Speaking on behalf of the President of the United Arab Emirates HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister for International Cooperation and Development HE Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, today announced the release of US$60 million towards the immediate critical humanitarian needs of Syrian and Palestinian civilians directly affected by the on-going Syrian conflict.
HE the Minister said that US$50 million would be directed towards those civilians displaced inside Syria, while the remaining US$10 million would be directed towards Syrian refugees in camps set up in neighbouring Jordan. The Minister added that these funds were part of an overall UAE commitment since January 2013 of US$360 million towards those displaced by conflict in Syria, for which disbursement is continuing.
This current disbursement OF US$60 million will be channeled by way of response plans for Syria coordinated by the United Nations (UN) authorities, and implemented on behalf of the UAE by UN entities on the ground including: the World Food Programme (WFP); the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA); the World Health Organisation (WHO); the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF); and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
The much-needed funds will be used by these UN partners both in and outside Syria, to address in a coordinated manner, acute food and nutrition needs especially for women and children, water and sanitation demands, and critical health priorities. Priority would be extended to the most vulnerable.
HE Minister Sheikha Lubna noted that responsibility for the disbursement of the UAE funds would rest with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD). For its part the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development would liaise closely with the UN implementing agencies and work with them to ensure optimum support for innocent civilians caught up in the tragedy of armed conflict. The ministry will sign agreements with international organizations separately which will specify modes of disbursement, and the targeted projects and locations. MICAD will be monitoring and evaluating the projects to ensure transparency and accountability for the specified projects.
"This generous support from the UAE comes at a critical time for Syrian children," said UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake. "As the human costs of the conflict grow, the commitment of partners such as the UAE is increasingly important. Their support means children can receive clean water, learning opportunities, protection against disease, and the chance to play and have a childhood. This is an investment not only in the children but in the future stability of the region."
Baroness Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC) commented on the announcement by saying: “My thanks to the Government of the United Arab Emirates for their continued support to the people of Syria who are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. I welcome their decision to allocate all of the funds they pledged at the Syria conference in Kuwait to United Nations agencies," said Valerie Amos. "Millions of Syrians urgently need support. We will use these funds to help them."
"I am deeply grateful to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for this timely and generous humanitarian donation which will support UNHCR in alleviating the suffering of Syrian refugees in Jordan. This is an important demonstration of international solidarity and will also serve to further strengthen our strategic relationship with the UAE and its national institutions." – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.
“We are very grateful for this very timely contribution of the UAE Government. For WFP, this contribution comes at a critical moment, as we work to meet the ongoing food assistance needs of nearly 7 million Syrians, worn down by the now three-year conflict,” said Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme. “This significant investment demonstrates the generosity of the UAE and its people as they lead by example, shouldering the burden of a crisis that has gone beyond the borders of Syria. Your support also reflects humanitarian solidarity with the refugee hosting countries. You will save the lives of children, vulnerable men and women."
"This generous pledge from the UAE will help UNRWA to deliver crucial assistance to the suffering people of Yarmouk Camp and other Palestinian refugee camps in Syria. We are most grateful to the government and the people of the UAE under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed," Pierre Krahenbuhl, Commissioner General, UNRWA said.
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