UNHCR thanks Denmark for substantial support to help protect the world’s refugees from the threat of coronavirus

While Europe at large is dramatically impacted by COVID-19, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes Denmark’s very significant contribution of DKK 100 M (14.8 M USD) to support UNHCR’s COVID-19 appeal to protect refugees and their host communities around the world from the threat of the pandemic. This places Denmark among the top four country donors to UNHCR’s efforts and response.

The Danish contribution to UNHCR is part of a larger provision of DKK 650 M to the wider UN and humanitarian response to protect some of the most vulnerable people in the world from the effects of the virus. Moreover, it adds to Denmark’s already strong and long-lasting support to UNHCR, which has further increased in 2020.

More than 80 percent of the world’s refugee population live in countries with weak health, water and sanitation systems – often in densely populated camps or in poor urban settings, where the virus can spread quickly.

“In the fight against the coronavirus it is crucial to focus efforts on some of the world’s most vulnerable people, which include refugees and internally displaced whose lives and livelihoods are at a high risk. Denmark’s strong, flexible and timely contribution will allow us to step up preparations to contain and respond to the pandemic in fragile refugee and host communities in developing countries,” says Henrik M. Nordentoft, UNHCR’s Representative for Northern Europe.

Within the overall UN response against the coronavirus, UNHCR is leading the efforts to deliver life-saving support to refugees, the internally displaced and their host communities, as well as supporting national authorities to put in place inclusive response plans and measures.

Together with partners, UNHCR has e.g. distributed clean water, soap and other cleaning products, established handwashing stations and facilities for isolation and treatment, carried out information and awareness campaigns, trained health staff and community workers, provided shelter and other core relief items, as well as supported refugees with cash-based assistance to mitigate the negative socioeconomic impact of the virus.

While strengthening our COVID-19 response, UNHCR also continues to deliver support and protection to refugees and forcibly displaced around the world – and the High Commissioner for Refugees has issued a strong plea to the international community to not forget the vital support required to meet the on-going needs of the more than 70 million people who have fled war, conflict and persecution.