UNHCR asks donors for over one billion dollars for 2008 budget today
In Geneva this morning, Tuesday, UNHCR's annual Pledging Conference gets underway. The agency will present to donors its 2008 annual budget of US$1.096 billion and is asking for early pledges of funds to help millions of refugees, displaced and stateless persons around the world.
As the UN refugee agency relies almost entirely on voluntary funding, it is vital to get early and prompt funding so we can plan effectively and continue our operations to help those uprooted by conflict and persecution without interruption.
A wrap-up of the total amount of pledges made will be available towards the end of the day.
In addition to our regular budget, UNHCR will in January launch a number of supplementary appeals for emergency and special programmes for an estimated total of US $480 million bringing UNHCR's total expected budget in 2008 to over US$ 1.57 billion, compared to US$ 1.45 billion in 2007.
The supplementary appeals will include the Iraq situation; relief operations in Darfur; the Somali situation; repatriation and reintegration of Sudanese and Mauritanian refugees; IDP programmes in Chad, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia and Colombia.
UNHCR's operations in Africa lead the needs with 37.5 percent of the total budget, followed by the Middle East and North Africa 17.5 percent, Asia/Pacific 9.9 percent, Europe 5.9 percent and the Americas 2.8 percent. The remaining percentage is made up of funds required for global programmes, headquarters and reserves.
The largest operations in the 2008 annual budget are: Chad (US$ 73.6 million), Afghanistan (US$ 49.87 million), Kenya (US$ 41.48 million) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (40.92 million).
The 2008 budget has risen from $1.06 billion in 2007, mainly due to the mainstreaming into the annual budget of the supplementary programme for the repatriation and reintegration of Congolese refugees in the DRC.
Under the Consolidated Appeals Process Humanitarian Appeal for 2008 launched on Monday, UNHCR asked for US$383 million for projects in the Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, West Africa and Zimbabwe.
Some US$224.2 million of UNHCR's CAP programmes are also included in our Global Appeal.
The 2008 Global Appeal reflects UNHCR's shift towards a two-year programme and budget cycle (for 2008 - $1.096 billion, and $1.108 billion for 2009) which will allow a more medium term approach to planning and implementation.
So far, some 93 percent of 2007's UNHCR budget has been funded by donors. Top donors in 2007 have been the USA, Sweden, the European Commission, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Norway.
UNHCR is present in 116 countries, has 262 offices worldwide with 6,260 staff members - 5,400 of whom are in the field. We work with 624 partners to provide help and assistance to 32.9 million refugees, displaced and stateless people.