Aidex Voices

Founded in 1992, Qatar Charity has quickly become the leading humanitarian aid and development organisation working in over 50 countries with 600 dedicated employees worldwide and are a leading charity in the MENA region. In the last five years, the organisation has spent $1.3bn reaching out to 175 million people in need.

At AidEx later this week on 14 and 15 November 2018, the charity will be a key feature of the conference and exhibition as the event’s gold sponsor. Alongside UNHCR and the World Refugee School, their International Relations Director Mohammed Ali Al-Ghamdi will be speaking at the conference on how the ongoing digital revolution can contribute to providing access to stable education and employment for refugees, IDPs and vulnerable communities.

Aisha Bint Hamad Abdullah Al Attiyah City in Sudan

Ahead of the event, we spoke to the charity’s CEO Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Kuwari to find out more about how the organisation has become such a prominent player in the aid world.

With the fundamental objective focused on providing dignity to vulnerable communities, Qatar Charity works together with global and local partners to build sustainability by implementing development programs in education, empowerment, healthcare, water, sanitation and food security. Just one of their current projects sponsors over 160,000 children around the world.

Capacity-building and resilience programming is central to the charity’s approach in all their projects as they firmly believe in strengthening self-sustainability. Partnerships, Al-Kuwari says, are also one of the three key reasons the organisation has become leveraged as one of the leading proponents of aid in the MENA region:

“Qatar charity believes that unity is strength. We have always been open to collaborate with global and local stakeholders to share resources, knowledge and build our capacity and our partners to improve humanitarian effectiveness.”

Al-Kuwari stresses how the global challenges we face today are too complex to be tackled autonomously, and yet coordination and synergy amongst humanitarian actors remains insufficient. It is for this precise reason the organisation is supporting the largest global humanitarian and aid event.

“AidEx is one of the few humanitarian partnership support structures and initiatives where the humanitarian actors, the private sector and government actors meet together in one place, with one vision, and share knowledge and solutions that will help us build a better future.

“Global engagement of all stakeholders is needed to facilitate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and one of the best ways to jumpstart this engagement is with a dialogue in places like AidEx.”

In addition to working with partners to achieve shared goals, Qatar Charity owes its success in having such a vast positive impact through gaining unprecedented acceptance and access to the some of 

the world’s most challenging places. Impartiality and neutrality has been key to this; delivering aid regardless of religion, politics, race, gender and staying out of military-related disputes.

Within a global climate of instability and unrest, working in conflict-torn fragile states in the MENA region has proved a significant barrier to delivering aid in a timely manner. Al-Kuwari remarks:

“When the epicentre of current humanitarian crises might be the Middle East, it is very important to build relations and maintain humanitarian dialogue for the one and only purpose of delivering the aid directly to the affected populations without any delays”.

A significant difficulty faced by organisations particularly within the MENA region he continues, is the impact of de-risking practices. As local bodies struggle to access funds when they need them, programmes cannot be effectively delivered.

“While caution in such volatile areas is understandable for banks who want to insulate themselves from a potential risk, it is crucial to restore proper and well-monitored financial flow to local NGOs to ensure life-saving aid to millions of people.”

On the topic of instability and uncertainly lies the future of refugees who have been largely overlooked by agencies in favour of more basic needs such as food and shelter. The long delays in resettlement come with an absence of education and employability opportunities. Al-Kuwari notes the problem of some host countries not making the right to education and the right to make a living a provision. It is the lack of solutions to this issue he states, which “stands in the way of achieving sustainability in the long-run.”

With over 65 million individuals forcibly displaced throughout the world today, half of whom are under the age of 18, many reports allege at least half of school-age refugees are not in school. Consequently, Qatar Charity has helped to launch a global initiative alongside leading technology, education and international development companies called the World Refugee School (WRS). WRS provides scalable, high-quality education for refugee and forcibly displaced children and youth worldwide.

At AidEx, alongside the panel discussion on education for refugees, Qatar Charity sets out to showcase their values and life-changing stories from the field, and are keen to hear from like-minded individuals or organisations who are interested in collaborating to build a resilient future for humanity. Meet them on stand D5 by registering for free here.