AMMONNEWS - Social media posts, news stories and op-eds are important but "not enough" in helping vulnerable refugee women and children around the world, Queen Rania writes in a new piece for TIME.
"We need more reliable data, especially on girls and women affected by displacement" and who are especially vulnerable to sexual abuse, forced marriage and life-threatening complications from pregnancy, the Jordanian queen, 45, said.
"That in 2016, with the surfeit of technology with which we're surrounded and the knowledge of past humanitarian crises, we cannot better support some of the most vulnerable people on the planet is, simply, unconscionable," Rania said.
"By counting them, we send them a message that they matter," she said.
To help in practical ways, U.N. agencies and aid organizations should make better use of technology to identify individual females within populations on the move, Rania said, citing Data2X as a constructive initiative, as well as other recent U.N. efforts to make data available to front-line humanitarian workers.
"Social media petitions, news reports and op-eds protesting their treatment are important. But they're not enough," Rania said.
"To provide appropriate support and health services, we need to know how many women of childbearing age are living in a given location. And we need to know how many children are living there, and of what age, to provide them with the best learning opportunities," she said.
"Without the data, it is hard to tailor the response."
"Because data is more than numbers," Rania said. "At its heart, data is people – some of the most vulnerable women and girls in our world today. Mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, grandmothers – who have, already, suffered too much and who must suffer no more."
The queen has been a leading global advocate for assisting displaced people: Jordan is home to around 630,000 refugees from Syria alone, a figure equivalent to around 20 per cent of the nation's population.
Earlier this week she took her 19-year-old daughter Princess Iman Bint Al Abdullah to share the daily Ramadan sundown meal with refugee children housed at a camp in Amman, the nation's capital.