Dubai donation for UNHCR programmes benefiting young refugees

News Stories, 31 March 2008

© Courtesy of Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein
Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein and Cartier International President Bernard Fornas hand the cheque to UNHCR's Ahmed Gurbartalla.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, March 31 (UNHCR) An annual charity campaign backed by a leading member of Dubai's ruling family has granted 570,000 dirhams (US$155,000) to the UN refugee agency for sports programmes and gender awareness courses that it runs.

Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Bernard Fornas, president of Cartier International, handed over a cheque to UNHCR Regional Representative Ahmed Gurbartalla last Friday during this year's Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge.

The money was donated by the Cartier Love Charity campaign. Princess Haya, who is patron of the campaign, chose UNHCR to be this year's recipient.

"The Cartier donation will fund projects under the current partnership between the International Olympic Committee [IOC] and UNHCR to engage refugee youth in sports activities," Gurbartalla said. He thanked Princess Haya and Cartier for their generosity.

The funds will probably be used for projects in north-east Kenya's Dadaab camp, home to 184,000 mainly Somali refugees. These will include interactive training sessions that combine sports instruction with awareness courses on gender-based violence.

Princess Haya, whose husband is also vice-president of UAE and ruler of Dubai, is a member of the advisory board of UNHCR's Women Leading for Livelihoods initiative. In the past, she has arranged donations for UNHCR projects that benefit refugee women and youth.

By Firas Kayal in Dubai, United Arab Emirates