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UNHCR thanks President Khalifa for helping Iraqi refugees in Syria

posted on 26/10/2007: 711 views

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expressed thanks to President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his generous donation to help Iraqi refugees in Syria.

In a statement in here on Thursday to Emirates News Agency (WAM), UNHCR's Director of the Bureau for the Middle East and North Africa Radhouane Nouicer said "Sheikh Khalifa's donation was the first Arab contribution to efforts to help to help Iraqi refugees in neighbouring Syria." Upon directives from H.H Sheikh Khalifa, the Sheikh Khalifa Foundation for Charity Works donated earlier this year $10 million donation in support of the agency's operations aimed at assisting Iraqi refugees in Syria.

"Sheikh Khalifa's donation would not only ease burden on the Syrian government, but would also help it to build infrastructure for hosting Iraqi refugees on its territories", said Nouicer.

"The United Arab Emirates is one of our major partners in the region and our relations are moving steadily in good pace", he added.

Nouicer is leading a delegation from UNHCR on a current UAE visit which started Wednesday.

"We are visiting the country to thank the UAE authorities and co-ordinate with them in regard to humanitarian programmes", he said.

The visiting UNHCR delegation comprises Nick Van Praag, Director of the Division of External Relations, UNHCR headquarters in Geneva and Ahmed Gubartallah, Regional Representative for the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, UNHCR Riyadh. They arrived in UAE yesterday in a regional tour to rally support to humanitarian work.

Radhouane said "the UAE visit is aimed at pursuing common humanitarian work, establishing relations with Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), training young UAE nationals on humanitarian works as well as coordinating relief works with the UAE, and in broad terms, to enhance relations with UAE".

Early this month, UNHCR's representative in the Gulf region, Ahmed Gubartallah said the agency was pleased with $10 million donation by Sheikh Khalifa to alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi refugees in Syria.

UNHCR headquarters in Geneva also expressed its gratitude to Sheikh Khalifa and the people of the UAE for the well-timed contribution, describing it as "an evidence of humanitarian partnership and solidarity in the region". (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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