Nairobi/Cairo, July 2021. UN-Habitat is launching an online humanitarian appeal to raise funds for people and communities most affected by humanitarian crises in the Arab region with the support of the agency’s Regional Goodwill Ambassador, Her Royal Highness Princess Lamia AlSaud.
The Arab region faces multiple and complex crises including conflicts and natural disasters. These have led to mass displacement, disease outbreaks and the destruction of housing, health care facilities and infrastructure. The region has 55.7 million people who need humanitarian assistance of whom 26 million have been forcibly displaced. Some 74 million people in the region are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 due to lack of access to handwashing facilities.
The political unrest and protracted emergencies in countries such as Syria and Yemen, the violence and instability in Palestine and Iraq and the deteriorating situation in Libya and Lebanon have affected the lives of millions of people in the region.
“Many people in the region are in desperate need of help, especially in the cities and towns. UN-Habitat is on the ground providing basic services such as water and sanitation, creating employment opportunities and rebuilding damaged and destroyed homes. We urgently need resources to continue this important work,” said the UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif who recently returned from site visits in Lebanon and Iraq.
In Al Hudaydah, a major port town in Yemen which has seen heavy and sustained fighting, 47,000 families have been displaced and found shelter in old schools or disused government buildings lacking sanitation facilities and clean water. UN-Habitat rehabilitated homes, built water and sanitation facilities and worked with community members in the livelihoods support and repair of their homes .
UN-Habitat has contributed towards stopping the eviction and displacement of Palestinian communities in occupied East Jerusalem and Area C through participatory planning. This has supported 55,000 Palestinians and led to the development of 56 multi-layered plans with communities enhancing resilience and cohesion.
Following the explosion at Beirut Port, Lebanon in August 2020, UN-Habitat moved quickly to support local authorities in mapping, urban analysis and damage assessments of buildings, houses and schools that resulted in the provision of cash for shelter assistance and housing repairs for the most vulnerable households affected by the explosion.
In Iraq, UN-Habitat is upgrading shelters for the most vulnerable and recently returned IDP families, providing supplies and non-food items to improve their living conditions and rehabilitating war damaged houses, clinics and water networks in the cities of Mosul, Heet and Yathrib.
“Now more than ever, people affected by humanitarian crises in the Middle East need help so that they can access the most basic of services such as health care, shelter, water and sanitation,” said HRH Princess Lamia AlSaud, UN-Habitat’s Goodwill Ambassador for the Arab States.
Donations can be made once or on a monthly basis and can be directed to the Arab States crisis, COVID-19 response or general emergency fund. Please go to https://unhabitat.org/donate/