Refugees in Afghanistan | Credit: DW/S.Tanha
Refugees in Afghanistan | Credit: DW/S.Tanha

The United Nations agency tasked with helping refugees and displaced persons has appealed to donor countries to help plug a widening funding gap. The shortage of cash is especially acute in global hotspots.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is reporting that there is insufficient refugee aid funding from donor countries.

There is expected to be a shortfall of 3.7 billion dollars this year, the agency warned on Tuesday in Geneva.

"Funding for the world's forcibly displaced and stateless people is becoming increasingly squeezed, with barely more than half of needs being met," UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch told a press conference.

The number of refugees, which include internally displaced people, returnees and stateless persons, is expected to grow by more than 8 million to 79.8 million people in 2018, according to a funding report by the UN agency.

Aid money shortage

The lack of aid money is particularly acute in hotspots around the world which include Afghanistan, Burundi, Congo, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria, as well as in refugee host countries.

File photo of Afghan displaced persons being helped by UNHCR | Credit: DW/S.Tanha

"In situation after situation we are seeing increases in malnutrition, health facilities being overcrowded, housing and shelters becoming increasingly dilapidated," Baloch said.

A further lack of funds also exists for schools, and for protecting unaccompanied refugee children and victims of sexual violence.

av/rt (dpa, EPD)

First published: October 10, 2018

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