Press Releases, 10 December 2013
Government donors today pledged US$671.6 million towards the work of the UN refugee agency in 2014 in helping millions of forcibly displaced and stateless people worldwide.
The pledges, made during a donor meeting in Geneva, come at a time of record new displacement, including in Syria where millions have become displaced this year, and from conflict elsewhere including in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
UNHCR's overall budgetary needs for 2014 are currently put at US$5.3 billion. Today's pledged amount is important as it provides UNHCR with a vital initial funding indication ahead of the year's start. This the highest amount ever pledged by the donors in such a gathering. At a similar session in 2012 donors pledged US$550 million.
"We have seen in 2013 a huge number of people becoming refugees – exceeding two million [representing] by far the largest in nearly 20 years," UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said in remarks to the donors.
Guterres thanked refugee hosting countries and donors for their continued support, which he described as being central to the success of humanitarian efforts. "I am deeply grateful for the very meaningful increase in donor support we received in 2013. Next year will be enormously challenging and We will need this generosity to be maintained for 2014," he added.
While 2013 has been an important year for new displacement, UNHCR's work has continued to include long-standing situations such as refugees from Afghanistan and Somalia – both cases being decades old.
"New emergencies arise year after year, and existing ones take longer to be resolved. The capacity of UNHCR and our partners has been stretched yet again. The resources necessary to respond to these refugee crises – and many others – have reached even higher levels than last year," Guterres said.
For 2013 the UN refugee agency requires US$5.27 billion to assist millions of refugees, stateless persons and internally displaced persons under its care – including the needs for the Syria situation. UNHCR has so far received $2.8 billion against its 2013 requirements.
For 2014, and as in previous years, the organization's global refugee programme remains the largest component of its requirements – amounting to US$4.3 billion of the $5.3 billion total sought.
For media representatives interested in knowing more about UNHCR's operations and funding environment, our new Global Appeal is available online at http://www.unhcr.org/ga14/index.xml (Please copy and paste the link in a new window)
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