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Global forum closes with over $2.2bn in pledges to improve lives of refugees and hosts

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Global forum closes with over $2.2bn in pledges to improve lives of refugees and hosts

Held every four years, the world’s largest gathering on refugee issues mobilized over 1,600 pledges.
15 December 2023
Three people holding up a sign saying 'I pledge'

Stakeholders announce new pledges on day two of the Global Refugee Forum 2023 in Geneva.

GENEVA – The second Global Refugee Forum (GRF), which brought the international community together in solidarity, closed after three days with a range of pledges to improve the lives of the world’s refugees and the countries and communities that host them.

The Forum – co-hosted by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and Switzerland and co-convened by Colombia, France, Japan, Jordan and Uganda – took place from 13-15 December in Geneva, Switzerland. It was attended by over 4,200 participants from 168 countries, including five heads of state or government, ministers, heads of international organizations (including United Nations entities and specialized agencies), refugee-led organizations, representatives of civil society, and CEOs of companies and foundations, among others. More than 10,000 people joined online.

Participants shared examples of good practice and announced contributions and pledges to transform the lives of refugees and the communities that host them, in areas like education, labour market access, peacebuilding, climate change, and resettlement.

“Participants have demonstrated leadership, vision and creativity in the search for solutions to very complex problems,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi. “They have, above all, made a commitment to continue working together to improve the lives of millions of refugees around the world.”

Financial commitments totalling over $2.2 billion were announced by governments, the private sector, philanthropies and foundations, faith-based organizations and others, as well as important commitments to consider refugees and host communities in policy, financing instruments and programmes.

States also pledged to resettle 1 million refugees by 2030, while governments and foundations launched a pledge backed by a new global sponsorship fund to help a further 3 million refugees access third countries through community sponsorship.

The GRF mobilized over 1,600 pledges, contributing to one or more of the 43 “multi-stakeholder pledges” – ambitious commitments backed by coalitions of support. Important advances were promised in boosting economies and communities through investments in refugee hosting areas, support for refugee entrepreneurs, jobs, skills training, pro bono legal services, financial products and connectivity, as well as improved access to climate action for refugees, displaced and stateless people and their hosts. Over $250 million in funding was pledged by the private sector.

Among innovative initiatives were a multi-stakeholder pledge on digital protection from governments, private sector, civil society, the UN and other actors, to help prevent the harmful impact of hate speech, misinformation and disinformation. 

Held every four years, the GRF is the world’s largest international gathering on refugees. It is designed to support the practical implementation of the objectives set out in the Global Compact on Refugees, a framework for more predictable and equitable responsibility-sharing among states, adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2018.

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