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Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support: A New Ray of Hope

posted on 17/04/2017: 843 views

Amid many conflicts and dramatic natural disasters that sweep across many countries in the world, the plight of refugees continues to deepen each day, marking the biggest human migration in the 21st century. Strong and continued charitable humanitarian assistance is the need of the hour, which makes the launch of Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support more relevant than ever.

All refugees have their stories and dreams, but also share one goal: the search for a better life away from the violence, oppression and conflict that has caused such havoc, often risking their lives in pursuit of a safe shelter and a dignified life for their children.

There has been a significant increase in the number of refugees as a result of turmoil in a number of Arab countries and other Asian and North African states. According to UNHCR reports, 39 percent of the world's displaced population is hosted in MENA, with 13.5 million people in need in Syria, more than 3 million displaced inside Iraq, 82 percent of the 27 million inhabitants residing in Yemen are in need of humanitarian assistance, and over 5 million Palestinians are refugees. These are the highest recorded numbers of displaced people since World War II. Other displacement and refugee situations include 350,000 Libyans and 3.74 million Sudanese nationals.

Given this massive displacement, the Emirate of Sharjah has been a constant and consistent pillar of support, at the forefront of humanitarian efforts and help. H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has adopted a clear stance on the action required to aid refugees and provide all forms of relief and humanitarian assistance to help alleviate their suffering.

The Big Heart Foundation, TBHF, has had a massive impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled regions affected by wars and crises in Asia and North Africa, since its launch two years ago. The foundation has provided full relief assistance and support through numerous initiatives that focused on providing the basic needs of refugees.

In TBHF's ongoing efforts to create innovative techniques of charitable relief work, H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the TBHF, UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children, and wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, launched the Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support in January 2017 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 honours the efforts of people who dedicate their lives and devote their time to alleviating the suffering of others, as well as encouraging and inspiring further efforts. Award winners will receive a cash prize of US$100,000, along with a trophy and certificate of appreciation, during a special ceremony to be held in Sharjah.

The award paves the way for an even greater investment in supporting refugees in their ever-increasing hours of need and provides hope for a better future. With this award, Sharjah is inspired by the vision of its leadership that has made instilling values and developing communities its key goal, irrespective of religion, ethnicity or identity.


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