ISLAMABAD: Commending Pakistan for its generosity in hosting millions of Afghan refugees for more than 40 years, Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), told a gathering of women that they were in “safe hands.”
“In Pakistan, you are in safe hands,” a statement released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and quoting Sheikha Jawaher, said on Tuesday.
The UAE royal, who has just concluded a six-day visit to the country, was addressing a group of trainees at the Women Welfare and Development Center (WWDC) in Islamabad where 350 young women, including Afghan refugees, are undergoing training for embroidery skills.
During the course of her visit, Sheikha Jawaher – who is also a UNHCR Eminent Advocate – attended the International Conference on Afghan Refugees in Islamabad last week, which was held to mark 40 years since Pakistan first began hosting its displaced neighbors from the war-torn country.
The high-profile conference was organized by Pakistan and the UNHCR, and saw UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in attendance, too.
At the WWDC, Sheikha Jawaher admired the talent and expertise of the trainees, praising the artisanal value of the projects they had created.
“She also called for greater access and new market opportunities for such products and urged governments and civil society organizations to prioritize the education of members of low-income and crisis-affected communities,” the statement said.
Later, she attended a signing-in ceremony for a livelihood project in Pakistan which seeks to “benefit 100 Afghan and Pakistani women residing in Quetta, Balochistan.”
Pakistan is host to the world’s second-largest number of refugees with more than two million Afghans residing in the country for the past 40 years.