Qatar pledges $3m to Ukrainian human rights body

Funds aim to provide support for children, others affected by armed conflict in Ukraine, Qatari foreign ministry says.

Qatari Minister of State for International Cooperation Lolwah Al-Khater (L) welcomes Ukrainian children and their framilies, flanked to her right by Human Rights Commissioner in the Ukrainian Parliament Dmytro Lubinets in Doha on April 24, 2024.
Qatari Minister of State for International Cooperation Lolwah Al-Khater welcomes Ukrainian children and their families in Doha on April 24 [File: Karim Jaafar/AFP]

Qatar has announced that it will provide $3m to the office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, as part of a push to support “welfare and safety” in the war-torn country.

Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday that the funds aim to support initiatives designed to improve the lives of children, citizens affected by armed conflicts and the overall population in Ukraine.

“Furthermore, the fund will contribute to increasing legal support and improving the necessary infrastructure required to provide the support needed for families affected by conflict in Ukraine,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry and the commissioner’s office also reiterated “their dedication to a world where human dignity is respected, and where each individual’s rights are protected”.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that 16 Ukrainian children who “had previously been forcibly deported” to Russia after its 2022 invasion of Ukraine were recovering in Qatar following their release.

Zelenskyy said on Wednesday that the group was freed and reunited with their families thanks to Qatari mediation efforts that have helped bring back dozens of children taken during the 27-month war.

“I am deeply grateful to Qatar and personally to the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, for assisting Ukraine in this vital effort,” the Ukrainian president said in a post on X.

“We look forward to continued fruitful cooperation on this matter, as well as the return of more of our children.”

The president’s comments came days after Qatar said 20 Ukrainian and Russian families had arrived in the Qatari capital, Doha, to be provided healthcare and support as part of the ongoing mediation efforts to reunite families.

Ukraine believes Russia has illegally taken more than 19,000 Ukrainian children since Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of its neighbour in 2022. Of that, fewer than 400 children have been returned.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies