Ramadan 2015: Vulnerable communities in 18 countries benefit from Qatar Red Crescent Society’s ‘Iftar Al Sa’em’ initiative

Published: 25 August 2015 10:13 CET

By Soraya Dali-Balta, IFRC

This past Ramadan, the Qatar Red Crescent Society mobilised its resources and staff to alleviate the suffering of people who are highly dependent on humanitarian aid in 18 countries around the world, due to ongoing conflicts or disasters which have left them unable to carry decent and self-sufficient lives. At a cost of 1.5 million US dollars, the “Iftar Al Sa’em” (Feeding a Fasting Person) initiative included holding Iftar banquets and distributing food packages to the most vulnerable communities in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, the occupied Palestinian territory, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, the Central African Republic, Chad, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Nepal, the Philippines, Montenegro, Tajikistan, and Kirgizstan.

Believing in the importance of sharing one’s blessings and standing in solidarity with the less fortunate during the holy days of Ramadan, the Qatari National Society primarily targeted internally displaced persons, refugees, and needy communities in these countries.

In Lebanon, the Red Crescent society gave away 2,500 food baskets to Syrians taking refuge in cities and villages across the country. Palestinian refugees living in Lebanese camps also benefitted from 1,100 food baskets distributed by the organization.

And Qatar Red Crescent Society’s annual “Mawa’ed Al Rahman” (The Merciful Feasts) resumed again this Ramadan at the yards of Al Aqsa Mosque in the occupied Palestinian territory, and they were held in cooperation with local non-governmental organizations. The National Society also distributed 5,000 meals to believers visiting the mosque during the holy month.

Meanwhile in Yemen, where violence continued to rip through the country during the holy days, internally displaced persons, particularly in the city of Taiz, received food packages from the Qatar Red Crescent Society.

On the aid provided to the Yemen people, the Coordinator of Relief Operations at the Qatar Red Crescent Society, Mr Ahmad Hassan Al Sharaji, said: “We targeted 1,000 families in the first two days of our mission. About 2,000 food packages were distributed in Taiz, and another 2,500 were given away in other regions.”

“The humanitarian needs are huge in Taiz, and the city is facing a real crisis as many basic necessities are lacking,” Mr Al Sharaji added.

The initiative of the Red Crescent society came as many countries in the Middle East and North Africa region and around the world are going through overwhelming humanitarian crises caused by conflicts or disasters. The holy month of Ramadan did not save these vulnerable communities from devastation, but the Qatari National Society was determined to stand in solidarity with the less fortunate, reiterating its commitment to humanitarian values and humanitarian work.