UN: UNHCR solicits funds to accommodate 2 million refugees globally

New York, US (PANA) - UN refugee agency (UNHCR) on Wednesday launched
a new campaign, tagged: "Nobody Left Outside", calling on the private sector
to contribute funds for shelter solutions for two million refugees in different
parts of the world.

In a statement on the launch in Geneva, Switzerland, UNHCR warned that
a half-billion-dollar shortfall in funds for sheltering refugees was severely
undermining efforts to tackle the biggest global displacement crisis since
World War II.

Speaking at the event, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi
said: "Shelter is the foundation stone for refugees to survive and
recover, and should be considered a non-negotiable human right.

"As we tackle worldwide displacement on a level not seen since
World War II, no refugee should be left outside."

Noting that the campaign aimed at individuals, companies, foundations
and philanthropists worldwide, he said forced displacement has risen
sharply in the past decade, largely as a result of the Syria crisis,
but also due to a proliferation of new displacement situations and
unresolved old ones.

"Worldwide, some 60 million people are forcibly displaced today, and of
that figure, almost 20 million people are refugees who have been forced
to flee across international borders, while the rest are people displaced
within their own countries," the UN refugee agency chief stated.

"A shelter – be it a tent, a makeshift structure or a house is the basic
building block for refugees to survive and recover from the physical and
mental effects of violence and persecution.

"Yet around the world, millions are struggling to get by in inadequate
and often dangerous dwellings, barely able to pay the rent, and putting
their lives, dignity and future at risk."

The campaign aims to raise funds from the private sector to build or
improve shelter for 2 million refugees by 2018, amounting to almost one
in eight of the 15.1 million under UNHCR’s remit in mid-2015.

"Without a major increase in funding and global support, millions of
people fleeing war and persecution face homelessness or inadequate
housing in countries such as Lebanon, Mexico and Tanzania," Mr. Grandi
said.

"Without a safe place to eat, sleep, study, store belongings and have
privacy, the consequences to their health and welfare can be
profound."

Mr. Grandi also said that, outside of camps, refugees rely on the
UNHCR support to find housing and pay rent in towns and cities
across dozens of countries bordering conflict zones.

These operations are expected to cost US$724 million in 2016.
Yet only US$158 million is currently available, a shortfall that
threatens to leave millions of men, women and children without
adequate shelter and struggling to rebuild their lives.

Mr. Grandi noted that the private sector is one of UNHCR's  
increasingly important donor sources, contributing more than 8
per cent of its overall funding in 2015.

"There is an important role for the private sector with its know-how,
energy and money to act in a spirit of solidarity to shelter refugees
from war and persecution.

"Proper shelter for everyone is central to social cohesion, and good
homes make good neighbours," Mr. Grandi added.

According to UNHCR, the regions most in need of assistance are
sub-Saharan Africa (US$255 million needed, and now US$48 million
is available) and the Middle East and North Africa (US$373 million
needed, US$91 million is available).

Asia requires US$59 million, with US$8 million available, while
Europe requires more help (US$36 million needed, US$10 million
is available) as it faces a continued influx of refugees.
-0-  PANA   AA/AR  18May2016

18 may 2016 17:17:44




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