In response to the unprecedented flow of people forced to abandon their homes due to armed conflict, the Federal Council decided at its meeting to allocate CHF 68 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for the year 2023–24. The UNHCR provides dignified hosting conditions and medical assistance to those forced to flee as well as access to education for their children. It is a key partner in the implementation of Switzerland’s foreign policy.
As a result of multiple conflicts, the number of victims of forced displacement is growing rapidly, as are their needs. Switzerland is responding to the emergency with a two-year funding plan of CHF 68 million. This is a particularly useful contribution to the UNHCR as it allows it to use resources in a predictable and flexible way.
Switzerland promotes its priorities
As a member of the Executive Committee and the Standing Committee of this UN organization, Switzerland can put forward its own priorities and enjoys direct access at all levels of decision-making. In addition, it regularly seconds specialists from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) to the UNHCR.
Aid on the ground
Most of the people affected by forced displacement are in countries close to conflict zones. These are often low and middle-income countries and are where the UNHCR concentrates much of its work. In the case of long-term crises, the organization works to ensure that those affected can integrate into the host society and become independent. In 2021, more than 21 million people benefited from the UNHCR’s assistance and protection programs.