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ERC, UNHCR discuss cooperation

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ABU DHABI, 10th December, 2017 (WAM) -- The Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, have discussed means for cooperation to reduce the dire humanitarian situation faced by refugees and displaced people in the region. The two sides also reviewed the status of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

This came during a meeting between Fahd Abdulrahman bin Sultan, Deputy Secretary-General of the International Aid Department at the ERC and Khaled Khalifa, UNHCR's Regional Representative to the GCC Countries.

The ERC and the UNHCR affirmed their keenness to activate agreements signed between the two parties, and work together to find appropriate solutions to enhance capacity building for refugees and displaced persons, especially women and children, and provide them with the necessary protection in light of challenges faced due to crises and disasters in the region.

During the meeting, it was agreed that communication mechanisms, joint initiatives, and exchange of knowledge and experience must be strengthened. The two sides exchanged views that would enhance the content of humanitarian action and provide greater protection for refugees and displaced people affected by regional crises.

The meeting attendees also covered the UNHCR's expertise in logistics and capacity building through training programmes to improve the skills of ERC volunteers in emergency and crisis management.

Fahd Abdulrahman presented the authority's projects and initiatives to support Rohingya refugees. He explained that the ERC had already implemented three relief operations in Bangladesh, under the guidance of UAE leadership and follow up of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region. These aid projects also included the distribution of over 27,000 food parcels, drilling of water wells, and provision of amenities to ensure a healthy environment in the refugee camps, he added.

Khaled Khalifa highlighted the ERC's critical, global role to alleviate the suffering of victims of disasters and crises, praising the humanitarian authority's initiatives and efforts to assist vulnerable communities.

He went on to say that meetings with international bodies, like the UNHCR, open broader areas for constructive cooperation, and that the ERC is committed to strengthening bridges of communication and collaboration with regional and international aid agencies to ensure better humanitarian response action.

WAM/Nour Salman/MOHD AAMIR