelible contributions in many of the world countries.
“His philanthropic approach – adopted by the country – has continued until now thanks to the support lent by the wise leadership of the country and has become a model to be copied for charity and humanitarian work,” she said.
On her part, Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of Big Heart Foundation, told WAM that the foundation since its establishment in 2013 has provided humanitarian aid and support to more than 1.62 million refugees and displaced persons in nine countries in the MENA region and Asia worth more than Dhs93.345 million.
“Featuring high on the relief projects undertaken by the foundation over the past four years is a Dhs24.8 million medical care programme for Syrian refugees in Jordan from which around one million persons in Palestine benefited,” she said.
In April 2017 the foundation provided $1,000,000 to cover the educational costs and living expenses of 21 Syrian students living in Lebanon.