UNHCR, IOM and partners in $550m appeal for humanitarian operations for Europe's refugee and migrant situation

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 26 January 2016, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

As continuing conflict in the Middle East and elsewhere drives people to seek refuge in Europe, UNHCR, IOM, and some 65 other organizations yesterday appealed in Geneva to donors for $550 million to support the ongoing humanitarian response.

With global forced displacement at a record high of some 60 million people and increasingly impacting countries of the Global North, 2015 saw over a million refugees and migrants arriving in Europe by boat. Around 850,000 of these crossed from Turkey to Greece, with most continuing through the Balkans and towards Austria, Germany, Sweden and other countries.

The appeal aims at funding humanitarian operations in 2016 across the affected countries, with approximately half of the funds allocated for Greece. Humanitarian operations will include aid and protection activities where people are arriving, including identifying those at heightened risk, registration, shelter, water and sanitation etc., to bolster capacities for front-line responders such as coast guard, border guards, police and support for affected communities. Help with relocation, resettlement and other regular solutions was also part of the appeal.

The Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan for Europe: Eastern Mediterranean and Western Balkans route will be available later today: http://rmrp-europe.unhcr.org/.

UNHCR Media contacts:

  • Adrian Edwards: +41 79 557 9120, edwards@unhcr.org
  • William Spindler, +41 79 217 3011, spindler@unhcr.org
  • Karin de Gruijl +41 79 255 9213, degruijl@unhcr.org
  • IOM Media contacts:
  • Leonard Doyle Tel: 41 22 717 9589 - Mobile: 41 79 285 71 23, Email: ldoyle@iom.int
  • Joel Millman Tel: 41 22 717 9486 - Mobile: 41 79 103 87 20, Email: jmillman@iom.int
  • Itayi Viriri Tel: 41 22 717 9361 - Mobile: 41 79 285 43 66, Email: iviriri@iom.int