Lithuania steps up efforts for the forcibly displaced in 2017
In 2017, the Lithuanian government increased its annual funding to UNHCR, strengthening the protection of people forced to flee their homes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar and Syria.
Since 2011 Lithuania has remained a committed donor to UNHCR, exemplifying global solidarity through generous financial contributions to UNHCR. In total, Lithuania has from 2011 to 2016 donated over USD quarter of a million to UNHCR. In 2017, the Lithuanian government increased its annual funding to UNHCR, thereby strengthening the protection of people forced to flee their homes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar and Syria.
Support to Iraq and Myanmar situation
Since 2014, more than 3.2 million people have been displaced inside Iraq and nearly 220.000 Iraqis live as refugees in neighbouring countries. Mass executions, systematic rape and horrendous acts of violence are widespread, and human rights and the rule of law are under constant attack.
This year, Lithuania has contributed USD 43.000 to UNHCR Iraq operation. With winter looming, the contributions will boost UNHCR’s provision of much needed winter assistance in camps and urban areas. The winter assistance includes tent insulations, blankets, heating stoves and kerosene jerry cans. UNHCR is also providing cash assistance to vulnerable internally displaced Iraqi families, materialised through donations from governments such as Lithuania.
At the multi-agency hosted Rohingya Refugee Crisis Pledging Conference on 23 October 2017, Lithuania pledged USD 23.200 the UNHCR’s 2017 assistance for Rohingya refugees. In Myanmar, over half a million Rohingya refugees have fled violence arriving in neighbouring Bangladesh. UNHCR is currently working with the Bangladesh government and partners to respond to the massive humanitarian needs. With funding from Lithuania, UNHCR can amongst other protection activities, distribute lanterns and phone chargers as part of a non-food items emergency relief pack to newly arrived families.
“Lithuania’s support to UNHCR is imperative for displaced populations across the world. During a time when the funding gap is increasing, Lithuania’s unearmarked and earmarked donations are crucial in addressing urgent needs springing from both new emergencies and protracted situations. UNHCR has received less than 50 percent of the funding target to meet the comprehensive needs for the Iraq situation and the Rohingya emergency. Lithuania’s funding is timely and ensures that UNHCR can grant lifesaving assistance and promote self-reliance for refugees,” said Wilfred Buchhorn, Acting UNHCR Regional Representative for the Northern Europe.
Lithuania as a donor
In 2015 and 2017, Lithuania allocated a sum of money to UNHCR not restricted to a specific emergency or refugee situation. This type of unearmarked funding allows UNHCR the critical flexibility, efficiency and predictability to channel resources to where it is most needed and where displaced people are at the greatest risk.
Lithuania remains a predictable donor and has so far contributed USD 87.400 to UNHCR, of which USD 21.200 is unearmarked.
Information on the Myanmar situation: http://reporting.unhcr.org/node/19139
Information on the Iraq situation: http://reporting.unhcr.org/node/8419