UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, announced today the appointment of renowned Saudi actress, singer, and public figure, Aseel Omran, as UNHCR’s Goodwill Ambassador, becoming the first Saudi to take on this role.
Omran has been working closely with UNHCR since 2018, and she was appointed as a UNHCR High Profile Supporter in 2020. She has been backing UNHCR’s efforts in responding to several displacement emergencies, in addition to supporting fundraising and advocacy campaigns in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. The announcement coincides with a two-day visit to Bangladesh, bringing attention to the situation and humanitarian needs of Rohingya refugees.
Accepting her new role, Omran said: “For more than five years, I have had the honour of meeting many refugees from all over the world and have seen first-hand how, given the right opportunities, refugees can thrive to the fullest.” She added: “When I began working with UNHCR, there were 70 million people who had been forcibly displaced worldwide. Today, this number exceeds 103 million people. With this dramatic increase, we all need to show greater support than ever and shoulder more responsibility to create better opportunities for those who were uprooted from their homes. I am very proud and honoured to take on this role as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and lend my voice to refugees and internally displaced populations.”
Welcoming Omran’s appointment, Khaled Khalifa, Senior Advisor and UNHCR’s Representative to the GCC countries, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Aseel Omran as our first Saudi Goodwill Ambassador. Her commitment and dedication to highlighting UNHCR’s work have been outstanding, and we are confident that she will make a significant impact in raising awareness about the plight of forcibly displaced people worldwide, mobilizing support and resources for them and responding to their humanitarian needs.”
In her new role, Aseel will continue to utilize her social platforms to raise awareness and promote the importance of solidarity and compassion in addressing the global displacement crisis. She will also support UNHCR’s efforts to empower refugees, including through advocacy, fundraising globally, and visiting refugee camps and hosting communities.
Aseel joins a distinguished group of UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors, including Cate Blanchett, Ben Stiller, Raya Abirached, and other influential figures from the worlds of entertainment, sport, and public service.