KHF Outreach
Her Majesty Queen Noor Calls for Renewed Support for Global Refugees
25th June 2008
Geneva (25 June 2008) - Her Majesty Queen Noor addressed the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Annual Consultations with Non-Governmental Organizations in Geneva today, appealing for renewed international support for the estimated 67 million refugees and displaced people worldwide, including nearly 5 million displaced Iraqis.


A vocal advocate for refugee assistance, HM Queen Noor urged international donors to ensure sufficient aid to countries that host refugees, and highlighted the importance of stepping up resettlement.


HM Queen Noor also said that industrialized countries share responsibility for ensuring the well-being of Iraqi refugees. Nearly half of all displaced Iraqis live in Syria and Jordan, where they put an enormous strain on already stretched public services and fragile infrastructures.


“I have been heartened and moved by the compassion and sacrifice of my fellow Jordanians and others in our region who have reached out to help, even when struggling themselves with limited resources,” Her Majesty told nearly 350 representatives of UNHCR and its partner NGOs.


Queen Noor also highlighted the growing challenge of urban refugees struggling to survive among the underclass in cities in the developing world, including Iraqis living in Damascus and Amman. 


She said that ultimately, “We all must support the Iraqi government in providing a secure environment that will allow their citizens to voluntarily return home as soon as possible.”


HM Queen Noor works on behalf of refugees around the globe through a number of organizations, including a variety of governments, UN and international organizations, the Jordanian Red Crescent Society, and as a board member of Refugees International. She has worked with the displaced of Afghanistan in Pakistan, the Iraqis and the Palestinians in Jordan, internally displaced in Columbia, and Somalis and others seeking safe haven during the first Gulf War.


Since 1985 she has been the founder and Chairperson of the Noor Al Hussein Foundation (NHF), which has partnered with the American NGO International Relief and Development (IRD) and the Jordanian Red Crescent to implement innovative programs funded by UNHCR and the U.S. State Department, that provide primary and psycho-social healthcare screening and referral services to thousands of Iraqi children and mothers in Jordan.


UNHCR organizes annually consultations with its partner NGOs to exchange views of mutual interest on a variety of issues ranging from the protection of refugee women and children at risk to the monitoring of refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants in detention.  Also addressing the audience of NGOs, UN, donors and government officials were Virendra Dayal; Bernard Doyle, UNHCR Head Inter-Agency Unit; Craig Johnstone, Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees; Ed Schenkenberg, Coordinator, International Council of Voluntary Agencies.


Later during the day, HM Queen Noor participated in the closing session of The Global Humanitarian Forum presided over by Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. In separate meetings, Queen Noor met with UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and Mr. Annan.
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