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UNHCR Global Appeal 1999 - Regional Overview: Eastern Europe

UNHCR Fundraising Reports, 1 December 1998


UNHCR's involvement in the territory of the former Soviet Union started in the early 1990s, primarily in response to the humanitarian emergencies generated by conflicts in the Caucasus and Tajikistan. While a solution to many of these conflicts remains elusive, UNHCR programmes have evolved from emergency assistance to longer-term projects, including capacity-building activities, especially in the NGO sector, and efforts to formulate asylum and citizenship legislation consistent with international standards. UNHCR continues to encourage humanitarian action in support of conflict-resolution and confidence-building.

An Integrated Approach to Conflict-Resolution

Durable solutions for refugees and internally displaced persons are often predicated on the political resolution of conflict. Conflict-resolution also has a humanitarian dimension, since solutions to displacement problems are an integral part of the peace process. UNHCR's integrated approach to conflict-resolution ensures that critically important issues such as voluntariness, safety and sustainability of return are not dealt with in isolation, but are part of the negotiation process. For example, links between UNHCR and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group ensure that humanitarian issues will, whenever feasible, be given due consideration in the negotiations on Nagorno-Karabakh.

CIS Conference

The Programme of Action adopted in May 1996 at the CIS Conference provided a broad framework for UNHCR's activities in the region; while the follow-up to the Conference helped solidify cooperation with regional organizations and national and international NGOs. The Conference process has promoted dialogue about and awareness of the various displacement problems in the region. It has also helped bring the countries concerned into the mainstream of international norms and practices concerning refugees and displaced persons and encouraged greater cooperation among them on these issues.


Despite the progress achieved in several areas, UNHCR's activities in the region remain constrained by two factors: unresolved conflicts and a growing concern for the safety of humanitarian workers. At the time of going to press, the abduction on 29 January, 1998 of Vincent Cochetel, the Head of the UNHCR Office in Vladikavkaz, remained unresolved.

Budget US$

The total budget, including costs at Headquarters amounts to US$ 50,605,665.

CountryGeneral ProgrammesSpecial ProgrammesTotal
The Russian Federation7,329,5006,112,34213,441,842
The Republic of Moldova453,400200,000653,400
Follow-up to the CIS Conference1,040,1001,040,100
NGO Fund1,606,6451,606,645



Uganda Emergency Update

Covering Congolese and South Sudanese Emergency

Country Operations Fact Sheets

Compilation of the Asia and the Pacific country fact sheets Sept 2014

Author Hosseini in Afghanistan

UNHCR Goodwill Envoy Khaled Hosseini visited Afghanistan in early September and saw first-hand one of the UN refugee agency's largest and most complex operations. During a 10-day trip, the best-selling author visited UNHCR projects and met returnees in the northern provinces of Kunduz, Baghlan, Balkh, Parwan and Kabul. Hosseini, a former Afghan refugee now settled in the United States, noted that it would take time and effort for Afghanistan to provide returnees with adequate infrastructure and services. He urged the international community to remain committed to Afghanistan and to give the country time. Hosseini could not visit the south and parts of the east, where insecurity is impacting on the ability of UNHCR to assess needs and provide assistance to those who need it the most. Since 2003, UNHCR has helped more than 4 million refugees return to Afghanistan. This year, some 300,000 Afghan refugees have returned from Pakistan. More than 900,000 remain in Iran and 2 million in Pakistan.

Author Hosseini in Afghanistan

Afghanistan: An Uncertain Future

For over a quarter of a century, Afghanistan has been devastated by conflict and civil strife, with some 8 million people uprooted internally and in neighbouring countries. The overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 resulted in one of the largest and most successful return operations in history.

Seven years on, more than 5 million Afghan refugees have returned - increasing Afghanistan's population by an estimated 20 percent.The large majority have gone back to their areas of origin. However, some recent returnees are facing more difficulties as the country's absorption capacity reaches its limits in some areas. Last year, some Afghans returned before they were ready or able to successfully reintegrate due to the closure of refugee villages as well as the deteriorating conditions in Pakistan. In consequence, 30,000 Afghan refugees returned to further displacement in their homeland, unable to return to their villages due to conflict, lack of land, shelter materials, basic services and job opportunities. These challenges have been compounded elsewhere across the country by food insecurity and severe drought.

UNHCR and the Afghan Foreign Ministry highlighted the requirements for sustainable refugee return and reintegration at an international conference in Kabul in November 2008. The donor community welcomed the inclusion of refugee reintegration within the government's five-year national development strategy and the emphasis on land, shelter, water, sanitation, education, health care and livelihoods. It is anticipated that repatriation and reintegration will become more challenging in future.

Afghanistan: An Uncertain Future

Kuwaiti Funds Provide Vital Medical Aid for Syrians in Lebanon

As the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon continues to grow, ensuring access to quality health care is becoming an increasing challenge for humanitarian aid groups and the international community. So, Kuwait's unprecedented donation in April of US$110 million for UNHCR's Syria crisis operations this year came at a most opportune time. Slightly more than 40 per cent of the amount has been used to fund programmes in Lebanon, including the provision of vital - and often life-saving - medical care. In the following photo gallery, photographer Shawn Baldwin looks at the essential work being done in just one Kuwaiti-supported clinic in northern Lebanon. The small Al Nahda Primary Health Care Clinic in the town of Beddawi has a staff of seven doctors and one nurse. Between 600 and 700 people seek medical attention there every month and the clinic meets the needs of some of the most vulnerable refugees.

Kuwaiti Funds Provide Vital Medical Aid for Syrians in Lebanon

There are more refugees and displaced people now than at any time since the Second World WarPlay video

There are more refugees and displaced people now than at any time since the Second World War

To help them, to know who they are, to give them support now and in the future UNHCR must use the most modern tools available. UNHCR plans to capture refugees' biometrics in up to 10 countries this year, and in all its operations by 2018.
Switzerland: Kuwait Donates US$ 100 Million to the Syria CrisisPlay video

Switzerland: Kuwait Donates US$ 100 Million to the Syria Crisis

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees welcomes the State of Kuwait's contribution of US$ 100 million to support UNHCR operations aiding Syrians.
UN Appeals for Syria OperationsPlay video

UN Appeals for Syria Operations

Faced with the prospect of a worsening situation inside Syria and growing numbers of refugees in 2014, UN agencies on Monday December 16, 2013 appealed to donors for US$6.5 billion in funds – the biggest amount so far requested for a single humanitarian emergency.