United Arab Emirates and UNHCR sign partnership agreement for operations in Pakistan

News Stories, 6 July 2009

© UNHCR/H.Caux
Internally displaced Pakistani women and girls queue for UNHCR relief items. The relationship with the United Arab Emirates will help the UNHCR operation in Pakistan.

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, July 6 (UNHCR) The government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and UNHCR on Monday signed a partnership agreement to support vital humanitarian operations in Pakistan.

The agreement signed on the UAE's behalf by the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nehayan Foundation will provide for the needs of internally displaced people, mainly women and children, living in precarious conditions. The partnership includes procurement of basic relief items such as tents, blankets, sleeping mats, plastic sheeting, mosquito nets and kitchen sets to displaced Pakistani families living in some 21 camps or with host families.

It will also help facilitate the voluntary return of displaced people in north-west Pakistan. UNHCR considers the current humanitarian crisis, with more than 2 million displaced Pakistanis in the North West Frontier Province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, as one of the largest, fastest and most complex operations it has faced in years.

"We would like to express our deep gratitude and respect to the leadership and people of the UAE for their generous support, which underscores their important role in international humanitarian work," said Panos Moumtzis, head off UNHCR's resource mobilization service. "We value tremendously the UNHCR-Khalifa Foundation cooperation and consider it as one of the most important partnerships we have embarked upon in the region in the last decade."

Mohamed Haji Al Khoori, executive director of the Khalifa Foundation, also expressed appreciation for the agreement and highlighted the needs of displaced families. "We value our cooperation with UNHCR and feel delighted the UAE government and the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Naheyan Foundation are supporting the urgent humanitarian needs of the displaced families in Pakistan," he said. "We consider this to be our duty, according to our traditions and values."

Implementation of the project will start immediately, given the urgency of the needs in Pakistan. UNHCR has been operating in Pakistan for more than 30 years and is currently one of the largest humanitarian actors on the ground, having a lead role in terms of management of humanitarian operations.

The Abu Dhabi-based Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nehayan Foundation, which was established in 2007, enjoys an independent legal status and has the authority to implement charitable activities, provide assistance to the needy and provide educational assistance as well as social, health and religious services. The foundation has a mandate to operate in a global capacity.