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Rwanda has been hosting refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi for more than two decades in seven refugee camps. As is the case worldwide, the majority are in a situation of vulnerability, with 80% being women, children and elderly people. UNHCR is responsible for ensuring the protection of these refugees through humanitarian assistance, protection, education, health and livelihood programs.
Among these actions is the provision of clothing and footwear. UNHCR faces budgetary constraints on a daily basis, and providing clothing to refugees is often a major challenge when there are so many basic needs to be met. This is the case in Rwanda, where the entire refugee population has not received clothing for several years.
In order to provide assistance and clothing to people who have lost everything, the Spain for UNHCR has built a great partnership with Inditex, through which 750,000 new clothes will be delivered to the entire refugee population in the camps of Kigeme, Mugombwa, Kiziba, Gicumbi, Nyabiheke, Gashora ETM and Mahama, as well as in the urban environment of Kigali & Huye. This is equivalent to the delivery of 5 new pieces of clothing per person.
“This initiative is the result of teamwork, with the common goal of helping to improve the lives of people forced to flee their homes in order to survive.”
Carlos Piñeiro, Community Investment, Inditex.
According to Carlos Piñero, three aspects are very much present in the project: "On the one hand, social innovation: generating new, more efficient and sustainable solutions to meet social needs. Another concept is shared value: value is created for society and at the same time for the company. And finally, the partnership between non-profit organizations - such as UNHCR - and the company, based on a common vision that places their raison d'être- the end beneficiaries- at the forefront" he says.
Several Inditex Group suppliers have participated in this donation, by handling and packaging the new garments according to UNHCR's requirements. In turn, Inditex is responsible for shipping the clothing to their final destination, assuming all related costs. This initiative seeks to be the beginning of a long-term, sustainable partnership that will bring new clothes to millions of people in more countries and territories.
“We are extremely proud and motivated by the fact that Inditex is part of the list of the world's leading companies that have made the largest in-kind donations to UNHCR.”
Soledad Cardozo, International Strategic Partnership Manager, Spain for UNHCR.
Cardozo adds that “this is only possible thanks to the strong commitment of the management, as well as the great dedication and effort of the teams involved. Thousands of people will receive much more than clothes; it is an opportunity to regain their self-esteem by renewing their few damaged clothes and feel better about their image. Thank you, Inditex, for stepping up for refugees.”