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UNHCR welcomes donations from Spain and European Commission

Briefing notes

UNHCR welcomes donations from Spain and European Commission

24 March 2006 Also available in:

UNHCR welcomes the announcement by the Spanish government of an unprecedented contribution of €12.5 million towards UNHCR programmes in 2006. Pledges made early in the year are extremely helpful and allow us to plan properly and have some predictability in our operations.

This generous donation is a clear sign of the strong commitment of the Spanish government towards the refugee cause which was personally expressed by the Spanish President Mr. Rodríguez Zapatero to High Commissioner António Guterres during his first official mission to Spain last December.

In a separate development, the European Commission and UNHCR concluded an agreement this week under which the Commission will continue to support UNHCR's ability to respond to refugee emergencies involving up to half a million people. The Commission is providing UNHCR with €4 million to strengthen the UN refugee agency's capacity to register refugees and to deliver life-saving assistance on short notice when people are forced to flee. This so-called "thematic funding" is provided by the European Commission's Humanitarian Office (ECHO), with whom UNHCR has worked for years to respond to refugee emergencies.