Doha, June 19 (QNA) - The State of Qatar will celebrate World Refugee Day, which falls on June 20 every year, with countries of the world on Monday.
The day was set by the United Nations to celebrate and honor refugees from around the world and highlight the strength and courage of people who were forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution, as well as mobilize sympathy and understanding for their plight and appreciation of their determination to rebuild their lives.
This day was celebrated worldwide for the first time on June 20, 2001, in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention. It was previously known as "African Refugee Day" before the United Nations General Assembly officially designated it as the international day of refugees around the world in December 2000.
Qatar has always been one of the main supporters of the United Nations efforts in the field of supporting refugees and displaced persons. It is a constant partner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in addition to its permanent membership in the support platform dedicated to the solutions strategy for Afghan refugees. The total contributions provided by the government and Qatari authorities to UNHCR amounted to more than $354 million Qatars support for UNHCRs efforts is not limited to financial assistance; it has always been present alongside United Nations organizations and agencies. Last November, Qatar signed an agreement with the World Food Program to provide a financial contribution of $90 million to help meet urgent food security needs in Yemen. In the same month, Qatar also signed an agreement with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), amounting to $18 million, with additional comprehensive support for Palestinian refugees in Syria in the health, education and economic development sectors, with a total amount of $7 million.
Qatar's continuous support and generous contributions to organizations concerned with migration stem from its commitment to strengthening the strong strategic partnership with the United Nations system to achieve the goals of the international organization, and its strong commitment to the principles of shared responsibility and multilateral action, as it is one of the leading countries in providing development and relief assistance.
The State, institutions and humanitarian charities in Qatar continue to provide various forms of support to the UNHCR, sign several partnership and cooperation agreements and establish an office for UNHCR in Doha, believing in the importance of strengthening international cooperation and confronting international crises collectively and in coordination.
Qatar has confirmed in many international forums, especially the UN, that it will continue to provide the necessary support to the efforts of the UNHCR to enable it to implement its humanitarian programs and activities around the world, as well as enhance its ability to respond to the increasing humanitarian needs resulting from waves of asylum and forced displacement.
Providing Support to Refugees
Qatar is committed to providing all support and assistance to refugees, and its support is not limited to spending or allocating financial or medical or food aid and others, but also includes diplomatic participation to end conflicts in countries whose residents have been displaced due to the ongoing conflict.
In the context of support provided by the State of Qatar to those affected by conflicts in the world, the State announced the allocation of financial aid for refugees in various amounts, the latest of which was $5 million through the Qatar Fund for Development for humanitarian aid, to support those fleeing the Ukrainian war.
At the same time, Qatar announced that the difficult humanitarian situation facing millions of refugees, considering the escalation and tension between Moscow and Kiev, requires the solidarity of the international community to develop emergency plans to respond to their necessary needs, calling for an immediate cessation of military action in Ukraine and securing humanitarian corridors to ensure the arrival of aid, in addition to shifting to resolve the dispute through dialogue and through diplomatic means and not to do what would lead to further escalation.
Qatar's call came out of its keenness on the United Nations Charter and the well-established principles of international law, including the obligations under the Charter to settle international disputes by peaceful means, and its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of states, considering its continuous efforts to mediate and find solutions to international crises.
The State of Qatar had a prominent global role, whether in aiding the displaced Afghans, or in assisting countries of the world in evacuating their nationals from Afghanistan during the transitional period it recently went through. Doha took the lead in accommodating thousands of Afghan refugees fleeing the scourge of the conflict in their country at the time and providing aid to the Afghan people through all forms and mechanisms.
In this context, HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani received a written message from HE the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, in which he expressed his thanks and gratitude to His Highness for the support of the State of Qatar and sending emergency winter relief materials to the Afghan capital, Kabul, by organizing an air bridge on board 4 aircraft of the Qatari Armed Forces to transport 91 tons of relief materials.
