Qatar Airways has announced a two-year partnership with UNHCR, the UN refugee agency to deliver on its purpose of providing humanitarian relief and assistance to the displaced globally. The partnership, which is a first between both organisations, will involve a strategic collaboration whereby the airline will support with the delivery of crucial aid supplies to those most in need during these unprecedented times.
The agreement, which was signed in Doha on 19 May 2020 is an important synergy between the carrier and UNHCR and a clear response to the current challenges that are presented by COVID-19. The deal, which will be effective through to May 2022 will see UNHCR work closely with Qatar Airways to utilise the airline’s hub-and spoke network out of Hamad International Airport in Doha.
By having access to a fleet of more than 200 aircraft, UNHCR will be able to deliver lifesaving support including water, medical care and hygiene materials to keep refugees, internally displaced people and host community members safe around the world.
Speaking about the new partnership, Akbar Al Baker, group chief executive of Qatar Airways said: “During this crisis, we have worked closely with governments and NGOs to prioritise the shipment of medical and aid supplies transporting over 175,000 tonnes, the equivalent of approximately 1,750 fully loaded Boeing 777 freighters. We are committed to making a difference and by working together, we are confident we will overcome the current adversities with strength, solidarity and resilience.”
Khaled Khalifa, senior advisor and representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries at UNHCR said: “Our primary focus at UNHCR is to safeguard the rights and wellbeing of the most marginalised and vulnerable members of society. It is times like these when we must take action and strive to find lasting solutions which is why our partnership with Qatar Airways is crucial.”