US$500 million appeal launched for two million refugees

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Filippo Grandi, United Nations, High Commissioner for Refugees, described shelter as a "foundation stone" for refugees' survival. Photo: UN Photo/ Jean-Marc Ferré

War and conflict are behind a global displacement crisis that's left the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) needing half-a-billion US dollars to help two million people, it announced Wednesday.

In a call for funds, UNHCR said that the past decade has seen a sharp rise in the number of people on the move, currently estimated at 60 million globally.

The UN agency said the more than five-year Syria crisis is largely to blame, along with "a proliferation" of new displacement situations and unresolved old problems.

Here's Daniel Johnson in Geneva.

The focus of the US $500 million appeal launched on Wednesday is on providing shelter for two million refugees.

An estimated 60 million people are forcibly displaced around the world and 20 million of them are refugees who've had to flee across international borders.

Humanitarian funding is failing to keep pace, the agency says, and millions of refugees are struggling to manage in "inadequate" and "dangerous dwellings".

Launching the campaign, UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said that "no refugee should be left outside".

He described shelter as a "foundation stone" for refugees' survival that should be a "non-negotiable human right".

The UN Refugee Agency warns that without a major increase in donations, millions of people fleeing war and persecution face homelessness or inadequate housing from Lebanon to Mexico to Tanzania.

The regions most in need of help include the Middle East and North Africa, Asia and Europe.

In sub-Saharan Africa, meanwhile, only 20 per cent of the US$ 255 million that's needed is available.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 1'02"


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