‘We all stand for Palestine.’ Dr Musa Nordin, chairman of Viva Palestine Malaysia with Dr Mohammad Hassan from the Arab Medical Union at the ‘First Humanitarian Forum on Palestine’ in Doha, Qatar yesterday. Humanitarian bodies from 30 countries, including Kia Ora Gaza’s partners, Viva Palestina Malaysia and the Arab Medical Union, are attending the three day international gathering for Palestine.
Moody Talat, Doha, Qatar Tribune, 30 October 2014
WITH the participation of dozens of humanitarian organisations and charities from 30 countries, Qatar Charity held its first Humanitarian Forum to Support Palestinians (HFSP) at Doha’s Marriott Hotel on Wednesday.
Held under the patronage of the Prime Minister HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al Thani, the three-day forum aims to shed light on the needs of the Palestinian people as well as gather support for the funding and implementation of humanitarian projects in the country, while launching a number of strategic initiatives there.
“The forum aims to mobilise efforts of regional and international humanitarian and charitable organisations as well as donors, in order to shed light on the needs of the Palestinian people, who have been suffering for decades, with the rising rates of poverty and unemployment, as a result of occupation, siege and repeated aggression in recent years,” Qatar Charity’s CEO Yousef Ahmed al Kuwari said.
“The forum also reiterates Qatar’s support for the Palestinian people while emphasising the cause as being at the forefront of Qatar Charity’s concerns,” Kuwari added, noting that the forum will be held annually as an unprecedented initiative on the national level.
Qatar Charity’s CEO said that the organisation has offices in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, where it plays an important role in providing immediate relief as well as in the implementation of development programmes in health, education, food security and income-generating projects.
Two such programmes, Kuwari pointed out, are Gaza Strip’s Emergency Fishing Project, valued at $10 million and a $45 million West Bank economic empowerment programme, held in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank.
Qatar Charity is currently completing several development projects in the Gaza Strip, at a cost of more than $24 million, Kuwari said, adding that the organisation will further allocate $20 million for continuing its humanitarian efforts in Palestine.
In his recorded speech, President of the Supreme Islamic Council and preacher of Al Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Dr Ekrema Sabri thanked the efforts of HH the Emir, Qatar’s government and people for their generous support to the Palestinian cause, which he said is an important cause for the entire international community and two billion Muslims around the world.
Sabri noted that such support can help thwart the conspiracies being hatched against Palestinians and against Islamic and Christian holy sites in Palestine, especially Al Aqsa Mosque.
Al Aqsa Mosque Preacher stressed the importance of financial support for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, and supporting educational, health and social institutions, calling out the forum’s participants to come out with recommendations and proposals that can be implemented, on the ground, to meet the current challenges.
UNRWA representative Peter Ford addresses the Doha forum
For his part, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Representative of the Commissioner-General in the Arab World Peter Ford stressed the importance of supporting the education sector in Gaza, Jerusalem and other areas, politically as well as educationally. Ford highlighted UNRWA’s efforts in supporting Gaza’s residents, especially those displaced by the recent war, noting that there are 40,000 displaced people living in UNRWA-run schools in the Gaza Strip.
Ford also called on the global community and humanitarian and charitable organisations and donors to make greater effort to help the displaced and to provide support for the rebuilding of homes destroyed or damaged in the recent aggression on Gaza.
Over the course of three days, the forum will discuss a number of working papers including one on the role of Qatari civil institutions in supporting the Palestinian humanitarian work, and another on the conflict in the Gaza Strip and its impact on the humanitarian situation.
The forum’s opening session was attended by a number of ministers, as well as representatives of humanitarian, charitable and civil society organistions.
Qatar Tribune 30/10/14. [Slightly abridged. Ed] Photos: Dr Musa Nordin