Donors promise initial US$ 687.2 million for UNHCR operations in 2016, the highest amount ever
Government donors pledged today an initial US$ 687.2 million for the work of the UN refugee agency to help almost 60 million forcibly displaced or stateless people worldwide next year.
The pledges, made during a donor meeting in Geneva, come at a time of ongoing mega emergencies such as Syria, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Nigeria, and new crises, Burundi and Yemen, as well as the refugee crisis in Europe. UNHCR's financial requirements for 2016 stand at US$ 6.5 billion, the largest budget we ever presented at the beginning of a year. The amount pledged this year is also significantly higher than last year, when at a similar meeting US$ 500.8 million was promised. While today's pledges are not sufficient to cover all needs, they are important as they give the organization a vital funding indication ahead of the year, allowing it to plan and continue operations without interruption.
"Never before have we seen so many people fleeing war and violence turning to the international community for help," said UN High Commissioner for refugees António Guterres. "We are deeply grateful for the generous efforts made by donors to allow us to respond to these needs. But we also have to recognize that with such unprecedented levels of displacement, the gap between what is needed and the resources available keeps growing, and we often struggle to provide even the minimum of core protection and assistance to all those who need it. Unless the world starts addressing the root causes of displacement, this is not going to end."
Guterres also thanked refugee-hosting countries and communities, who often with little resources of their own continue to welcome and care for people fleeing war and persecution.
Apart from a small annual contribution from the United Nations regular budget, UNHCR's programmes are entirely funded by voluntary contributions from government and private donors. Over the last five years, financial requirements have nearly doubled, as the numbers of forcibly displaced people continues to grow. Contributions to UNHCR's programmes have also increased significantly, but not enough to keep up with the needs. Our current budget for 2015 stands at US$ 7.2 billion, with US$ 3.2 billion in contributions received at the beginning of December.
More information on the contributions can be found here.
More information on UNHCR's 2016 operations and funding needs can be found in the Global Appeal 2016-2017.
- In Geneva, Karin de Gruijl at mobile: +41 79 255 9213 or [email protected]