Qatar Charity UK (QCUK) and International Medical Corps UK (IMC UK) have signed a memorandum of understanding in order to strengthen their combined purpose of providing humanitarian assistance to those most in need around the globe.
The collaboration will allow both organisations to reach areas, sectors and communities that are currently underserved.
Drawing on decades of experience, IMC UK specialises in areas including rapid emergency response, emergency preparedness, development of health systems, general health services, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). It currently works in 31 countries worldwide, including 13 of the 14 most violent conflict zones around the world.
QCUK specialises in areas including, but not limited to, poverty eradication and economic empowerment, social welfare and sponsorship, emergency response and recovery, childhood and cultural education, infrastructure and WASH.
QCUK achieves its objectives in these areas through direct co-operation with local civil society organisations.
Ayyoub Abouliaqin, director general of Qatar Charity UK, speaking at the signing on Thursday, said: “As part of our great belief in serving humanity, this opportunity is aligned with QCUK’s objective and mission in supporting the most vulnerable and most needy in society. The strategic partnership will allow both organisations to lead and excel in delivering critical and essential medical aid and services, using the most innovative and resilient methods for many years to come.”
Abouliaqin has served as QCUK director since 2013. His current responsibility is overseeing the growing humanitarian portfolio of QCUK in Europe. Kevin Noone, executive director, IMC UK, said: “This is a unique opportunity, and the partnership will enable us to reach communities that to date have not been helped by the existing humanitarian system.”
Noone’s responsibilities include oversight on all projects funded through the British government, the European Community and the UN, including DfID, ECHO, EC, IOM, UNHCR, UNFPA, UNOCHA and Unicef and other European donors. Under his leadership as executive vice president, he led the establishment and growth of programmes in Somalia, DRC and East Timor. He reflected on the work that the two organisations are undertaking in Somalia as an example of how effective their partnership is on the ground.
“There is no lead or secondary – we are working together providing relief in Somalia where we both have funds from two different entities. Qatar Charity came with their funding, and we brought funding from the European Community. Between us we have countrywide coverage when it comes to the needs of Somalia.”
He praised QC’s rapid response to humanitarian crises; he cited the swift reaction from QC when his organisation reached out for help with the Ebola crisis. “We were waiting for the international community to come up with funding and to make a decision, and we reached out to Qatar Charity which immediately seconded funds to us without question. They gave us the seed funding to start our Ebola response,” he recalled.
“QC is known globally for the quality and calibre of its programmes,” he said. “We look at how our organisations can complement each other – there is a synergy between both entities.”
Ramadan Assi, director of Global Strategy, International Medical Corps, whose motto is “From Relief to Self-Reliance”, explained that the months ahead would see the two organisations mapping out their joint strategy.
“Over the next months we will map out and outline our joint priorities and decide on the best NGO to provide the support. We are dealing with a very troubled world as we speak; there is a large number of crises, man-made and natural. The pressure on us is huge to make a difference. We can only do such work when we align ourselves with strong partners like Qatar Charity UK and the mother charity in Doha.
“We are looking forward to seeing the impact of our joint work on the lives of thousands if not millions of people around the world.”
IMC and QC have a history of collaboration on a number of projects. These include improving Access to Primary Health Care and WASH in Conflict-Affected Communities of Northeast region of Central African Republic and the Ebola response in Sierra Leone. They are looking to working jointly in Yemen.