Donors pledge $857 to UNHCR
Donors have pledged an initial US$857 million to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, to fund operations destined to help some 67 million displaced or stateless people worldwide in 2018, including operations in major emergency in Bangladesh.
This year's pledges are considerably higher than US$701 million pledges made in end of 2016, according to the UNHCR release. However, donors pledge US$857m to protect, assist refugees in 2018.
"A year of no peace and much war is about to end," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. "Refugee crises grow. Refugee needs grow as well."
He said UNHCR is often asked what these figures mean and what the impact of funding gaps is. "It means that UNHCR has to prioritize, sometimes mercilessly," he explained.
The UN agency did not mention anything about the Rohingya people living in Bangladesh but it said these include operations in some of the biggest emergencies around the world such as those in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
For 2018, UNHCR appeals to donors to sustain and increase support, through flexible and early contributions that avoid uncertainty and enable it to channel funds where the needs are greatest.
The pledges, made at an annual meeting in Geneva on Tuesday, amount to around 11 per cent of UNHCR's total 2018 funding needs of over US$7.5 billion, the release added.