Donor governments today pledged US$ 482 million for the UN refugee agency’s operations in 2012 to help forcibly displaced and stateless people worldwide. An additional US$122 million was pledged for 2013 and beyond.
UNHCR’s total budget requirements for the next two years are US$3.59 billion and US$3.42 billion respectively.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres thanked donors for their support. “This funding is vital for our work in ensuring the protection and well-being of millions of individual refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced and stateless people,” Guterres said. “Given the pressure that donors face in the current uncertain economic environment, we are particularly gratified to see this level of support.”
UNHCR’s budget for 2012 and 2013 is based on a careful assessment of the needs of people of concern that the agency anticipates being capable of addressing in the next two years. As in previous years, the organization’s global refugee programme remains the largest component of its requirements – amounting to US$2.7 billion of the US$3.59 billion needed.
Of the world’s more than 43.7 million forcibly displaced people and estimated 12 million stateless, almost 34 million people receive protection and assistance from UNHCR.
Sub-Saharan Africa remains the largest recipient of UNHCR assistance, accounting for 45.6 per cent of the total needs next year, followed by 15.7 per cent for the Middle East and North Africa and 14 per cent for Asia and the Pacific.
UNHCR is almost entirely funded by voluntary contributions, mostly from governments. As such, it acts as a vital funnel for international funding towards the needs of the world’s forcibly displaced.