Consequences Of Underfunding In 2020
UNHCR is mandated to provide protection, assistance and solutions for refugees, asylum-seekers, returnees, stateless persons, internally displaced people and others of concern to the Office, of whom there were 86.5 million at the end of 2019. With COVID-19 sweeping the globe, more than 20 million people worldwide are confirmed to have been infected, including more than 19,000 people of concern to UNHCR, a number which is almost certainly not reflective of the reality. But the important factor to stress is that UNHCR’s work has not stopped. Beneath the trends caused by the virus, serious as those are, the triggers and drivers of forced displacement remain, as do the needs of people of concern and the challenges in providing protection, assistance and solutions. UNHCR’s budget was $9.131 billion with, as of the end of August 2020, funds available to it of $4.458 billion. This included $3.804 billion in voluntary contributions, of which 72% was either earmarked or tightly earmarked. Overall, UNHCR’s budget had a funding gap of 51%.