Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

UN refugee agency launches appeal for US$1.06 billion for 2007

Press releases

UN refugee agency launches appeal for US$1.06 billion for 2007

8 December 2006

Geneva, Friday, 8 December 2006

GENEVA - The UN refugee agency will present its budget of US$1.06 billion for 2007 to donor countries at an annual pledging conference in Geneva on Monday, 11 December. It hopes the international community will give generously to support millions of people around the world uprooted by persecution and conflict.

"A billion dollars sounds like a lot of money but it is equivalent to just a dollar a week for each of the 21 million people we help," High Commissioner António Guterres said. "When you consider the huge needs of those fleeing the horrors of Darfur, Iraq and Somalia and those in protracted refugee situations like Thailand and Pakistan, it is really not a large sum of money."

The funds are needed to assist approximately 21 million people of concern to UNHCR around the world, including some 8.6 million refugees, 6.6 million internally displaced persons, some 1.6 million returnees, 770,000 asylum seekers and 2.3 million stateless people.

The largest programmes for 2007 are Chad ($69 million), Afghanistan ($52 million), Liberia ($32 million), Kenya ($32 million) and Tanzania ($24.3 million).

"Currently, a small group of countries shoulder most of the financial burden for our work around the world," Guterres said. "We are extremely grateful for that valuable support and it's crucial it continues. But, what we need is for more donors to dig deeper into their pockets."

UNHCR's Global Appeal for its 2007 annual programme is US$1.06 billion which compares to $1.15 billion the previous year.

UNHCR also expects to issue a number of supplementary appeals during 2007, including for Iraq and south Sudan.

The total UNHCR budget for 2006, including supplementary appeals, reached $1.47 billion.

"We are lowering costs and directing more resources to beneficiaries on the ground," Guterres said. "But, as the number of people under our mandate grows and we do our job better, we also need the serious financial backing of a wider number of governments."

With almost 97 percent of UNHCR's budget coming from voluntary donations and only 3 percent funded by the regular UN budget, the agency is extremely vulnerable to any reduction in funding by major donors.

The Global Appeal provides information to donors, as well as to other interested parties, on UNHCR's activities worldwide. It outlines funding requirements and gives an overview of objectives, strategies and priorities for UNHCR's programmes in the coming year.