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UN refugee agency launches appeal for US$ 1.22 billion for 2006

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UN refugee agency launches appeal for US$ 1.22 billion for 2006

25 November 2005

Geneva, Friday 25 November 2005

The UN refugee agency will present its budget for 2006 of US$1.22 billion to donor countries at an annual pledging conference in Geneva on Monday, 28 November, and is hoping for a generous response.

"UNHCR is almost exclusively funded through voluntary contributions, so we rely totally on the generosity of donors to support our work to protect and help some of the most vulnerable people on this planet - refugees," High Commissioner António Guterres said.

The money is needed to assist approximately 19.1 million people of concern to UNHCR around the world including some 9.2 million refugees, 5.4 million internally displaced persons, some 1.5 million returnees, 840,000 asylum seekers and 1.5 million stateless people.

Over the past few years, UNHCR has been receiving progressively increased commitments of funds at the annual pledging conferences, helping reduce financial uncertainty and allowing for more predictable funding.

The total requirements, including the regular budget and a supplementary budget, rose this year to $1.22 billion from $1.1 billion in 2005 in the Global Appeal, mainly due to the incorporation in the annual budget of the return and reintegration of Burundian refugees programme and the Chad operation which in 2005 were budgeted separately.

In addition to the US$1.22 billion of the Global Appeal, UNHCR will be issuing supplementary appeals for South Sudan, Darfur and Iraq later in the year.

UNHCR's total budget in 2005, with supplementary appeals included, reached US$1.4 billion.

Also next year, as part of the UN inter-agency joint approach to internal displacement, UNHCR will take the lead for interventions in the sectors of protection, camp coordination and emergency shelter for internally displaced people (IDPs). UNHCR will shortly present its requirements to fulfil these tasks in Uganda, Liberia, DRC [the Democratic Republic of the Congo], Somalia, Nepal and Colombia - roughly amounting to US$ 45 million.

In all, some 43 per cent of our budget is allocated to programmes in Africa, including some US$ 257 million for Central Africa and the Great Lakes, US$ 100 million for East Africa and the Horn and US$103 million for West Africa. Other sizeable operations are linked to repatriation and reintegration, for example in South West Asia, where US$101 million has been budgeted for operations in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, and over US$45 million in the Balkans.

This is UNHCR's ninth Global Appeal and the results of the pledging conference are expected late Monday. The Global Appeal is intended to provide information to donors, as well as to other interested parties, on UNHCR's activities worldwide. It outlines funding requirements and provides an overview of UNHCR's objectives, strategies and priorities for programmes in the coming year. UNHCR is funded almost in its entirety by voluntary contributions, with the UN regular budget covering only 2.9 percent of needs.