Delegation of the European Union to the

UN and other international organisations in Geneva

UNHCR 82nd Standing Committee - Agenda Item 6: Programme budgets and funding - EU Statement

Geneva, 16/09/2021 - 12:11, UNIQUE ID: 210916_19
Statements on behalf of the EU

I am speaking on behalf of the European Union as a donor and partner.

We thank UNHCR for the detailed background documents provided. We welcome that UNHCR’s transformation process is advancing as planned.  We appreciate the quality of the information provided on several aspects of this process, such as the new global results framework, the business transformation programme, the ongoing COMPASS roll out and the update on the efforts on climate action and data and digitalization. We recognise UNHCR’s efforts for transparency and quality reporting on the ongoing internal reform. We welcome that UNHCR was able to swiftly identify requirements to address the COVID-19 emergency and reallocate resources appropriately.

We take note that since 2011, UNHCR’s budget has increased exponentially due to growing needs of persons of concern. While contributions to UNHCR have also increased significantly during this time, the EU is concerned that since 2016 the gap between needs and available resources has remained at an average of 42%.  Also factoring in the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to know how UNHCR intends to address this and what discussions are possibly ongoing with other UN agencies, many of whom are facing similar continued funding gaps.

In this respect, it would be important to have an overview of UNHCR foreseen supplementary budgets for 2022, beyond the recently released appeal for the evolving Afghanistan situation.

In this challenging context, we consider it very positive that UNHCR has been able to attract increasingly private sector funding through its solid fundraising strategy. We also welcome UNHCR’s approach towards innovative financing, and we appreciate that clean energy is one of the top priority identified to test and develop this new approach. We suggest UNHCR to share with other humanitarian organisations their experience with innovative financing to encourage mutual learning and dissemination of best practices.

We appreciate the clarification provided regarding budget methodology and structure, in particular with respect to cost categories and the distinction between programme costs, programme support costs and management and administration costs.  In this context, we would appreciate more information on how UNHCR’s is contributing to the overall harmonisation of cost categories foreseen by the UN Funding Compact. We would also welcome information on the discussion UNHCR has in this respect with the New York- based United Nations agencies who have already presented harmonization efforts to their Boards.

To conclude, we would like to reiterate that we strongly encourage increased synergies and cooperation between UN agencies, implementing a solid “One UN” approach. In view of increasing needs, further determined efforts for an efficient and effective collective response are key.

Thank you.

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