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Queen urges boldness, innovation in bringing hope and dignity to refugees

Her Majesty attends International Rescue Committee’s Annual Rescue Dinner

By JT - Nov 03,2016 - Last updated at Nov 03,2016

Her Majesty Queen Rania delivers a speech at the International Rescue Committee’s Annual Rescue Dinner in New York on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — Her Majesty Queen Rania has urged humanitarian workers to think “in bold and innovative ways” in order to instil new hope and dignity in those who have been affected by crises and conflicts.

In a speech she delivered at the International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) Annual Rescue Dinner in New York on Wednesday, the Queen said the world has never faced a larger, more urgent, or more heartbreaking humanitarian plight. 

She called for a paradigm shift in the way the global community supports refugees and host communities, according to a statement from Her Majesty’s office.

The Queen said, aid approaches must focus on long term and sustainable strategies. She explained that refugees “need more than ‘likes’ on Facebook or Instagram pictures of their plight. They need results”.

Her Majesty added that refugees need well-equipped classrooms “so their children can learn again”, hot showers and nutritious meals, as well as training opportunities and jobs.

“In short, they need some measure of ‘normal’ to restore equilibrium to their lives.”

Describing the optimism she found in joining the IRC, the Queen said that “beyond the headlines of horror and heartbreak, there are so many stories of hope to celebrate”. 

“The ‘R’ in its title might stand for ‘rescue’ in the short-term. But in the long-term, it stands for rekindling hope...rebuilding lives…and reimagining futures.”

Queen Rania, who was appointed on the IRC’s board of directors last June, commended the organisation’s inspiring work and its commitment towards  aiding “the millions of refugees — mothers, fathers, children, vulnerable people — who are in desperate need of help and hope in equal measure”. 

She also thanked IRC President and CEO David Miliband for his exemplary leadership, “that combines sharp intellect with compassion and political acumen”.

In remarks introducing Her Majesty, IRC Board Co-Chair Katherine Farley described Queen Rania as a powerful voice on refugees with an extraordinary passion for making a difference on behalf of the most vulnerable, according to the statement. 

She added that the Queen brings a distinctive viewpoint to IRC’s board, especially on the vital issue of education for refugees.

Farley also noted that Jordan ranks as the top refugee hosting country in the world, having taken in millions of refugees from Iraq, Palestine and Syria.

The Rescue Dinner is a fundraiser aimed at reinforcing the IRC’s mission and global network, as well as recognising those who have made distinguished contributions in the field. 

Founded in 1933, the IRC is a global humanitarian aid, relief and development non-governmental organisation that offers emergency aid and long-term assistance to millions, including refugees and those displaced by war, persecution or natural disaster. 

Its currently operates in over 40 countries, where it resettles refugees and helps them become self-sufficient.

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