Governments pledge record amount for UNHCR

16 Dec 15

Government donors have pledged the highest ever initial amount for the United Nations refugee agency at a conference in Geneva today.


The $687.2m will help the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees deal with the nigh on 60 million displaced or stateless people worldwide, as ongoing crises and new emergencies push the agency’s finances to their highest appeal - $6.5bn for 2016.

António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said that the world has also “never before seen” so many people fleeing war and violence and turning to the international community for help.

“We are deeply grateful for the generous efforts made by donors to allow us to respond to these needs,” he said.

“But we also have to recognise that with such unprecedented levels of displacement, the gap between what is needed and the resources available keeps growing and we often struggle to provide even the minimum of core protection and assistance to those who need it.”

The UNHCR receives a small annual contribution from the UN’s regular budget, but aside from this its programmes are funded entirely by voluntary contributions from state and private donors.

Contributions have increased significantly but not nearly enough to keep pace with needs, with the agency’s requirements nearly doubling over the past five years.

Syria, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Nigeria are just some of the countries enduring major ongoing crisis, while places like Burundi, Yemen and Europe are all facing new but also severe problems.

“Unless the world starts addressing the root causes of displacement, this is not going to end,” Guterres said. 

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