On World Refugee Day on 20th June 2011, Muslim Aid expressed full sympathy and support for the millions of people who have been forced to take refuge outside their homelands due to natural disasters and conflicts. Remembering this day is particularly important for Muslim Aid as its constitution provides for the relief of the poor, the elderly, children, and all those who are in need in any part of the world as a result of natural disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, droughts, famines, epidemics, poverty and plague, as well as refugees fleeing from war zones and are war victims.
This year’s theme of World Refugee Day - ‘Real People Real Needs’ focuses on the economic well being of refugee populations, in particular shelter, food, basic healthcare, education and a future for their displaced children. Muslim Aid believes that we as a global human community have a collective responsibility to support the refugees and help them rebuild their lives with dignity and respect.
Muslim Aid’s work in countries as diverse as Lebanon, Sudan, Bangladesh and Bosnia has focused on the provision of humanitarian relief and long term support to refugees who have been forced to leave their homes. Muslim Aid has been working with UNWRA and different local NGOs in Lebanon to provide food and health services in Palestinian refugee camps. Muslim Aid is also working through its partners in South Africa to implement its Rainbow Family child sponsorship programme. Many of the sponsored children are refugees from neighbouring countries. The programme provides the children with schooling and tuition fees ensuring that they receive adequate education. However, there is much more to be done as fundamental problems such as lack of access to employment, public services and basic resources continue to persist.