New lifeline for Syrians as HH Sheikha Jawaher launches ‘Big Heart for Syrian refugee children’ campaign to give 1.55 million refugees hope beyond World Refugee Day

805,000 Syrian children among those forced to surrender their birthrights and human rights

UAE, Sharjah, June 2013: With the global community marking World Refugee Dayon June 20th,the UNHCR’s Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children – Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qassimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs – has made the Syrian refugee crisis her immediate focus by launching the ‘Big Heart for Syrian refugee children’ campaign.

The launch coincideswith alarming new figures from the UNHCR revealing that 1,557,134 Syrians have so far fled persecution, bombardment and deplorable living conditions in their homeland – with many losing their families, human rights and even their identities in the process. What is of particular concern for humanitarians is that 805,000 of these refugees are children.The actual number of Syrians who are now homeless is much higher, factoring in the many Syrians who have been displaced within the country’s borders and have not yet managed to escape across war-torn territory and minefields into neighboring countries.

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qassimi appealed to the UAE public and the Arab world toset an inspiring example for the international community: “It is tragic that many refugee children are marking their second consecutive World Refugee Day for another year without a home to call their own. Let us notleave them to shoulder the other 364 days of the year alone, because refugee status should never be a life sentence.Duringmy visitsto Syrian refugees in their adopted homeland of Lebanon, I have been deeply touched by the generosityof their Lebanese hosts and the refugees themselves, because they share even the little they have with each other.It is time to show them that we stand by their side and we will spare no effort in giving Syrian refugee families and children the secure life that every human has a right to.”

This campaign is the latest in a long line of humanitarian efforts in which Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qassimi has helped to raise well over AED100 million (approximately US$30 million). This philanthropy has helped to transform the lives of Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian and Somali beneficiaries, among many others. Equipped with this experience across the MENA region, Her Highness is now taking her efforts to the global stage in order to raise awareness, contributions and hope worldwide.
Imran Riza, Regional Representative to the GCC for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, commented: “In line with our theme that ‘One refugee family without a home is too many’, we sincerely hope the UAE community and the region will join Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qassimi in our efforts to provide homes for the homeless, help the helpless and bring hope to the hopeless. About 80% of the refugees are women and children, but they are eager to become self-dependent through education and employment assistance that will empower them to look after their own families.”

Those who wish to make a difference to the lives of Syrian refugees can assist through typing “donate” and sending to the following SMS Codes: 2000(AED10), 2002 (AED50), 2003 (AED100); or through Salam YaSeghar “For Syrian refugee Children”. Bank details| Account number: 0034 430430 012 | IBAN: AE5804 100000 3443 04300 12. Contact: +97165941130,+97165941115, +97165941103