OTTAWA, Dec. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada's annual contribution to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) so far this year, amounts to over 77 million Canadian dollars (CAD), making it the highest ever annual Canadian contribution to the UN Refugee Agency.
"We are deeply grateful to the Government of Canada for this unprecedented level of contribution," said Mr. Furio De Angelis, UNHCR Representative in Canada. "In fact, Canada has set a new record in its cash donations to UNHCR every year during the past 3 years. This reflects Canada's strong determination to join hands in resolving humanitarian crises around the globe."
In 2011 and 2012 respectively, Canada donated to UNHCR over 61 million and 68 million CAD, while the funding in 2010 rose to more than 49 million CAD.
"This increased financial support over the years is much appreciated, especially at a time when UNHCR is juggling a combination of huge demands such as the crisis in Syria on one hand and other new and persisting crises around the world," added De Angelis.
"Human rights belong equally to each of us, without exception. The vital contributions Canada makes to UNHCR are on behalf of every Canadian and we can all be proud of the work Canada is doing to assist and protect those in need worldwide," said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Canadian Minister of International Development. "This support reaffirms our commitment to helping those who have been forced to flee their homes in search of safety."
Canada's funding this year includes $22.7 million in response to the crisis in Syria, $3.4 million for the Somalia situation and $1.5 million for the situation in Mali. In addition, Canada also funded innovative projects such as the Light Years Ahead - a UNHCR project aiming at providing refugees with innovative lighting and fuel efficient stoves in refugee camps in Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda and for which Canada has contributed $5 million.
UNHCR is mandated by the United Nations to lead and coordinate international action for the worldwide protection of refugees and the resolution of refugee problems. With a budget of US $4.5 billion in 2012 mainly financed through voluntary contributions, UNHCR's annual budget is based on a careful assessment of the needs of people the agency anticipates being capable of addressing.
SOURCE United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees