United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR] and Sheikh Eid Charity Foundation signed two $2 million agreements to provide urgent cash assistance for vulnerable internally displaced families in Yemen and Iraq.
The deal aims to alleviate struggles that displaced families in both countries face due to the ongoing crisis, including limited income, harsh living conditions, and insufficient access to basic necessities.
“We are grateful to Eid Charity Foundation for entrusting UNHCR to distribute zakat contributions to the most vulnerable displaced families, as well as supporting our ability to respond as the humanitarian needs are increasing,” said Khaled Khalifa, UNHCR representative to the GCC countries and senior adviser to the High Commissioner for Refugees for Islamic Philanthropy.
Described by the United Nations as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, the Yemen war has been ongoing since 2014, leaving thousands of people displaced in the country with no access to basic necessities. More than 100,000 civilians have been killed.
Meanwhile, Iraq is still suffering from the long-lasting effects of a US war that erupted in 2013 which some sources say killed more than 1 million civilians and left over five million displaced within the country.
The assistance comes as both countries continue to battle the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put the health of internally displaced people at particular risk.
In Iraq alone, the country has reported over 13,010 deaths since the start of the pandemic, with over 800 new cases reported daily.
Yemen has reported 615 deaths, but given the political conflict in the country, the real numbers are estimated to be much higher.
“Together, we will provide assistance to the most vulnerable displaced families in Yemen and Iraq, who need urgent humanitarian assistance, especially in light of the economic and social challenges caused the humanitarian crises,” Khalifa added.
To help alleviate some of the struggles, UNHCR and Sheikh Eid Charity will provide multi-purpose cash assistance to 3,571 displaced families in Yemen, in addition to 1,250 displaced families in Iraq. This will focus in particular on families of widowed women and orphan children.
“Our foundation has profound interest in building partnerships in the humanitarian field, and we believe that humanitarian work requires joining forces to maximise the impact and alleviating the suffering in the world,” said the general director of the Eid Charitable Foundation.
“Our co-operation with UNHCR allows us to do so by improving living conditions of the most vulnerable displaced persons. Our partnership is built on pride and the hope to reach every person in need.”