Qatar has once again reiterated its support for regufees, the communities that host them and the UNHCR, during the high-level Global Refugee Forum (GRF) held in Geneva this month, and which was actively participated by the country’s delegation of dignitaries and businessmen. 

During the GRF, 770 pledges were made globally towards outstanding refugee issues like employment, education, new government policies, resettlement, and clean energy and infrastructure alternatives. Qatar reaffirmed its commitment to the cause of refugees and support UNHCR and its programmes. Both the Qatari government and private sector continue to be long-standing partners of UNCHR, with generous contributions made throughout the years.

HE Global Refugee Forum Lolwah Rashid Al Khater
HE Lolwah Rashid Al Khater

According to HE Lolwah Rashid Al Khater, Assistant Foreign Minister of Qatar and spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Qatar is proud to have launched many humanitarian initiatives and to support the UNHCR programmes in the amount of US$60 million. Qatar Fund for Development provided aid to the tune of US$235 million from 2013 to 2019 to countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, and the Rohingyas in Bangladesh. She also highlighted the effort and professionalism of the UNHCR team, adding that they are looking forward to working more closely with them,

Creating Conditions for Safe Return of Refugees

Tthe forum focused on six main areas: education, work, energy, infrastructure, shared responsibility, protection and solutions like settlement. The question of how best to create conditions for safe and voluntary return of refugees has been a major theme.

Sheikh Khalifa Bin Thani Al Thani
HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Thani bin Abdullah Al Thani

HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Thani bin Abdullah Al Thani, Trustee of the Thani Bin Abdullah Bin Thani Al Thani Humanitarian Fund, addressed the audience during a private sector plenary session ‘Broadening the Base’, with a statement discussing the importance of showcasing pledges by key private sector and development actors. In 2019 alone, the Fund through UNHCR, supported close to one million displaced populations in Yemen and Bangladesh in the form of Zakat funds.

Khaled Khalifa, UNHCR Representative to the GCC emphasised the role that the government and the private sector play in supporting refugees.

We are extremely proud of the strong partnerships established with the government, private sector and civil society of Qatar. The evolution of our relationship with the State of Qatar over the past decade is a testament of Qatar’s history and leadership in alleviating the plight of displaced populations globally. We, at UNHCR, look forward to continuing leveraging this solid collaboration, for a dignified humanitarian response that leaves no one behind.’

The Refugee Journey in Arabic Calligraphy

Qatar Charity and Qatar Fund for Development in cooperation with UNHCR and the International Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) organised an exhibition on the sidelines of the forum, ‘The Refugee Journey in Arabic Calligraphy’ to portray the suffering, challenges and dreams of millions of refugees worldwide through beautifully-done Arabic inscription.

Qatar’s keenness to strengthen its regional and international humanitarian efforts, and commitment to promoting and protecting the rights of refugees is apparent in the ongoing efforts to raise awareness about the refugee crisis.

The Forum is a key element of the new Global Compact on Refugees affirmed by UN member states in New York in December 2018. Under the Compact, Global Refugee Forums take place every four years. The next forum will be in 2023.

Learn more about the Global Refugee Forum here