MISFER HAMAD AL-SHAHWANI

Qatar 2020 | DIPLOMACY | INTERVIEW
Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Kuwari
BIOGRAPHY

Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Kuwari holds a bachelor's degree in business administration in information technology from the University of North Carolina in the US. With more than 25 years of experience in the humanitarian action and advanced technologies areas, he has contributed to establishing one of the cutting-edge systems in the humanitarian work area. He was appointed CEO of Qatar Charity in 2011. Previously, as director of information technology, he led the digital transformation of ministries and governmental bodies, which was later adopted by all governmental entities.

Misfer Hamad Al-Shahwani
BIOGRAPHY

Misfer Hamad Al-Shahwani has been the deputy general manager for projects development at QFFD since 2015. He holds an executive MBA from HEC Paris and a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering from King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals. Since 2015, Al-Shahwani has managed humanitarian aid and development projects amounting to more than USD0.7 billion and oversaw the development of more than 90 projects in over 50 countries. He also managed humanitarian aid projects in eight countries and worked with UN organizations and international humanitarian agencies. Prior to that, Al-Shahwani had over 15 years of experience in the oil sector.

What are the main objectives and areas of work of your institution?
Qatar Charity is an international humanitarian and developmental non-government organization founded in response to the common will of the civil society that is driven by the values, principles, and the cultural heritage of the Qatari people to achieve global solidarity and effectively address the most important humanitarian and development challenges faced by needy people all over the world. Our top priority is children, particularly those affected by crises and disasters, while also expanding our work to include diverse humanitarian and development sectors. Qatar Charity's vision is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals that aim for an integrated development system to help the beneficiary become a key partner in finding appropriate solutions for development through partnerships and networks to work locally, regionally, and internationally.

What humanitarian challenges do your current programs address?
In the humanitarian field, Qatar Charity continues to intervene in crises-stricken areas. A major portion of the current crises impacts the Arab world, with some of them extending over the course of nearly nine years. Hence, this issue represents one of Qatar Charity's main pillars and is a focal issue in terms of our current and future projects. Moreover, we continue with sustainable programs that contribute to promoting stability, peace, and social harmony in conflict-affected areas such as Darfur, where Qatar Charity implemented a number of projects as part of the state of Qatar's Development Initiative. Added to that, Qatar Charity continues to develop social welfare programs through the Qatar Charity Initiative Rofaqa for child welfare and protection, which sponsors more than 162,000 children around the world. We also continue to launch different projects to offer various quality services, such as the village of Sheikha Aisha bint Hamad al-Attiyah in Sudan.

Qatar has been increasing its funds to realize global sustainable development. What has been achieved with this increased amount for international development?
QFFD has designed its interventions in developing countries to achieve several goals of the Agenda 2030, supporting priority areas like education, healthcare, economic empowerment, infrastructure development, and humanitarian relief. Since 2015, Qatar's aid has touched USD2.3 billion and reached over 80 countries worldwide. Millions of out-of-school children in poor and conflict-affected regions have benefited from our joint programs with strategic partners in the field of education. The programs ranged from building schools and other necessary infrastructure, training teachers, providing scholarships, and developing educational curricula. In the area of health, our programs target emergency relief in conflict settings and more long-term programmatic interventions in other countries, including building specialized hospitals, training medical staff and midwives, and funding health programs in eye scanning and operations, among other projects. Finally, Qatar Fund has been striving to widen its portfolio into more allocation of funds on jobs creation and support for SMEs. Our Qatar Friendship Fund in Tunisia has so far helped over 27,000 Tunisian youth in either accessing job markets or starting up their businesses. Contemplating on our diversification of portfolio plans, we anticipate launching a new program next year that targets Syrian youth and their host communities.

Which other major projects is QFFD involved in at the moment?
Infrastructure projects have always had the lion's share of our budget, with large funds being dedicated to building roads, power line carriers, and dams, all with the objective of alleviating poverty, supporting lives and livelihoods, and providing access to economic corridors and centers. From Gaza, to Mogadishu, Khartoum, Tunis, and Nazwa and Thamrit in Oman, our infrastructure projects have touched and will have a direct impact on the lives of millions of people.