The Sharjah International Award for refugee advocacy and support was launched on Sunday to recognise and pay tribute to those who have made distinguished humanitarian efforts for refugees and displaced families in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
The award was announced by Shaikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.
Shaikha Jawaher is United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation.
The award was introduced by the Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) in collaboration with UNHCR, under the patronage of Dr Shaikh Sultan.
“The launch of Sharjah International Award for refugee advocacy and support is in line with our enduring commitment to ending the suffering of refugees and also to inspire individuals and organisations to contribute to improving the lives of those who have been displaced by wars and armed conflict,” said Shaikha Jawaher.
She said that the award programme has been set up as a continuation of the approach of goodness and philanthropy as established by the UAE’s munificent leaders and in appreciation of the role played by the emirate of Sharjah to support humanitarian initiatives at both the regional and international levels.
Shaikha Jawaher underlined that the scheme would focus on honouring those who have contributed to providing food, health care, education and social solutions for refugees and displaced persons and helped in instilling within them confidence and hope for a better future.
The award will be presented every year to a personality or entity that has contributed significantly to changing the lives of refugees and displaced families for the better. The winner will be honoured during a special ceremony to be held in Sharjah where they will receive a cash prize of $100,000 (Dh367,000), along with a trophy and certificate of appreciation.
The programme is open to individuals and organisations in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, with the award’s General Secretariat also welcoming submissions from the rest of the world provided that they address the issue of refugees and displaced people in geographic areas that fall within the scope of the award’s interest.
Award entries will be evaluated on the basis of the positive imprints they have left on the lives of the refugees and displaced persons, with a focus on the efficiency of financial and human resources management, governance practices, transparency, accountability and effective communication with the public during the implementation of humanitarian work.
The General Secretariat of the Sharjah International Award for refugee advocacy and support will organise an annual programme of events and activities for individuals and organisations to introduce them to the award, outlining its vision, goals and terms of participation.