Qatar Red Crescent Society
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The Qatari branch of the Red Crescent Society, the Qatar Red Crescent (QRC), was established in 1978. In 1981, it gained international recognition from the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva and joined the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). It is also a member of the Secretariat of Arab Red Crescent Societies in Jeddah. It became the first philanthropic organization in Qatar to establish a women's branch in 1982.
QRC is headquartered in Doha, but the organization works throughout the country. Their primary goal is to reduce detrimental effects of catastrophe and relieve suffering by contributing social and humanitarian services coinciding with the mission of its parent organization, the Red Crescent.
QRC was the first voluntary charity organization in Qatar. It is very active in aiding and developing relief programs for victims of disaster worldwide. Within Qatar, their programs include social development, training and qualification, awareness and education, programs and medical service, and advocacy community issues. Internationally QRC engages in relief and humanitarian activities, development and empowerment, and advocacy and humanitarian diplomacy.
Qatar Red Crescent Society was the only humanitarian organization present in Northern Mali following the Islamist takeover. This presence raised questions over whether QRC was supporting the Islamists or helping local population. QRC’s stated purpose of the mission was to “distribute food aid to 1,000 households and conduct an assessment of the population’s needs in water, sanitation, health and food security.”
The QRC has also been active in Syria where it has engaged in ongoing humanitarian efforts to build roads in the Latakia Countryside and ensure secure transportation of those injured in the conflict to safer adjacent territories. They also launched a psychological support center in 2013 for refugees of the Syrian crisis.
In West Darfur, QRC has been instrumental in providing agricultural machinery to improve the livelihoods of local communities. QRC has had a representative office in West Darfur to oversee its projects there since 2009. .
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies partnered with Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network in May 2014. This agreement built on relations developed over several years between QRC and Al Jazeera. The goal of the agreement was to give a voice to the voiceless by drawing attention and support to the victims of disasters.
In coordination with QRC, the IFRC signed a partnership agreement in 2013 with Qatar’s Cultural Village Foundation (“Katara”) to help build more resilient and peaceful communities in the Middle East and North Africa.
Accusations of Ties to Extremism
Operating in several areas of conflict, Qatar Red Crescent Society has been accused through blogs and think tank publications of supporting Islamist and terrorist groups. However it has always been cleared from these accusations of support to terrorism by the United Nations see e.g. the UN terror list established and maintained pursuant to Security Council resolution 1267/1989/2253.
In June 2012 when Northern Mali was taken over by Islamists, Qatar Red Crescent was the only humanitarian organization that was granted access to the territory by the Islamists. In August 2014, the QRC raised more than $10 million at an event where the primary speaker was Hussam Badran, a Hamas leader who once supported bombing attacks in Tel Aviv. Qatar Red Crescent is not the only Qatari charitable organization accused of ties to extremism. Qatar Charity and the Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammad Al Thani Charity Association have also both been allegedly connected to terrorist groups, although the United Nations publicly rejected these assertions and subsequently co-organized in 2017 high-profile activities with these relief organizations. None of the Qatari humanitarian organizations has ever been listed on the UN terror list established and maintained pursuant to Security Council res. 1267/1989/2253.
The leadership of QRC includes the following individuals:
- Chairman of the Board/President: Dr. Mohammed Bin Ghanim A. Al-Ali Almaadid
- Secretary General: Saleh Ali Al-Muhanadi
- Acting Director of Finance and Investment: Mohamed Mohiy Khalifa
- Director of Human Resources and Admin Services: Nayef Faisal S. Almohannadi
- Director of Medical Affairs: Dr. Hassan Alyafi
- Director of Organizational Development: Muhammad Mujahid
- Director of Public Communications Department: Rajaa Saleh
- Director of Resource Mobilization: Saad Shaheen Al-Kaabi
- Director of Social Development: Rashid Saad Almohanadi
- Head of International Relations: Fawzi Oussedik
- Head of Volunteering: Najat Abdrhman Al-Haidous
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- "Qatar Red Crescent Society establishes psychological services centre for Syrian refugees". IFRC. 2013-04-17. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- "Development Projects in West Darfur". Reliefweb.int. 2015-06-21. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- "Al Jazeera media network and the IFRC to enhance cooperation and 'give a voice to the voiceless'". IFRC. 2014-05-26. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- "KATARA foundation and the IFRC sign partnership to build stronger Red Cross Red Crescent societies". IFRC. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- "Qatar's Support of Hamas and Jihadist Forces in the Middle East". Rightside News. 2013-09-23. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- The Jerusalem Center (2014-09-23). "Qatar's Support of Hamas and Jihadist Forces". Jcpa.org. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- Gartenstein, Daveed (2013-02-25). "Uncharitable Organizations". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- "Defense Minister signs order banning Hamas-affiliated charitable organizations". Mfa.gov.il. 2008-07-07. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- "Qatar Red Crescent Society". IFRC. Retrieved 2015-09-19.