Australian NGO Raised Record Donations for Forcibly Displaced People. Australians rally to mark World Refugee Day amid concern for the plight of over 65 million forcibly displaced people.
Australia for UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) official partner in Australia, raised a record $33.9 million in 2016 to support the UN’s emergency and humanitarian programs worldwide.
June 20 marks World Refugee Day.
“With more than 65 million people forcible displaced globally and the number growing every day, Australian donor support is more critical than ever,” said its National Director, Naomi Steer.
Seventy-five per cent of funds were raised for UNHCR’s general emergency operations; 19 per cent raised for emergencies in Syria, South Sudan, Iraq and Ecuador – and six per cent for specific projects providing targeted support for women, girls and children.
A key highlight, it says, was the support from Australia’s Vietnamese community, which has itself been the beneficiary of UNHCR support in the past.
More than $550,000 was raised by the community in NSW, QLD, WA and SA, to support Australia for UNHCR’s appeal for Syrian refugees.
Figures from the UNHCR show that nearly 34 thousand people a day were forced to flee their homes in 2015, because of conflict and persecution.
Ten million people around the world are stateless with conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen as well as in sub-Saharan Africa showing no sign of ending.Southern Sudanese refugees don’t travel very far” he said.
“They don’t arrive on the shores of Europe or Australia or at the border between Mexico and the US. Those are the places in the world where refugees become visible and where their message is heard, but they’re here. They are nearby because they hope probably to go back and they live with communities that are close to them.”
On a visit to Juba in South Sudan, Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees called on the country’s leadership to help stem the flow of people within its borders.
Bruno Geddo, from the UNHCR in Iraq told SBS News that he’s concerned at potential.
“We are funded only 23 per cent of our budget” he said.
“We should be funded more reasonably in the region of 40 to 45 per cent. I’m also aware inevitably that in complex situations, and Iraq has been complex for the last 20 plus years, there may at times be a tendency by donors to succumb to fatigue. But again, the fight, the battle, the struggle which has been waged in Iraq is important well beyond the borders of Iraq. It is a fight, struggle that is being waged on behalf of the entire humanity.”
In Europe, Hungary became a major crossing point for hundreds and thousands of migrants at the height of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015.
Two young migrant boys near the Serbia-Hungary border in Horgo, Serbia on September 17, 2015.
Around seven thousand are now stuck in limbo – in camps in an increasingly hardliner system that many have widely criticized as being inhumane.
Aid groups say that since the beginning of this year, only 100 asylum seekers have been granted protection status in Hungary – while over 2,200 were rejected during the same period.
For 14-year-old Afghan refugee, Namalali, conditions are harsh.
“I crossed the border 15 times, maybe 10 times police arrest me and fight me,” he says.
“I have with my friends, we have four, eight, 12 of them. Also they arrest me and they fight me and when they fight me, they’re smiling. Too much bad I’m having and every time they crash our mobiles.”