Australia commits additional $8.5 million to UNHCR


Australia has committed a further $8.5 million to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in response to the Syrian refugee crisis.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton announced the extra funding at a UNHCR meeting in Geneva.

Australia has committed more than $258 million to the humanitarian response to the Syria and Iraq conflicts since 2011.

Mr Dutton said the additional funding would assist the UNHCR to deliver on the increased refugee resettlement and activities they are managing to support this.

The funding pledged will support a range of UNHCR activities, including procedures streamlining, additional staffing including integrity officer positions, a staff training rollout to link resettlement with protection activities and biometric registration enhancements.

It will also support UNHCR’s administration of engagements in 2016 with the goal of improving the global response to refugee and displacement crises including Syria.

“Australia has also committed 12,000 resettlement places additional to an intake of more than 4,000 places for Syrians and Iraqis in Australia’s annual humanitarian programme of 13,750 places,” Mr Dutton said.

“Australia has made a significant commitment to the global pool of resettlement places by increasing our overall humanitarian programme over a four-year period.

“We remain committed to working with the international community to find practical solutions to the challenges being faced.”