Canada contributing generously to protect refugees

    OTTAWA, Sept. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) Representation in Canada expressed today its deep
appreciation to Canada for its generous contribution of two million Canadian
dollars through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) towards
UNHCR operations in Afghanistan. This latest contribution comes after last
week's contribution of one million Canadian dollars for UNHCR's emergency
programme in Georgia. This brings Canada's total contribution to UNHCR's
global operations in 2008 to over 41 million Canadian dollars.
    "We are very happy to see these latest contributions from Canada and are
profoundly grateful to Canada and the Canadian people for their continued
generosity in meeting the needs of refugees and uprooted people in
Afghanistan, Georgia and many other parts of the world", said Mr. Abraham
ABRAHAM, UNHCR Representative in Canada.
    "This level of donation made to UNHCR by Canada in 2008 represents the
second highest contribution since 1992, when Canada's contributions peaked at
46 million Canadian dollars during the wars in the Balkans. Canada's
contributions will be used towards the protection, welfare and search for
permanent solutions for the world's 31.7 million refugees, displaced
populations and stateless persons resulting from situations of war, conflict
and persecution", added Abraham.
    UNHCR programmes are financed almost entirely by voluntary contributions,
principally from governments, but also from intergovernmental and
non-governmental organisations, as well as from corporations and individuals,
including in Canada.
    At its annual Pledging Conference in Geneva in December 2007, UNHCR
presented to donors its 2008 annual budget of 1.1 billion United States
dollars (1.07 billion Canadian dollars). Subsequently, in January 2008, UNHCR
launched a number of supplementary appeals for new emergency and special
programmes that brought UNHCR's total revised requirements in 2008 to
US$ 1.64 billion ( CAD$ 1.63 billion).

    More information on UNHCR and refugees, as well as on Canada's
contributions to UNHCR's work around the world can be found on our website


    The UN Refugee Agency, which won the Nobel Peace Prize on two occasions,
was established by the UN General Assembly in 1950. Since then, it has helped
more than 50 million people to find protection and solutions to their plight.

For further information:

For further information: Gisèle Nyembwe, (613) 232-0909, ext 225,

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United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

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