Dutch lottery donates 1 million euros to UNHCR

News Stories, 28 January 2005

© UNHCR/S.Schultze
UNHCR's Anne-Willem Bijleveld (left) receiving the cheque from the National Postcode Lottery's Boudewijn Poelmann in Hilversum, the Netherlands.

HILVERSUM, The Netherlands, January 28 (UNHCR) In order to continue to help support refugees worldwide, UNHCR has received a donation of one million euros from the main charity lottery in the Netherlands.

At a special meeting on Thursday with beneficiaries in Hilversum, the Netherlands, director Boudewijn Poelmann of the National Postcode Lottery handed a symbolic cheque of 1 million euros to Anne-Willem Bijleveld, UNHCR's Director of External Relations.

"We want to thank the National Postcode Lottery for their ongoing support to UNHCR, and for making it possible for us to continue to help refugees," Bijleveld said at the ceremony.

The National Postcode Lottery is the top private fundraiser for charity in the Netherlands. It devotes 60 percent of its net income to work in the fields of nature preservation and ecology, development cooperation, human rights and refugees. Last year it saw an 8.7 percent growth, allowing a total of 224 million euros to be donated to its 49 beneficiaries.

The UN refugee agency's partnership with the NPL goes back to 2003, when it was first recognised as a beneficiary. Besides UNHCR, the National Postcode Lottery also supports other organisations that help refugees and asylum seekers, notably UNHCR's partner organisation Stichting Vluchteling, the Dutch Refugee Council and the University Asylum Fund.

Stichting Vluchteling has so far given UNHCR US$6.8 million for the tsunami operations or more than two-thirds of the total of US$9.4 million UNHCR has so far received in confirmed contributions from the private sector.