Sharjah: The seventh annual edition of the Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support (SIARA) has 423 entries from 41 countries across four continents.
With a 135 percent increase in the number of entries compared to the previous edition, the submissions came in from entities seeking global recognition for their refugees efforts in under-resourced communities worldwide.
SIARA was established by the Sharjah-based global humanitarian organisation,The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2017, and since, has been held annually.
Held under the auspices of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of TBHF and UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children, SIARA’s cash prize of Dh500,000 is a special contribution by TBHF and does not represent any share of the donations made to the foundation.
The organisations that have applied to this edition of the award have delivered emergency aid, life-saving assistance and long-term humanitarian development programmes to close to 60 million refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), women and children, in five continents.
Mariam Al Hammadi, TBHF Director, said: “We are proud to receive the highest number of submissions in SIARA’s seven-year history. The increase in numbers not only testifies to the growing popularity of this award but also reflects on the growing strength and commitment of the international community of humanitarian outfits who are making an impact with their brave, selfless efforts every day.”
She added: “In creating this award, our mission was to realise the vision of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and his wife, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi, Chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation, UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children, to turn the spotlight on individual stories of greatness and impact. These stories set the benchmark of professionalism, ingenuity, and excellence in this sector of work. We are pleased to say that we have achieved what we set out to do, with SIARA winners triggering a tide of humanitarian excellence and inspiring examples for their peers around the world,” she added.