82.4 Million People Displaced Worldwide: High Hopes For Resolution on Refugee Funding

Reporting by Elizabeth Donovan, CNN

Image by Levi Meir Clancy

(Elizabeth Donovan, CNN correspondent) - The UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) stated that at the end of 2020 there were 82.4 million people forcibly displaced. Either due to persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations, events seriously disturbing public order or multiple of those. 

In 2001, the UNHCR wrote that they are “one of the few UN agencies which depends almost entirely on voluntary contributions to fund their operations.” Even though the committee is funded by individual governments, individuals and the private sector, foundations, corporations, and the public, it only receives half of the money it needs each year. Due to underfunding, the organization’s ability to respond to the needs of the people that rely on its services is greatly affected.

In the middle of the HCR committee session, The Democratic Republic of the Congo proposed that financially stable countries should be required to make annual contributions instead of the already established voluntary donations. Now, Congo has been in the ranks of the economically repressed for nearly a quarter of a century, so they would not be able to contribute. Since the one proposing the additional funding would not be able to come up with the money, which countries would?

The top three donors in 2020 were (in order) The United States, the European Union, and Germany. With the United States having 1,192,586,106 donations after being earmarked, the European Union giving 522,113,339 donations and Germany providing 446,900,261 donations. Those are just the top three, by the end of 2020, the UNHCR had a total budget of $9.131 billion with over hundreds of donors.