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Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah makes the largest individual contribution ever in support of UNHCR

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Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah makes the largest individual contribution ever in support of UNHCR

23 March 2020
Bangladesh. Core Relief Items for Rohingya refugees
A senior delegation from the Thani Bin Abdullah Bin Thani Al-Thani Humanitarian Fund is briefed on relief items distributed to Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the Thani Bin Abdullah Bin Thani Al-Thani Humanitarian Fund announced today in Doha Sheikh Thani's largest contribution so far to UNHCR. More than US$43 million, channelled through four separate agreements, will fund UNHCR’s work in support of refugees and displaced people in Yemen, Lebanon, Bangladesh and Chad.

For the second year in a row, the contribution of a leading Qatari philanthropist will be aiding millions through support for UNHCR’s efforts to protect and shelter those forced to flee their homes. This year’s donation is the largest ever individual contribution to UNHCR.

“This generous donation by H.E. Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah is timely and substantial. It will help UNHCR respond to the dire needs of those forced to flee their homes and those hosting them in four of our major operations. Sheikh Thani’s exemplary giving is a true testament to the strong tradition of philanthropy in the Islamic world and will be used to alleviate the plight of refugees in Asia, Middle East and Africa,” said Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

“Today, more than ever before, the need to come together to end the suffering of millions around the world has never been greater. I believe the time has come for the world to use its immense resources and capabilities to respond to humanitarian crises worldwide and for the Muslim world to exercise Zakat as a powerful tool to do so,” added Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah.

The latest donation will be split into four parts. The first part will be directed to Yemen to assist over 600,000 internally displaced people, returnees and extremely vulnerable members of host communities through cash grants. These will allow them to cover their basic needs such as rent, food, education and health-care services.

The second tranche will provide vital monthly cash assistance to 143,000 vulnerable Syrian refugees who are currently living under the poverty line in Lebanon. The country is currently hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees per capita.

The third part of the donation will be implemented in Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar refugee settlements. The aim is to help create sustainable and dignified living conditions for some 84,000 Rohingya refugees and members of the host communities.

Funds for these three operations will be channelled through UNHCR’s Refugee Zakat Fund, a globally trusted structure, governed by UNHCR. The Fund allows individuals and institutions alike to fulfil their Zakat obligations efficiently with 100 per cent of contributions delivered directly to the most vulnerable refugees and to internally displaced families.

The fourth section will support shelter, education and health care for 330,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad – including some 10,000 newly displaced Sudanese refugees who fled violence in Darfur since January 2020. These funds will be channelled through UNHCR’s Sadaqah initiative.


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UNHCR leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. We deliver life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water; help safeguard fundamental human rights; and develop solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. We also work to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality.

About Thani Bin Abdullah Bin Thani Al-Thani Humanitarian Fund

The Thani Bin Abdullah Bin Thani Al-Thani Humanitarian Fund was established to support the displaced and those most in need globally to alleviate their plight with the support of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).