Doha: A few days ahead of the UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), to be held in Doha from March 5-9, the State of Qatar is considered one of the largest donors and supporters of the least developed countries.
The Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) has contributed $708m over the past year, in total humanitarian and development aid. Qatar’s efforts have been able to contribute to achieving sustainable and lasting peace and development, and to making change in fragile and marginalised societies around the world, by supporting basic resources, in addition to implementing projects and programs for a number of UN organisations to back the least developed countries.
Director General of the QFFD Khalifa bin Jassim Al Kuwari indicated in a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA) that the QFFD is committed to financing development and relief projects around the world, as this had a great and direct impact on people’s lives, in more than 42 countries in 2022.
Al Kuwari said that Qatar’s financial contributions included many vital sectors, with $101.3m having been provided to the education sector, $71.3m to the health care sector, about $443.2m to relief aid sector and nearly $92m to other development sectors. The QFFD also supported climate change projects.
As part of its long-term commitment to the UN and the least developed countries, Qatar signed an agreement with the UN in October 2021 to host the LDC5, culminating in the adoption of the Doha Work Program for the Least Developed Countries for the period 2022-2031, which would help these countries face the challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the economic crises and climate change.
The role of Qatar has emerged during the pandemic crisis as an active, initiating and influential partner, whose actions precede words by providing contributions that exceeded $140m to support international efforts to combat the epidemic, and provide aid to 92 countries through the QFFD, believing in the importance of global solidarity to overcome the effects of the pandemic, especially on the least developed countries.
In October 2021, Qatar pledged an additional $16m to support the international efforts of the UN Development Program (UNDP) to combat poverty, climate change, and inequality around the world. In addition, Qatar pledged an additional $25m to support the international humanitarian response to the worsening economic crises in the world.
The Director General of the QFFD stated that the fund has achieved many achievements in this field, the most important of which is the ‘Sport for Peace’ initiative, which was launched in cooperation with Qatar Charity, and consists of several projects that use sport as a tool to enhance humanitarian and development efforts to consolidate peace in less developed countries and fragile societies.
Al Kuwari noted that the QFFD signed a number of agreements in 2022 with international institutions, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to launch the Nanmo (growing together in Arabic) initiative concerned with climate change and agriculture in Africa, while continuing cooperation with the Orbis International to complete the process of addressing blindness and eye diseases in Ethiopia.
Khalifa bin Jassim Al Kuwari revealed in a statement to QNA the endeavors to innovate modern methods and technologies to sustain and increase productivity in fragile states with conflicts, especially since the QFFD’s most prominent achievement in this regard is the proactive work of humanitarian aid. In Nov. 2021, it signed an agreement with its partner, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) to help Somalia improve its resilience to climate change.
Qatar has made a lot of relief and development efforts. Within the framework of the urgent response to the emergency humanitarian situation in Gaza, the Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani granted a of $360m financial grant to Gaza Strip. The QFFD is working to fulfill this grant, as it has in in previous years, as it fulfilled many grants from Qatar for the benefit of the Palestinian people.
The QFFD, in partnership with Qatar Charity, provided urgent aid to those affected by floods and rains in Chad, as the aid was distributed to 14,000 beneficiaries. In July, the QFFD sent urgent aid to those affected by the Durban floods in South Africa, via an air bridge of the Qatari Amiri Air Force. In implementation of the directives of H H the Amir to launch an air bridge for those affected by the floods in Pakistan, an urgent relief aid plane of the Amiri Air Force was dispatched, in cooperation with the Permanent Search and Rescue Committee of the Internal Security Forces (Lekhwiya), Qatar Charity, and the Qatar Red Crescent.
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