Annual NGO-UNHCR consultations start tomorrow

Briefing Notes, 25 September 2007

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 25 September 2007, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

UNHCR's Annual Consultations with Non-Governmental Organisations will begin tomorrow here in Geneva, bringing together some 200 NGOs for two full days of talks on a variety of issues ranging from humanitarian reform to responding in complex refugee emergencies.

In all, 330 delegates have registered to attend the consultations, which will be opened tomorrow by Deputy High Commissioner Craig Johnstone and closed at midday Friday with concluding remarks from High Commissioner António Guterres.

In a message to the meeting, Mr. Guterres who is in New York this week notes that NGOs are UNHCR's crucial partners in practically every one of our operations those in the headlines and those in some of the most isolated and dangerous places in the world. Altogether, UNHCR works with more than 600 NGOs national and international worldwide.

The NGO consultations precede next week's annual UNHCR Executive Committee meeting. We'll have more information on the weeklong "ExCom" on Friday.




Partnership: An Operations Management Handbook for UNHCR's Partners (Revised Edition)

A practical guide for those working with UNHCR in protecting and assisting refugees.

Non-Governmental Organizations

A priority for us is to strengthen partnerships with non-governmental organizations.

Executive Committee

The governing body meets annually to discuss programmes, budgets and other key issues.

Annual Consultations with NGOs

An important yearly forum.

2015 Annual Consultations with NGOs

The 2015 Annual Consultations with NGOs will take place from 01 to 03 July at the International Conference Centre Geneva (ICCG). For further information, visit our website:

Arriving in Europe, refugees find chaos as well as kindness

Each day, thousands of refugees and migrants are risking everything to make the perilous journey to Europe. The majority - who come from war-torn Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan - are passing through Greece and then making their way to Germany. Transit countries have been overwhelmed by the influx, but volunteers and NGOs are stepping in to provide support along the route. In Hungary, where there is a large bottleneck of people trying to make their way onwards to places like Germany, UNHCR is mobilizing relief items, including tents, plastic sheets and thermal blankets. The refugee agency is also calling on officials there to streamline the registration process and allow humanitarian organizations to provide swift assistance to those in greatest need. UNHCR is also calling on EU Member States to work together to strengthen emergency reception, assistance and registration efforts in the countries most impacted by arrivals, particularly Greece, Hungary and Italy. UNHCR photographers have been on hand documenting the arduous journey.

Arriving in Europe, refugees find chaos as well as kindness

Iraq Crisis: Finding a Place to Stay

Tens of thousands of people have fled to Erbil and Duhok governorates in Iraq's Kurdistan region over the past week, sheltering in schools, mosques, churches and temporary camps following a surge of violence in parts of central and northern Iraq. UNHCR and its partners have been working to meet the urgent shelter needs. The refugee agency has delivered close to 1,000 tents to a transit camp being built by the authorities and NGOs at Garmawa, near Duhok.

Many of the people arriving from Mosul at checkpoints between Ninewa and governorate and Iraq's Kurdistan region have limited resources and cannot afford to pay for shelter. Some people stay with family, while others are staying in hotels and using up their meagre funds.

In the village of Alqosh, some 150 people from 20 families, with little more than the clothes on their back, have been living in several overcrowded classrooms in a primary school for the past week. One member of the group said they had lived in a rented apartment in Mosul and led a normal family life. But in Alqosh, they feared for the welfare and education of their children and the presence of snakes and scorpions.

Iraq Crisis: Finding a Place to Stay

South Sudan: Preparing for Long-Awaited Returns

The signing of a peace agreement between the Sudanese government and the army of the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement on 9 January, 2005, ended 21 years of civil war and signaled a new era for southern Sudan. For some 4.5 million uprooted Sudanese – 500,000 refugees and 4 million internally displaced people – it means a chance to finally return home.

In preparation, UNHCR and partner agencies have undertaken, in various areas of South Sudan, the enormous task of starting to build some basic infrastructure and services which either were destroyed during the war or simply had never existed. Alongside other UN agencies and NGOs, UNHCR is also putting into place a wide range of programmes to help returnees re-establish their lives.

These programs include road construction, the building of schools and health facilities, as well as developing small income generation programmes to promote self-reliance.

South Sudan: Preparing for Long-Awaited Returns

ExCom 2015: High Commissioner's opening speechPlay video

ExCom 2015: High Commissioner's opening speech

Afghanistan President Ghani's Message to the ExCom High Level SegmentPlay video

Afghanistan President Ghani's Message to the ExCom High Level Segment

UNHCR Excom 2015: A World in CrisisPlay video

UNHCR Excom 2015: A World in Crisis

UNHCR's governing ExCom met in Geneva to review and advise on international protection and discuss a wide range of other issues with UNHCR and its intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.