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HRH Princess Sarah Zeid

"Every crisis is important and every life is important." UNHCR Patron, HRH Sarah Zeid of Jordan, meets a woman who recently delivered a baby boy at the International Rescue Committee hospital in Kakuma 4, Kenya.

On 15 November 2018, HRH Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan was appointed UNHCR Patron, committing to raising awareness on maternal and newborn issues in refugee and humanitarian settings and encouraging others to support our work.

Her Royal Highness Princess Sarah Zeid has championed this cause for many years. She is a member of UNHCR’s Advisory Group on Gender, Forced Displacement, and Protection, a Special Advisor to the World Food Programme on Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition, and Chair of the Newborn Health in Humanitarian Settings Initiative.

HRH has visited the field on numerous occasions to highlight the importance of addressing maternal and newborn health in humanitarian crises and to reiterate the vital need to protect women and girls from gender-based violence. She is supported by, and partners with, the Women Deliver Humanitarian Advocacy Initiative.

HRH Princess Sarah Zeid holds a BA in International Relations from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, and a MSc in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

HRH is involved in an extensive amount of work focused on the health, welfare and rights of women and girls. Princess Sarah founded and led Every Woman Every Child Everywhere (Everywhere), an unprecedented global multi-stakeholder movement to integrate humanitarian and fragile settings in the renewed Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, a roadmap adopted by the World Health Assembly to end all preventable deaths of women, children and adolescents by 2030.

HRH Princess Sarah Zeid is a member of the Advisory Board for the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, a member of the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health Advisory Committee, and a member of the Towards Global Learning Goals Advisory Board.

HRH’s role as Patron encompasses the responsibility of raising awareness on the work that UNHCR is conducting in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the health sector. By speaking about the results of projects included in this partnership at international conferences around the world, HRH Princess Sarah Zeid is not only helping to show the impact of our work to new audiences but also raising awareness on the importance of protection of women and their children in humanitarian crises.

During the appointment ceremony of HRH as UNHCR Patron on 15 November 2018 in Geneva, HRH Princess Sarah Zeid said: “We must prioritize the specific needs, vulnerabilities and contribution of women, girls and their children, and reducing the needless horror of preventable deaths and injury. Preventable maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity are highest in fragile and humanitarian settings. This is unacceptable!

“Women and girls are at the heart of the health and wellbeing of their children, families, communities, sustainable development, peace and security, and must be at the heart of our support to refugees and populations affected by violence and conflict.” 

HRH said she will continue her work until all women and girls are protected: “Our work will be done only when all women, girls and their children survive and thrive.”