- Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The State of Qatar developed its National Vision 2030 as a framework that encapsulates its vision for the human, social and economic development of the country. Significant importance was attached to contributing to international peace through development and humanitarian assistance.

In a world where conflicts, instability, and other man-made crises and natural disasters affect millions of people; where many lives are lost to treatable and preventable diseases; and where children are unable to realize their full potential due to limitations such as lack of access to education, primary health coverage and water, and sanitation; the State of Qatar is committed to acting as a change-maker hand in hand with bilateral and multilateral partners to address these challenges. The development arm of the country, Qatar Fund for Development, was established to play a central role in advancing the Agenda 2030 of the Sustainable Development Goals and providing humanitarian assistance to populations across borders abiding by the principles of impartiality and neutrality.

In response to the different natural disasters that swept the Americas in recent years, the State of Qatar has provided sizable humanitarian aid to mitigate the destructions caused by these disasters in different countries, including the United States of America, South America and the Caribbean Islands. In 2017 alone, urgent interventions with a commitment of more than US $14 million were made for countries that were hit by natural disasters, mainly targeting segments that were severely affected and supporting post-recovery activities in the Bahamas, Belize, Haiti, Ecuador, Chile, Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Dominican Republic and St. Kitts and Nevis.

Qatar Katrina Fund

When in 2005, the Louisiana city of New Orleans suffered the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Qatar provided one of the largest single recovery packages to New Orleans. The $100 million grant reached educational, health, humanitarian and religious organizations. Some of the key recipients included:

•Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically African American Catholic college in the US, which received US $17.5 million donations.

•The Children’s Hospital, which received US$ 5.3 million donations the biggest gift the hospital had ever received.

•Numerous Religious institutions and places of worship, including Catholic churches, mosques, a Hindu temple, and a synagogue.

•The Qatar Embassy in Washington DC also supported US arts and education programs affected by Katrina.

Qatar Irma Fund

Following the catastrophic hurricane that hit Florida in August 2017, the State of Qatar allocated an amount of $30 million for the relief and construction efforts in Florida.

Qatar Harvey Fund

In August 2017, the catastrophic hurricane Harvey hit the United States of America, becoming one of the costliest natural disasters in the country’s history. In the immediate aftermath, the State of Qatar established the Qatar Harvey Fund, pledging US$ 30 million for the relief and reconstruction efforts in Texas, to help rebuild and develop the impacted areas. $5 million were allocated to the Texas Reconstruction Fund, and another $5 million to the Hurricane Relief Fund. Other grants were allocated to the City of Houston Mayor’s Fund to reduce homelessness, Harris County’s Riverside General Hospital, Wesley A.M.E. Church for hurricane damage recovery and “Qatar Veterans Fund” in partnership with the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

The Qatar Harvey fund also provided a scholarship program to the tune of US$ 3 million to assist students who were forced to withdraw from universities following the hurricane. The scholarship program will help university students during the fall 2019 and spring 2020 semesters with unmet costs of attendance such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and educational supplies, and transportation expenses.

Other programs supported by the Qatar Harvey Fund included the Texas Boys and Girls Club. Texas clubs are part of a national non-profit organization, whose board includes former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and actor and director Denzel Washington, the club aims to enable low-income young people of to reach their full potential through several programs in personal and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, arts, sports, fitness, and other entertainment programs. Clubs in Texas were affected by Hurricane Harvey, and a budget of US$ 622,627 was needed to restore and maintain five clubs.

Qatar Haiti Fund

(Comprehensive reconstruction program for Haiti)

The State of Qatar supported multiple sectors through different programs in Haiti. In 2010, following the catastrophic earthquake that hit the Republic of Haiti, the United Nations Donor Conference concerning the relief and reconstruction of the Republic of Haiti held in New York City urged donors to pledge in support of Haiti. The State of Qatar pledged $20 million for the comprehensive reconstruction of the deteriorating health system, as well as support for the housing and education sectors.

The State of Qatar also partnered with Haven Foundation to help families who suffered in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy by providing support for food and housing for one year. A grant of US$ 2 million was also provided to increase the provision of health care for people in remote areas of Haiti through four mobile health clinics. The project has been completed and disbursed in full. Furthermore, the Fund supported the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in 2012, with an $ 87,000 fund to train nurses and purchase equipment for the hospital.

In addition to many projects that were implemented to date, several projects that were recently funded include:

Reconstruction of classrooms and the principal laboratory at the Faculty of Sciences at the State University of Haiti in downtown Port-au-Prince.

The Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) provided an allocation of over US$ 7 million to the Qatari based NGO Education Above All to support the Educate A Child initiative. The project which aimed at increasing access to equitable, quality primary education, was completed in November 2018, and supported the enrollment of 53,059 children into primary education in Haiti, in addition to the training of 179 school principals and 18 supervisors.

In 2016, the Qatar Fund for Development and Qatar Red Crescent Society partnered to help victims of the Hurricane Matthew with a grant of US $500,000.

In 2018, the Qatar Fund for Development signed a contribution agreement with the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office, with a grant of US $1.5 million to advance the efforts of the UN in Haiti to eradicate cholera and improve access to health care for people in Haiti.

Humanitarian assistance to those affected by El Nino in Peru

In 2017, Qatar Fund for Development provided a US $1 million grant to Government of the Republic of Peru, for humanitarian assistance and relief to those affected by El Nino.

Assistance to earthquake victims in Ecuador

In 2017, a 7.8 Mw earthquake struck northern Ecuador causing the death of more than 600 people, with over 6000 people severely injured and over one million directly or indirectly affected by the earthquake. In partnership with the Government of Ecuador, QFFD contributed a US$1 million emergency relief intervention fund to aid the affected population in Ecuador.

Helping reconstruction efforts in Chile

Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) signed a US$ 5 million agreement with the Chilean government to reconstruct the city of Santa Olga and the surrounding areas that were damaged due to a forest fire that ravaged the entire town of Santa Olga, destroying buildings, farms, and livestock.

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