UNHCR has received a significant contribution of EUR 10 million from Finland to support UNHCR’s work with refugees and internally displaced people in several refugee situations around the world.
The contribution is allocated to UNHCR’s most acute emergencies: the Central African Republic crisis; the South Sudan crisis; the Syria crisis; and the Ukraine crisis, and for UNHCR’s work with protracted refugee situations in Kenya, Ethiopia and South West Asia.
“UNHCR welcomes this timely contribution which will help alleviate the suffering of some of the most vulnerable refugees in the world today”, says Pia Prytz Phiri, UNHCR Regional Representative for Northern Europe.
The larger part of the donation, EUR 3 million, will support Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. Almost 12 million people are displaced due to the violence in Syria and nearly 4 million people have fled to Syria’s neighbouring countries. The Syria conflict has entered its fifth year with no end in sight. The Syria crisis has put an enormous strain on the host countries and many of the refugees are now living in severe circumstances, most of them below the poverty line. Finland’s contribution will alleviate the suffering and support basic needs such as food, shelter and primary education, as well as specific needs for vulnerable groups, such as psychosocial support to traumatized refugee children and specific care for refugees with disabilities.
EUR 3 million is allocated to the South Sudan and Central African Republic crisis. By the end of 2013, conflict escalated yet again in both countries and fighting is still ongoing. Around 3.3 million people have been forced to flee to save their lives. Many are extremely malnourished, sick and severely traumatized by the brutal violence. The situation is most critical for children under the age of five, for elderly and pregnant women. UNHCR and partners are registering and relocating refugees to safety and distributing acute lifesaving emergency support, such as high energy biscuits, water and medical support. Both emergencies are extremely underfunded and Finland’s support will have lifesaving significance for many people.
EUR 1.5 million is allocated to UNHCR’s work with mainly displaced Afghans in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. Over 4 million Afghans have fled their homes, of which 2.6 million to Pakistan and Iran, many of them more than 30 years ago, making it the largest protracted refugee situation in the world.
The remaining EUR 2 million will support refugees in Ethiopia and Kenya, of which many are from South Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea, and EUR 0.5 million will support help to people displaced by the conflict in Ukraine.
Finland is one of UNHCR’s top donors and partners. In 2014, Finland was UNHCR’s 16th largest donor with USD 32.3 million in contribution (EUR 23.6 million).
UNHCR is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, mainly from governments.