In his message, HE the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees praised the leading humanitarian role played by the State of Qatar in Afghanistan and its support for the work of the UNHCR for the benefit of displaced persons, especially at that critical time that coincided with the deteriorating economic and humanitarian conditions for all Afghans. HE the High Commissioner also expressed his appreciation for the strong partnership between the UNHCR and the State of Qatar, saying that he is looking forward to further cooperation in this field.
The State of Qatar, a permanent member of the support platform dedicated to the solutions strategy for Afghan refugees, is a consistent partner of UNHCR, as it has always supported its operations around the world to assist refugees and forcibly displaced people around the world.
The State of Qatar has a firm commitment to support refugees and other forcibly displaced people around the world. The Qatar Fund for Development, in support of the UNHCR, signed an agreement to provide flexible funding to UNHCR for the two years (2021 / 2022), with the aim of supporting its humanitarian efforts around the world. This form of funding allows emergency assistance to be provided at any time and wherever the needs are greatest, thus enabling UNHCR to ensure a rapid response to the growing needs of the 84 million forcibly displaced people around the world.
It seems that the coming years will be more severe for refugees in the world. While refugees are paying the bill for the widespread spread of the COVID-19 virus, the war in Ukraine has emerged to add to the list of refugee, and increase global crises, foremost of which is the food crisis due to the disruption of global supply chains.
Observers believe that the food security crisis fueled by the Ukraine war will push more people to flee their homes in poorer countries, leading to higher levels of global displacement. The latest UN report showed that about 89.3 million people were forcibly displaced around the world as a result of persecution, conflict, abuse and violence at the end of last year, and since then millions more have fled Ukraine or been displaced within its borders with the high prices linked to the ban on grain exports, which would cause more displacement to other places.
Observers wonder about the expected scene of refugee waves at the near level, especially considering the food crisis that the world is suffering from, in addition to the outbreak of tensions here and there, the disruption of transport and supplies, and the violation of human rights, as well as the exacerbation of the climate crisis and the rising fears of the emergence of new epidemics. It is clear that the impact will be very devastating if a quick solution is not found, as more people will already flee their homes and countries, whether due to high prices, wars, water shortages, drought, unemployment, disease or violent insurgencies.
In general, the number of displaced people has increased annually over the past decade, according to the report of the UNHCR, as the total number at the end of last year reached more than 90 million people around the world, and this situation worsened due to the remnants of the Ukrainian crisis, which raised this number to about 100 million in addition to the further consequences of other conflict areas on the global movement of displacement, such as the situation in Syria, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, Nigeria, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the refugees of Central America and the Caribbean.
The UN agency revealed that the Ukrainian war has contributed, since the beginning of this year, to the displacement of 8 million people inside the country and forced about 6 million others to leave the country, stressing that the number of forcibly displaced people around the world exceeded one percent of the world's population.
In its latest reports, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) stated that 59.1 million people were displaced within their countries last year, an increase of four million from 2020, and disasters related to climate change such as floods, storms and hurricanes caused about 23.7 million internal displacements in 2021, especially in the Asia Pacific region.
Analysts stress the need for the world, as it celebrates the "World Refugee Day", to stand up to refugee crises and examine how governments deal with the flow of refugees, calling for the need to unite and not ignore the suffering of refugees, like the Syrian and Palestinian refugees. They noted that the international response to people fleeing the Ukrainian war was "very positive", which fueled hope that the international community's handling of other international crises would be on the same level as what happened in Ukraine.
Observers stated that the speed of response of the European Union and Western governments to refugee crises in the world was "unequal", recalling in this context the sympathy and support that Ukrainian refugee have enjoyed, contrary to how small groups of immigrants arriving in Europe via the Mediterranean, or those who crossed the borders of several countries to reach the United States of America were dealt with.
Despite repeated international calls to provide more support and assistance to refugees in various regions of the world, the reality reveals the growing tragedies experienced by people who have been forced by political systems in their countries, armed conflicts, or climate changes, to migrate, leave their homes and seek asylum in other countries. It highlights the need for real and impartial international solidarity to find radical solutions to contain the increasing numbers of refugees, and give them a dose of hope for a better future that guarantees them a decent life, preserves their dignity and their humanity. (QNA)