Dutch National Postcode Lottery donates 1 million euros to UNHCR

News Stories, 9 February 2009

© UNHCR/R.Beusker
Marieke van Schaaik (centre) hands the National Postcode Lottery cheque to UNHCR's Judith Kumin (left) and Sophie De Jonckheere.

SCHEVENINGEN, The Netherlands, February 9 (UNHCR) The Dutch National Postcode Lottery has donated 1 million euros to support the global work of the UN refugee agency during the coming year.

At a gala event last Thursday in the seaside resort of Scheveningen, Marieke van Schaik, head of charity projects at the National Postcode Lottery, handed a symbolic cheque to Judith Kumin, UNHCR's representative to the European Union.

"On behalf of the refugees and internally displaced people, we thank the Lottery for this much appreciated support," Kumin said. "In times of economic uncertainty such unearmarked and predictable donations are particularly crucial to continue fulfilling our mandate to the benefit of refugees."

It was the seventh year in a row that the National Postcode Lottery, Holland's main charity lottery, has donated substantial finds to UNHCR. Last year, it gave 1.6 million euros in unearmarked support. This was mainly used to help refugees in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

The National Postcode Lottery has also been a generous private sector donor for earmarked projects. Last year, UNHCR and three Dutch partners completed a mine clearance project in South Sudan with funding from the Lottery.

At Thursday's annual event, the Lottery donated 244 million euros, or half its gross income, to 66 organizations active in the fields of development cooperation, human rights, nature preservation and social cohesion. Dutch Prime Minister Balkenende was the guest speaker at the ceremony.