November 3rd, 2020 ― Doha: Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) signed today morning a framework memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), to work together to provide diverse forms of humanitarian support for Palestinian refugees.
The MoU was signed by Ali bin Hassan Al-Hammadi, Secretary-General of QRCS, and Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of the UNRWA. The ceremony was attended by Marc Lassouaoui, UNRWA Chief of Donor Relations, and Tamara Al Rifai, UNRWA Spokesperson.
Faisal Mohamed Al-Emadi, Director of Relief and International Development Division, Muna Fadel Al-Sulaiti, Director of Volunteering and Local Development Division, Yousef Mohamed Al-Awadi, Director of Resource Mobilization Department, and Dr. Fawzi Oussedik, Head of International Relations, were also present.
In his remarks during the press conference, Mr. Al-Hammadi said, “QRCS realizes the important mandate undertaken by the UNRWA to meet the needs of the people of Palestine and ease the burdens and difficulties they face. In particular, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has weighed heavily on their lives, health, and incomes”. “With this in mind, the signing of this MoU is an attempt to support the UNRWA to continue to provide vital services for the Palestinians,” he added. “We will raise funds from the generous people of Qatar and international donors to launch humanitarian projects and campaigns that will help to alleviate the suffering of our Palestinian sisters and brothers, especially during this winter”.
Mr. Lazzarini thanked QRCS for the welcoming reception. He described the MoU as “important to help the UNRWA this fall to support the Palestinians”. “As you know, it is very difficult nowadays, in a region suffering from economic, financial, and political turmoil. And on top of that, we have COVID-19, which is hitting everyone without any distinction. But when it comes to the impact of COVID-19, the most vulnerable are the harsher hit, and among them we have the Palestinian refugees. “Today, there is growing despair and distress, and there is also a feeling among the Palestinian refugees that they might be abandoned by the international community. This is the reason why this cooperation is so important today, because we have to redouble our effort to meet the basic needs and rights of the Palestinian refugees. “It is a race against the clock, because their expectations are growing vis-à-vis the UNRWA. At the same time, as we all know, the UNRWA is going through an unprecedented financial crisis, at a time when most of the countries supporting the UNRWA are also experiencing their own economic recession. Hence, this is the importance of this agreement today,” he concluded.
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About Qatar Red Crescent (QRCS)
Established in 1978, Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) is a humanitarian volunteering organization that aims to assist and empower vulnerable individuals and communities without partiality or discrimination.
QRCS is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which consists of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and 191 National Societies. QRCS is also a member of several GCC, Arab, and Islamic organizations, such as the Islamic Committee of International Crescent and the Arab Red Crescent and Red Cross Organization (ARCO). In this legally recognized capacity, QRCS has access to disaster and conflict zones, thus serving as an auxiliary to the State of Qatar in its humanitarian efforts — a role that distinguishes it from other local charities and NGOs.
QRCS operates both locally and internationally and has ongoing international relief and development projects in a number of countries throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe. QRCS's humanitarian actions include providing support in disaster preparedness, disaster response, risk reduction, and disaster recovery. To mitigate the impact of disasters and improve the livelihoods of affected populations, QRCS provides medical services, healthcare, and social development to local communities. It is also active at the humanitarian advocacy front. With the help of a vast network of trained, committed staff and volunteers, QRCS aspires to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity.
QRCS works under the umbrella of the seven international humanitarian principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.