People who have been forced to leave everything behind are among the most vulnerable in the world, and the situation is only getting worse, with the added emergency of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Many refugees have suffered tremendously due to the crisis, and UNHCR reports an urgent need to assist.
In response, H&M has donated clothing to displaced communities in Iraq, to help families keep warm during the cold winter months. The country currently hosts nearly 290,000 refugees and asylum-seekers, as well as almost 1.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and 4.9 million IDP returnees.
Pascal Brun, Head of Sustainability at H&M, said:
"We are immensely proud to partner with UNHCR to address the needs of displaced communities. I am very pleased with what we have accomplished so far and that we are able to contribute to displaced people in Iraq and other countries by donating these garments."
For UNHCR's operation in Iraq, this is one of the major donations of its kind in 2021. The project was developed in close cooperation with UNHCR to ensure that the right garments were collected and shipped to the right place, with respect to the needs on the ground.
Jean-Nicolas Beuze, Representative of UNHCR in Iraq, said:
"This donation carries more than just warmth to the displaced people in Iraq during the winter. It also shows the solidarity the world has for those displaced by conflict and persecutions. It reminds them that they are not alone. We, at UNHCR Iraq, are very proud of this partnership with H&M as we know it makes a difference in the lives of thousands of vulnerable people."