Members of European Parliament visit UAE-Jordanian Camp for Syrian Refugees.

The UAE Federal National Council, FNC, in cooperation with the Emirates Red Crescent, recently organised a field visit for a delegation of members from the European Parliament of the EU-UAE Parliamentary Friendship Group to the UAE-Jordanian Mrajeeb Al Fhood camp for Syrian refugees.

The visit marks the first of its kind by a European parliamentary delegation since the opening of the camp in April 2013; to support refugees of the Syrian civil war. Funded by the UAE, the camp provides high-quality health care, shelter and education to 9,700 Syrian refugees.

The field trip delegates included Ryszard Czarnecki, Vice-President of the European Parliament, and MEPs Sorin Moisa, Gilles Pargneaux, Isabella De Monte, and Sofia Ribeiro, along with Accredited Assistant Jose Diogo Piano Nunes dos Santos. Members of the FNC, Jordanian officials, and the camp’s management team from Emirates Red Crescent also participated in the trip.

The visit to the refugee camp provided the European Parliamentary delegation with a unique opportunity to experience the UAE’s humanitarian work first-hand. The Emirates Red Crescent team briefed the MEPs on the status of the camp, established, funded, and managed by the UAE under the supervision of the Jordanian government. The UAE provides food, education, and healthcare to the camp’s residents, while the Jordanian government oversees security.

As part of the visit, the delegation toured a Jordan-UAE-run field hospital that provides healthcare to refugees in addition to the health centre in the camp. The European parliamentarians also toured the school, maintenance workshop, the Big Heart library which includes 3,000 books, event hall, and the Sheikha Fatima Workshop, that provides work opportunities for refugee women.

The management team explained that the camp is operated in line with the highest international standards, and has elicited a commendation from the UN. The camp includes ready-made residences in addition to four schools for male and female students, a medical centre, warehouses, management offices, and infrastructure components like roads, water and electricity networks, and a water treatment plant.

Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, Speaker of the Federal National Council, said, “The UAE has a solid track record in implementing charitable, relief and humanitarian initiatives. The country is among the largest international donors per capita and was ranked the world’s top donor in 2016. Over the past two years, the UAE has provided humanitarian aid exceeding US$854 million to Syrian refugees.”

FNC members focused on the important role of the Emirates Red Crescent team in managing the Mrajeeb Al Fhood camp, highlighting its efforts to help Syrian refugees of all ages without discrimination, including special cases that need continuous and advanced care. They attributed the UAE’s success in assisting Jordan with its responsibilities as a refugee-hosting country to the unwavering support of the country’s wise leadership and its dedication to caring for the less fortunate. Furthermore, they noted that the UAE team also offers aid services outside the camp to alleviate the burden on local communities.

During the visit, MEP Antonio Lopez-Isturiz, President of the EU-UAE Parliamentary Friendship Group, Secretary-General of the European People’s Party and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, emphasised that the EU appreciates the UAE’s continued commitment to supporting regional and global efforts to provide protection and assistance to refugees and displaced persons throughout the world and in the Middle East in particular.

Lopez-Isturiz added that the UAE’s approach in supporting Syrian refugees aligns with the country’s values and its firm belief in human dignity and human rights. Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, the UAE has granted residence permits to more than 127,000 Syrians. It has also agreed to receive over 15,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years to join the UAE’s Syrian community of 242,000.

He noted, “It is important for us as Europeans, because this proves how the EU and the UAE share common values and concerns, especially with regard to the support of Syrian refugees. We were very impressed with the overall services and assistance provided for the Syrians here at the Mrajeeb Al Fhood refugee camp.”

He continued, “As one of the most pressing issues of our times, the subject of refugees and migrants in Europe is under continuous discussion in the European Parliament. This visit provided us with an ideal opportunity to explore the topic at length. The UAE is one of the EU’s strategic partners, and we are very interested in learning more about its approach to current events in the region.”

Lopez-Isturiz added, “As a leader in humanitarian work, the UAE offers invaluable assistance to refugees across the globe. Countries of the EU are keen to study best practices in this field that has witnessed remarkable developments in just a few years.”

Members of the delegation praised the UAE’s commitment to enhancing world peace and security and reiterated that the country is a true role model in bolstering socio-economic development worldwide, especially in areas of conflict.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs