Contribution to UNHCR Programme Budget 2023-2024 (earmarked)
UNHCR is one of Switzerland’s key multilateral partners due to its unique mandate by the General Assembly of United Nations to provide protection and assistance to refugees, asylum seekers, refugee returnees, and stateless persons. The strategic direction 2022-26 concretise the overall mandate of UNHCR for the upcoming years. Contributing to these directions allows Switzerland to achieve in particular the human development goal defined in the Dispatch to Parliament on International Cooperation for 2021-24.
Forced displacement (refugees, IDP, human trafficking)
- Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
|Background||UNHCR is the guardian of the 1951 Geneva Conventions on the protection of refugees and plays an important supervisory role: it is the UN entity accountable for ensuring adherence of States to internationally accepted standards vis a vis refugees and stateless persons and for strengthening State protection capacities. In humanitarian emergencies, UNHCR is also increasingly involved in responding to situations of forced internal displacement. At global level, UNHCR has also taken the lead role in three Clusters dealing with Internally Displaced Persons in conflict situations (1. protection / 2. camp coordination and camp management with IOM / 3. shelter with IFRC).|
|Objectives||Coherence – strategic priorities SDC/ Switzerland: UNHCR is a priority multilateral organization according to the Strategy on International Cooperation 2021-2024 (IC Strategy). Its mandate is in line with objectives A, C and D of the IC Strategy.|
- The global health pandemic had an impact on the results; voluntary repatriation slowed down.
- There is progress across the board, but it is unevenly distributed. UNHCR only has limited influence on issues such as support to SGBV survivors and their risk of stigmatization.
- The level of funding is consistently below the level of budget, which requires cuts during the year. The organisation is still (too) frequently forced to set priorities to ensure life-saving activities and basic “care and maintenance” programmes.
- The inter-agency and strategic partnership in public health, nutrition and WASH has been strengthened. In this regard, UNHCR and UNICEF agreed on an ambitious two-year Blueprint for Joint Action.
With its engagement Switzerland wants UNHCR to:
- Attain favourable protection environments;
- Boost its participation and localization efforts with an emphasis on inclusion;
- Proactively mitigate the effects of the climate change crisis on displacement;
- Secure solutions to address the consequences of displacement;
- Enhance its external engagement and resource mobilization.
Results from previous phases:
By the end of 2021, more than 21.7 million people had received assistance or protection thanks to UNHCR and its implementing partners. In 2021, UNHCR notably achieved the following results:
- 9.3 million people had access to basic health care;
- 9.3 million people received cash assistance in 94 countries;
- 10.6 million IDPs received shelter and basic necessities;
- 1.9 million refugee children have found a primary school.
- SDC engagement/support in the education sector was strengthened with two pledges at the Global Refugee Forum on education. One was the creation of an Education in Emergency Hub in Geneva, in 2020. The other was focused on supporting access to education for refugee children in partner countries.
- The collaboration with the IDP unit at UNHCR was further strengthened, including a SHA secondment to this unit and financial support for the IDP review.
- SDC and UNHCR launched the Geneva Technical Hub.
- More people received more potable water than in 2020: 21 liters of potable water on average available per person per day in 24 refugee situations compared to 20 liters in 26 refugee situations in 2018.
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
There are 154 public and private donors to the UNHCR. The top five donors in 2022 were USA, Germany, EU, Japan and Sweden.
|Coordination with other projects and actors||Switzerland actively seeks and facilitates coordination with donors and host countries. As an active member of the StandCom and the EXCOM and as host country, Switzerland exerts its influence.|
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 32’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 16’000’000|