“Quest” Initiative for Refugees and Displaced Persons – Syrian Arab Republic
June 20, World Refugee Day
Launched by the State of Qatar in 2016, QUEST is an initiative that aims to provide multi-sectoral support to conflict-affected Syrians inside and outside Syria. In its early days, Quest sought to ensure that children and young people, who have suffered the consequences of the Syrian crisis, are able to obtain the necessary education and skills that enable them to transition into education. formal and to find good jobs in the future. be active members of their community. The initiative was launched in line with the No Lost Generation initiative, the Humanitarian Response Plan for Syria (HRP) and the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP). The five-year initiative aimed to provide education and training to Syrian refugees in Syria and Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Refugee projects were funded by QFFD and strategic partners to the tune of $60.3 million.
In 2018, the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) expanded the initiative to include health and economic development interventions. The health component aims to provide life-saving support to a wide range of populations using various strategies to bring about rapid improvements in the health status of targeted beneficiaries. Interventions include reproductive health, nutrition, primary, secondary and tertiary health support targeting over six million people. In addition to this, QFFD supports economic development projects that aim to create sustainable jobs for youth and women by creatively tackling key barriers to wage and self-employment to generate and generate income and sustainable livelihoods. In doing so, the interventions provide technical training, employment counseling and facilitate access to finance and higher education.
Support education in conflict zones
HE Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Kuwari, Director General of QFFD, said: “Investing in education is crucial to fighting extreme poverty and building safe and sustainable societies. It is important that children who live in areas affected by armed conflict and insecurity are protected and that they do not lose the possibility of going to school and dreaming of a better future.
With the support of the QFFD and within the framework of the “Quest” initiative, Qatar Charity (QC) launched the project “Printing and distribution of textbooks” in northern Syria.
With the printing and distribution of nearly 4 million textbooks to children, Qatar Charity benefited 472,925 male and female students in the 2019-2020 school year.
The project was implemented as part of the project “Improve the level of education of more than a million children” launched by Qatar Charity in 2017, aimed at improving educational infrastructure in northern Syria and at create an appropriate environment to promote the return of children to schools.
With the completion of the second phase of the project, Qatar Charity has printed over nine million textbooks covering all core subjects for all levels, benefiting over one million male and female students by the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.
The project was implemented in coordination with supporting organizations, including the OCHA office and the United Nations Education Group in Syria.
Education support under the QUEST umbrella also includes capacity building for head teachers and teachers of both genders and the capacity building was based on INEE (Global Network for Education in Education Agencies) standards. ’emergency).
Khalid, a 16-year-old boy currently transferred to Atoma refugee camp, sharing his experience with the textbook printing and distribution projects, says, “Thank Allah, we have textbooks for all the students. After receiving the books, we no longer needed to copy other books or borrow. The books increased our passion to explore and learn, we had no hope before receiving the books that we would one day get a good grade in school, most of the students lost hope and no longer came to school .
One of the main challenges Syrian refugees face is securing their medicines, especially those for chronic conditions. Patients with hypertension and diabetes find it difficult to maintain a steady supply of their medical needs. In Zaatari camp, which hosts nearly 80,000 Syrian refugees, many service providers have withdrawn or reduced their services in 2020 due to COVID-19 and related funding shortfalls. As a result, most chronic disease patients suddenly lost their source of medication.
The Qatari clinic in Zaatari took prompt action in coordination with health providers inside the camp to help patients referred from other clinics to provide them with the monthly supply of diabetes and hypertension medication.
The Qatar Red Crescent clinic has started the implementation in coordination with the chronic disease department of the camp. More than 360 patients benefited from this initiative and received their full treatment for 3 months in Qatari clinics.
A Syrian refugee residing with his family in the Zaatari refugee camp suffered from a chronic illness but did not have access to free medicine. This forced him to adopt adverse coping mechanisms by selling some of the assistance his family would receive to buy his medicine. As soon as AA heard about the free distribution of medicine in the Qatari clinics run by QRCS, he made an appointment with the relevant clinic to have a full health check-up and receive the necessary medicine free of charge. AA felt great relief as “it was my first time getting my medicine for 3 whole months” and he was grateful for the three month supply as it is not easy for him to come to the clinic every month. clinic to get the medicine. He was also grateful for the good reception and quick performance where he didn’t have to wait long for a checkup and then the much needed medication. AA hopes this supply of free medicines will continue from Qatari clinics so that he doesn’t have to start selling badly needed essentials again.
Economic Empowerment QUEST:
QUEST economic development projects are designed to build the resilience of Syrian refugees, especially younger generations, by supporting higher education and vocational training programs to equip Syrian refugees with the skills and knowledge required to succeed in the marketplace. work in the broad sense.
The QFFD funded the development of a study by Rand Corporation on Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. The study which provided policy recommendations on how neighboring countries that are a temporary haven for more than (5) million displaced Syrians can adopt policies that help both refugees and their host communities find better employment while ensuring overall economic stability. Using the data collected, the study provides in-depth analyzes of the existing skills of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan that meet the needs of neighboring countries’ labor markets. The study specifies the steps needed to match supply and demand; measures to improve the general economic climate and strategies to preserve and improve the social cohesion of refugees and host communities.
Within the framework of economic development, the QFFD contributes through its strategic partnership between Spark and Qatar Charity to promote the stability of Syrian refugees, by investing in young Syrian refugees and facilitating access to quality education. The programs focus on empowerment, rehabilitating skills and creating jobs in entrepreneurial areas that promote independence and stability.
Refugees don’t just leave their homes behind, they leave their dreams, a part of themselves, seeking not just a safe home, but a place that will hold their hopes and their future, and that’s the real focus on which the QFFD works, not only giving refugees their needs today, but thinking ahead and planning sustainably to build the future of refugees.