Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), and Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has reiterated to the Emirati community the importance of responding to global humanitarian needs with a higher intensity than ever before on World Humanitarian Day.

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi said: “While the World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is a day to celebrate the global community’s achievements in the field, it is more a reminder that there are millions of people out there who are caught up in severe circumstances and in dire need for our help and support. It is an occasion to reflect on the fact that the lives of refugees, the disadvantaged and less fortunate people are quite literally dependent on the dedicated aid and support they receive from us. This dedication is what defines us and exemplifies the essence of humanity. Values of generosity and selflessness bind human beings, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or location.

“The UAE is the world’s largest international donor in Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Gross National Income (GNI) – a testimony to the UAE’s culture seeped in the values of philanthropy and giving passed down to us by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder of the UAE, have been reinforced by our leaders, citizens, as well as government and private entities.

“The UAE’s engagement in global humanitarian aid has benefitted our community by enriching our culture, honing our social practices and highlighting our ethical commitment to humanitarian issues at both national and global levels. These values will embellish our cherished ethical heritage that will be passed from generation to another, a part of the UAE’s national identity our younger generation’s will proudly wear on their shoulders.

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi, has called governmental and non-governmental organisations worldwide to create a fully-integrated and unified approach to carrying out relief and humanitarian efforts, and broaden its reach to ensure the inclusion of all those who need humanitarian support.

“Conflicts are the main cause of violence in society and leave an indelible impact on people’s lives, but we should not forget other situations such as climate change, disruption of development plans and natural calamities, which continues to take a heavy toll on lives everywhere.”

A report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) indicates that four countries are facing a credible risk of famine, namely: Somalia, South of Sudan, Yemen and Nigeria (North-east), and this year there are more than 136 Million people in 26 countries who need urgent humanitarian assistance.

Her Highness concluded: “The humanitarian support is growing, but we still need more organised efforts. If we let down those victims and failed to alleviate their suffering, their relationship with the world will be distorted and broken, and it will be extremely difficult for them to be reintegrated into their local communities and the international community in general.”