The Government of Sweden marked this year’s World Refugee Day the 26th of June with a historic and record high multi-year, core contribution agreement with UNHCR. The agreement, worth SEK 3.5 billion, or approximately USD 400 million, covers the four-year period from 2018 to 2021.
The Government of Sweden marked this year’s World Refugee Day the 26th of June with a historic and record high multi-year, core contribution agreement with UNHCR. The agreement, worth SEK 3.5 billion, or approximately USD 400 million, covers the four-year period from 2018 to 2021. Through this agreement, Sweden cements it position as the top donor of unearmarked funding to UNHCR.
With multiple refugee crises globally, and a continuously growing gap between needs and available resources, Sweden’s unearmarked funding is of vital importance to millions of people forced to flee. Unearmarked funding can be allocated globally where needs are the greatest. It enables UNHCR to save and rebuild lives, act quickly in acute emergencies and plan long term for sustainable solutions, as well as allocate means to critically underfunded crises.
In 2017, unearmarked funding was crucial in refugee situations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and South Sudan, and in assistance to refugees, stateless and internally displaced persons in Central America, Pakistan, the Sahel and across Southern Africa. Unearmarked funding was also vital in developing innovative ways to address protection risks along mixed migration routes – see the ‘Telling the Real Story’ information campaign’ as an example – and in expanding biometric registration in Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon.
“The humanitarian needs are enormous. Support to UNHCR is extremely important in a time when refugee flows continue to increase. At the same time, I would like to emphasize that it is very important that each country continues to take joint responsibility for the refugee situation in the world.”
Sweden’s support to UNHCR is based on trust in UNHCR’s ability to use funding and deliver assistance more rapidly, efficiently, and effectively. The Swedish multiyear support to UNHCR is also a way for Sweden to show trust in the multilateral system, including in shared values such as principled, timely and flexible humanitarian assistance. The four-year agreement also demonstrates Sweden’s solidarity with the most vulnerable people displaced worldwide.
Sweden is one of UNHCR’s most important partners and largest donor of unearmarked funds. Sweden’s multi-year core contribution agreement for 2018 to 2021 is mainly unearmarked. 94% of the funding is fully unearmarked. The remaining SEK 200 million is an operational reserve, which UNHCR can deploy to meet needs in new or unforeseen crises.