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Governments pledge over US$1 billion to support UN Refugee Agency's work for 2022

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Governments pledge over US$1 billion to support UN Refugee Agency's work for 2022

7 December 2021
Yemen. Displaced people inside hosting sites
A Yemeni girl plays with a kitten at a site hosting internally displaced people in Sana'a, Yemen, November 2021.

Donor governments pledged a record US$1.054 billion today to support UNHCR’s work in 2022, enabling it to continue lifesaving programs worldwide for millions of people who have been forced to flee. A further USD 808 million has been pledged for UNHCR's programmes in 2023 and beyond.

“I am grateful to all our donors for this vote of confidence. This funding is vital to support refugees, internally displaced and stateless people. The strong commitment also signals solidarity with the communities and countries hosting them,” said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

“While this funding is crucial, I am afraid it will not be enough given the growing challenges we foresee in 2022 and displaced people’s needs, largely driven by conflict, climate change and COVID-19 – three scourges that the world has failed to stop,” he added. “We will need greater action in these areas if we are to turn the page on a disastrous period of proliferating violence, disease and hardship.”

UNHCR’s 2022 Global Appeal covers operations in 136 countries and territories, and is based on an approved budget of US$8.994 billion.  Almost half of this reflects the cost of responding to emergencies assisting a record number of forcibly displaced people, especially in the Middle East and Africa, as well as the millions who have fled their homes in places such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Venezuela, and beyond.

In response to these and other crises, UNHCR’s key activities in 2022 focus on refugee and child protection, emergency preparedness and relief items for urgent deployment, cash assistance for the most vulnerable, health and food security, preventing and responding to gender-based violence, providing water and sanitation, nutrition support, shelter, education, livelihoods, clean energy and environmental protection as well as support for stateless people.

Despite the continued rising trend in forced displacement – there were 84 million forcibly displaced people at the beginning of 2021, and UNHCR’s planning and budgeting for 2022 is against a projected increase in this number in 2022 – there are some glimmers of hope.

Progress has also been made in the inclusion of refugees, displaced and stateless people in national health, education and social protection systems, in spite of the debilitating impact of the pandemic. Governments have made pledges to this end through the Global Compact on Refugees and these must continue to be resourced. “In addition to humanitarian aid, it is important that the international community builds on the progress made over the past years and provides even more bilateral development support to countries and communities hosting large numbers of refugees,” said Grandi.

UNHCR has also seen an increase in the numbers of refugee resettlement places made available by states and a reopening of pathways for work, study and family reunification. Encouraged by some steps towards ending statelessness, UNHCR is increasing its efforts in ending this unnecessary legal limbo endured by millions.

Voluntary contributions make up almost the entirety of UNHCR’s funding. In addition to the pledges received today from donor governments, representatives of UNHCR’s private sector National Partners committed to contribute an additional US$315 million for 2022. UNHCR is also particularly grateful to those donors who contributed US$398 million in flexible funding – that is, funding  which is unearmarked or softly earmarked – or multi-year support.

Notes to the editor:

UNHCR’s Global Appeal 2022 sets out the challenges that UNHCR foresees in 2022 and the plans it has made to tackle them. It includes viewpoints from the High Commissioner, Special Envoy Angelina Jolie, Assistant High Commissioners Gillian Triggs and Raouf Mazou, and Deputy High Commissioner Kelly T. Clements, who gives an overview of UNHCR’s internal reforms. It ends with a powerful and personal letter from Mursal Mohammadi, an Afghan refugee journalist.

UNHCR’s 2021 budget was initially approved at US$8.616 billion, but supplementary financial requirements for COVID-19, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Venezuela subsequently increased the total budget to US$9.248 billion. As of 20 October 2021, UNHCR had a funding gap of 48 per cent.

More information on the UNHCR 2022 Pledging Conference can be found here:

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