Latvian unearmarked funds save refugees worldwide
Contributions to UNHCR
Latvia has been donating to UNHCR on a regular basis since 2012. Between 2013 and 2015, Latvia annually contributed an important unearmarked donation of EUR 15,000. In 2016, Latvia earmarked its entire funding to UNHCR’s large-scale humanitarian operations in the Middle East, to strengthen the overall response to the needs erupting from the Syria emergency. In 2015, Latvia granted a total of EUR 115,000 to UNHCR of which EUR 100,000 were allocated to the Ukraine situation and the Syria emergency. In 2014, Latvia nearly doubled its support to UNHCR and funded operations addressing the devastating impact of the outbreak of violence in Iraq and people affected by the conflict inside Ukraine.
UNHCR’s annual meeting of its executive committee, bringing together 140 states, came to a close Friday 9 October. Much attention was focused on the Afghan situation, and the world’s largest humanitarian crisis unfolding in Syria leading to refugees arriving in the thousands in Europe. However, the High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, also urged donor countries not to forget the needs of the millions of people displaced from protracted crises creating refugee emergencies in several regions of Africa.
Professor Hans Rosling met with UNHCR at the Gapminder Foundation in Stockholm to talk, among other topics, about the knowledge Europeans have on asylum-seekers and refugees. With his characteristic vitality and energy, Professor Rosling illustrated the importance of data and facts for a well-informed public.
Pavel, a 45-year-old refugee in Lithuania, escaped from Belarus when the government suppression of opposition activists intensified in 2010. He arrived in Lithuania with the hope, like many Lithuanians who fled their country in the 1940s, that his flight was only a temporary solution and he would soon go back home. Unfortunately, even after 5 years, returning to Belarus is still not an option for Pavel. His life continues in Lithuania away from his beloved family and friends.