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Qatar Charity, UNHCR commit 4 million riyals for Sudanese refugees in Egypt and Chad

The two agreements are set to deliver essential support to more than 30,000 Sudanese refugees.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Qatar Charity have inked two agreements totalling QAR 4,375,696 (approximately US$1.2 million) to bolster the well-being of over 30,000 Sudanese refugees residing in Egypt and Chad.

This funding, made possible through Zakat, an Islamic form of charity, aims to address the growing humanitarian challenges faced by displaced Sudanese individuals.

This financial commitment follows the Letter of Intent on Islamic Philanthropy Collaboration signed by UNHCR and Qatar Charity last March. The letter underscores the instrumental role that Zakat plays in catering to pressing global humanitarian demands.

“With more than 759,000 refugees and asylum-seekers having fled the turmoil in Sudan, the necessity for humanitarian aid is escalating. Our ground teams are tirelessly endeavouring to meet these needs,” said Ahmed Mohsen, UNHCR’s Representative to Qatar.

“Qatar Charity’s timely Zakat contribution is invaluable, and we anticipate it will significantly extend our reach to aid more refugees.”

Through the allocated funds, 22,341 Sudanese refugees in Egypt will receive cash assistance for vital needs like rent, food, and healthcare.

A further 7,790 Sudanese refugees in Chad will benefit from indispensable relief items, including blankets, kitchen sets, sleeping mats, and jerrycans.

Nawaf Abdulla Al-Hammadi, Chief Global Programs Officer at Qatar Charity, reemphasised the organisation’s commitment to aiding displaced individuals in collaboration with UNHCR.

“This funding aims to alleviate the strains endured by vulnerable Sudanese refugee families in Egypt and Chad. Cash assistance and essential items will enable them to prioritise their most urgent needs,” Al-Hammadi said.

UNHCR Egypt’s Representative Hanan Hamdan highlighted the importance of contributions from non-governmental organisations, noting that over 280,000 individuals have sought refuge in Egypt via its southern borders.

Hamdan added, “We are immensely grateful for Qatar Charity’s support and look forward to an extended partnership.”

Jerome Merlin, UNHCR Assistant Representative Operations to Chad, welcomed Qatar Charity’s debut contribution to Chad, which now hosts the largest number of Sudanese refugees.

“We depend on the generosity of our partners to continue meeting the burgeoning needs of people fleeing their homes. This marks the beginning of a robust partnership,” said Merlin.

With violence in Sudan showing no signs of abating, more than 4.9 million people have been compelled to leave their homes, either relocating within Sudan or seeking refuge in neighbouring countries such as Egypt, Chad, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Central African Republic.

Qatar has expressed its readiness to contribute to rebuilding Sudan and renewed its support for all efforts aimed at halting the country’s deadliest war, the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) said in a statement on Monday.

The key Sudanese political party’s statement came after its delegation concluded a six-day visit to the Gulf state, in which they met with top Qatari officials, including Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

Sudan’s deadliest conflict erupted in April between the Sudanese army, led by Al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), commanded by Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, widely known as Hemedti.

The ongoing fighting between the rivals has so far resulted in an estimated death toll of 4,000, though the actual figure is feared to be much higher.

The fatal conflict has largely disrupted a 2019 power-sharing agreement between Sudanese parties, signed months after the overthrow of former Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to form a Sovereign Council.

The agreement set late 2023 as the deadline for a vote to elect a civilian administration.