In remarks marking the World Refugee Day, an international observance on June 20 each year, Sheikh Hamdan said the UAE leadership is following in the footsteps of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan by consistently working on introducing sustainable solutions to the untold suffering experienced by refugees and displaced people in various parts of the world.
He hailed the initiatives launched by H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, to empower refugee women economically and socially through the implementation of developmental programmes that help them survive their suffering and dilemmas and enable them to meet their essential needs.
"The UAE will remain a protective shield for refugees, easing their suffering and maintaining their dignity," Sheikh Hamdan added, emphasising on the colossal efforts made by the UAE to restore stability and security in conflict zones and border areas where refugees and internally displaced people, IDP, are living.
He urged the internationally community to exert more significant efforts to provide refugees with better living conditions, noting that the recent years saw increasing numbers of refugees and IDPs as a result of the eruption of bitter conflicts and crises in a number of countries around the globe that resulted in the alarming illegitimate immigration of hundreds of thousands of peoples.
He called for unifying international and regional efforts to improve refugees' living conditions, citing the myriad humanitarian initiatives launched by the UAE on this score, including, but not limited to, the recent 'UAE for Rohingya Women and Children" charity campaign and the strategic partnership between the Emirates Red Crescent and the UNHCR.
Sheikh Hamdan said the $1 million agreement signed last April between the ERC and the UN Refugee Agency aimed to assist Southern Sudan Refugees so that they can establish themselves in Uganda.
The ERC highlighted the importance of such types of projects to empowering refugees economically and encouraging them to work, develop and benefit from their skills, as well as enabling them to continue living with determination.
The Fund for Refugee Women-funded project will provide opportunities for refugees from Southern Sudan to work productively in agricultural and livestock programmes. The project benefited more than 45,000 refugees, with 60 percent of them being women.
The UNHCR says in a world where violence forces thousands of families to flee for their lives each day, the time is now to show that the global public stands with refugees.
The theme for World Refugee Day 2019 is #StepWithRefugees Take A Step on World Refugee Day and focuses on the need to take big and small steps in solidarity with refugees from around the world.
The event honours the courage and determination of those who have been forced to flee their homes.
A record 70.8 million people fled war, persecution and conflict in 2018, according to UNHCR.
WAM/Hatem Mohamed/Tariq alfaham/Hassan Bashir