FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 festivities: Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (OSRSG CAAC) participate in Generation Amazing Youth Festival
17th of November 2022
Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), in partnership with the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (OSRSG CAAC), jointly participated in Generation Amazing’s Youth Festival. The participation aims to raise awareness about the plight of children affected by armed conflict and foster international cooperation to improve their protection.
Under the Let Them Play: A ‘child’s place is on a football field, not a battlefield initiative launched by OSRSG CAAC, QFFD granted its support by collaborating on the photo exhibition titled, From Despair to Hope: Children beyond Armed Conflict, which presents the stories of children who have been affected by wars and hostilities. The photographs featured in the exhibition were taken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Palestine (Gaza), Iraq (Mosul), South Sudan, Sudan (Darfur), and Syria. The photographs were captured by photojournalist Paddy Dowling, a renowned humanitarian photojournalist, and correspondent. The photos presented illustrate the poignant reality of children affected by armed conflict.
Ali Al Dabbagh, Deputy Director General for Planning at QFFD, stated, “It is with Qatar Fund for ‘Development’s greatest pleasure to have joined efforts with our partner, the OSRSG CAAC, to respond to ‘children’s needs all around the world.” He continued by saying: “We, the Fund, trust that this joint exhibition will allow you and us to feel and listen to children’s voices and advocate for their livelihood, protection, and rights. I want to thank OSRSG CAAC for all their work and critical mandate that has put vulnerable children at the heart of their work. Additionally, allowing QFFD to collaborate cohesively to address major emerging threats to children in fragile, vulnerable settings devoid of any opportunities”.
As the highest UN advocate for the protection of children in armed conflict, Special Representative Virginia Gamba uses her voice to raise awareness about the reality of conflict-affected children, generate action for the protection of children and ultimately put an end to grave violations against children. “The exhibition From Despair to Hope was developed to mark the 25th anniversary of the Children and Armed Conflict mandate. By showing the complexity of the lives of children living amidst conflict, it presents a unique opportunity to reflect on the progress made since the creation of the mandate 25 years ago. Indeed, thanks to our joint efforts, more than 180,000 children have been released from armed forces and groups and reintegrated into their communities since the creation of the CAAC mandate, and hundreds of thousands more have benefitted from improved protection”, said the UN Special Representative. “We must continue to work together for the protection of the most vulnerable in times of conflict – children – including by taking specific measures to prevent ‘child’s rights violations,” she added.
The World Cup provides a unique platform to raise awareness of critical global issues, such as children affected by conflict among new audiences. The exhibition, which takes place as part of Generation Amazing’s Festival, allows young people worldwide to see how war and hostile environments impact children. Hence, the Special Representative added that this exhibition would generate the will to act to protect children like them living in conflict situations.
Being present in such an activity is an opportunity that highlights the State of Qatar’s, through the Fund, efforts being at the forefront of protecting children with its consistent support towards increasing safe access to quality education, economic security, and healthcare services. QFFD and OSRSG CAAC continue to safeguard the rights and protection of vulnerable and marginalized children globally.