UNHCR is very grateful for the USD 177.35 million received from the Government of Japan during the first quarter of the 2013. 27 operations worldwide will benefit with USD 119.5 million allocated to Africa, USD 33.6 million to the Middle East, while USD 24.25 million will help Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran, as well as returnees and internally displaced persons inside Afghanistan. The Japanese funding will contribute toward UNHCR’s 2013 global requirement of USD 3.92 billion.
UNHCR is currently facing a dramatic situation, as four refugee crises are unfolding simultaneously in Syria, Mali, Sudan/South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These are taking place as UNHCR strives to manage the ongoing emergencies, as well as protracted refugee situations. UNHCR’s capacity to deliver on its mandate in an increasingly demanding environment is being tested to the limit.
Johan Cels, UNHCR’s Representative in Japan, expressed his deep gratitude saying “We are enormously grateful to the people and the Government of Japan, who have demonstrated significant and consistent commitment to supporting the most vulnerable people in successive humanitarian crises. This is true humanitarian leadership and human security in action.”
“With a million people in flight, millions more displaced internally, and thousands of people continuing to cross the border every day, Syria is spiraling towards full-scale disaster,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. Timely and generous contributions made by Japan will enable UNHCR to provide much needed humanitarian assistance and protection to Syrian refugees in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
The Afghan refugee situation remains the world’s largest protracted refugee situation, with some 1.7 million registered Afghans in Pakistan and almost 1 million in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Some 5.7 million Afghans (4.6 million assisted by UNHCR) have opted to return voluntarily to Afghanistan, where they now represent about a quarter of the population. UNHCR appreciates the generous support from Japan to the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees adopted during the UNHCR Geneva Conference on 2-3 May 2012, which was included in the Tokyo Declaration of the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan on 8 July 2012.
Since the beginning of 2012, more than 170,000 Malians have been forced to flee to other countries and approximately 260,000 remain internally displaced (as of 1 March 2013). Japan’s contribution will enable UNHCR to respond to this crisis in Mali and the neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania.
In advancing Human Security, through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Consolidation of Peace and Good Governance, UNHCR continues to actively support the preparations leading to TICAD V (Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development) in June 2013.
Japan contributed USD 185,379,986 in 2012 and is the second largest donor to UNHCR, after the United States of America, funding 8% of the total contributions to UNHCR in 2012.