Saturday, 7 January 2017

Big Heart drive to aid Aleppo and Mosul refugees

Big Heart drive to aid Aleppo and Mosul refugees

Gulf News

Sharjah: A Sharjah-based refugee charity has launched a fund-raising campaign to help 2,500 families — 16,000 people overall — fleeing the war-torn cities of Aleppo in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.
The campaign, named ‘Warm Hearts’ in view of the spiralling violence and onset of a harsh winter, has been launched in collaboration with the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR.
To raise funds, donation boxes will be made available at various locations in Sharjah and Ajman.
Locations include several stores at the Sahara Centre mall, Sharjah International Airport, several museums of the Sharjah Museums Department, and branches of Sharjah Cooperative Society.
Over in Ajman, boxes will be placed in City Centre Ajman and Grand Centrale Ajman.
Donations can also be made by sending a Du SMS to 9965 to donate Dh10, or to 9967 to donate Dh50, or 9968 to donate Dh100.
“Displaced families from Aleppo and Mosul are suffering on a massive scale due to the ongoing conflicts in their cities,” said foundation official Mariam Al Hammadi. “What is happening in these areas is a humanitarian disaster.”
Families, including women, children and elderly people, are being forced to flee their homes and take shelter in camps, schools or open, exposed areas.
Without proper winter clothing or shelters, refugees are poorly protected against harsh weather conditions which can see temperatures drop below -10C.
Al Hammadi urged everyone in the UAE to play a part in alleviating the suffering of displaced children and the elderly through their donations.
The proceeds of the campaign will support the UN’s humanitarian and protection operations.
According to statistics, 6.5 million people, including 2.8 million children, have been displaced within Syria, the biggest internally displaced population in the world.
Since 2011, when the civil war began, fifty Syrian families have been displaced every hour of every day.
The pace of displacement remains relentless. Well over 1.2 million people were forced to flee their homes in 2016, many for the second or third time.
At 3.4 million people, Iraq now has the third largest population of internally displaced people in the world.
Half of the population comprise women and an estimated 51 per cent are under 18 years of age. In recent months, some 213,000 people have fled their homes in different parts of Iraq.
The campaign is in line with the directives of Shaikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, and Chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation.

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