The UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, announced on 27 April the appointment of popular TV personality Raya Abi Rached as a Regional Goodwill Ambassador in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Prior to her appointment, Abi Rached was working closely with the UNHCR on several campaigns and appeals.
The first female Arab to be appointed as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, her engagement with UNHCR began in 2017 through MBC Hope, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of MBC Group. Since then, she has consistently advocated for refugee rights through her digital participation in the UNHCR’s Ramadan and winter campaigns, as well as in various emergency appeals.
Speaking on the occasion, Abi Rached said, "I am deeply honoured and humbled for being chosen as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. I do not take lightly the responsibility and tasks ahead and hope, with an open heart, that I can make a small difference in the lives of those in need throughout our region. Thank you to the UNHCR for your trust."
Welcoming Abi Rached’s appointment as the UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Hossam Shahin, UNHCR’s Chief of Private Sector Partnerships in MENA explained, “We are very delighted to honour Raya’s dedication and commitment, especially as this announcement comes during the holy month of Ramadan, where #EverySecondCounts is making an impact on the lives of refugees and advocating on their behalf.”
“Goodwill Ambassadors play a vital role in bringing the refugee cause closer to the public and we look forward to continue inspiring more people in our region and globally to take action for refugees and those internally displaced, through Raya’s voice and platforms,” he added.
As well as providing digital advocacy to the UNHCR over the past four years, she has undertaken numerous initiatives to provide support to refugees and internally displaced populations. These include her participation in field missions to Lebanon and Jordan, and hosting "Dafathon," a live fundraising event to provide fuel to heat refugees’ homes throughout the harsh winter season.
This year, Abi Rached will also be supporting UNHCR’s global Ramadan campaign #EverySecondCounts which focuses on the incredible impact individuals can create within seconds on the lives of refugee and displaced families whose lives turned upside down within moments and who have been forced to flee their homes in search of safety.
Of Lebanese descent, Abi Rached has been an established media personality in the Arab world for the past two decades and is well known for her celebrity interviews and for presenting popular regional TV programmes.
Abi Rached is a presenter and producer at MBC Group and one of the faces of the hit television talent show Arabs Got Talent, which she co-hosts. She also hosts Scoop with Raya, a show that provides audiences across the region with the latest news and interviews from the world of Hollywood.