AED100 million refugee education fund to support youth in Jordan, Lebanon

DUBAI, 17th September, 2018 (WAM) — The Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund has announced the launch of its first round of funding to support 6,500 refugee children and youth.

Established on World Refugee Day in June 2018, the fund aims to disburse grants totalling AED100 million over three years to support the education of children affected by wars and disasters residing in the UAE and refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.

In his keynote speech addressing representatives from the beneficiary organisations and other dignitaries, Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair said, “The culture of giving is a living legacy of the Founding Father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, carried on by our nation’s visionary leadership through their philanthropic work inside and outside our country. Inspired by their example and the belief that the private sector has a responsibility to contribute, I am affirming my commitment to help as many out-of-school refugee youths as I can get back into school so that they may begin working towards a better future for themselves and our region.”

The announcement coincides with the beginning of the new academic year. This September, the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund is awarding AED45 million in direct funding to notable educational and humanitarian organisations to enable 6,500 refugee students to attend secondary school, vocational training, and university, as well as to acquire soft skills so that they can realise their aspirations for the future.

The beneficiaries include the Emirates Red Crescent, the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, Luminus Education of Jordan, and Unite Lebanon Youth Project, ULYP.

HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, applauded the initiative, saying, “This generous philanthropic initiative by Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair to support the education of 6,500 Arab refugee children and youth in the first cycle will have a positive life-changing impact on so many of those displaced, who have had their lives disrupted by conflict. Building knowledge and skills through education can transform their lives by creating a ladder of opportunity for a brighter future containing hope, ambition and aspiration.”

Toby Howard, Head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNCHR, office in the UAE, said, “With the number of displaced persons rising around the world, the international community has recognised that it is no longer enough to rely on humanitarian agencies to provide lifesaving support. New partners have to be engaged in the areas of education and livelihood. Abdel Aziz Al Ghurair is blazing a trail that we hope others will follow in providing opportunity and hope for refugees. The UNHCR thanks Abdel Aziz Al Ghurair for this generous commitment. It is a great example of UN agencies, the Emirates Red Crescent, and private philanthropic institutions working together.”

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