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Ex-General Assembly president becomes first private donor to Peacebuilding Fund

Ex-General Assembly president becomes first private donor to Peacebuilding Fund

The former General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa has become the first individual donor to the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, set up last year to help countries emerging from conflict consolidate their gains and not slide back into war.

Sheikha Haya, who served as President of the General Assembly’s sixty-first session, which ended yesterday, has made a private donation of almost $19,000, the Fund announced today.

Since its official launch in October last year, Sheikha Haya has championed the work of the Fund, which is a multi-year standing trust fund that has an initial funding target of $250 million and so far has collected deposits worth almost $144 million from donor countries.

To date, it has approved grants of more than $46 million to 21 projects in Burundi and Sierra Leone, the first two countries under formal consideration by the Peacebuilding Commission. It has also spent $700,000 in emergency funds to support dialogue between Côte d’Ivoire’s opposing political forces and $800,000 to back mediation efforts in the troubled Central African Republic (CAR).

Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support Carolyn McAskie said she hoped that Sheikha Haya’s “generous contribution will serve to inspire other individuals, organizations and governments to commit to the Fund in the interest of helping countries in the transition from war to lasting peace.”

The first female General Assembly President since 1969 and the first Muslim woman to hold the post, Sheikha Haya was also one of the first two women to practise law in her home country, Bahrain.