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The meeting was chaired by Ambassador Walter Stevens, Head of the EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva, who strongly reaffirmed the EU's support to UNHCR. Topics of the discussion included the complex obstacles to the repatriation of refugees and the trend towards mixed flows of refugees and migrants. High Commissioner Grandi also briefed about the refugee situations in Syria, Myanmar, Yemen, Venezuela and Burundi. The Global Compact for Refugees (GCR), which is scheduled to be adopted by the end of the year, was also discussed. The GCR highlights the political will for greater solidarity and burden-sharing for refugees and will provide practical guidance for a more comprehensive and inclusive refugee response.
The number of refugees all over the world is growing: the numbers are now for the first time ever over 25 million. Existing displacement crises are become more protracted and new displacement situations have emerged in the last few years. This is why we foster a strong cooperation with our partners like the UNHCR.
The EU and its Member States are key partners of UNHCR, remaining its second largest donor, in terms of political cooperation and constructive dialogue. In 2017, the EU its member states were the largest donor to UNHCR with combined contributions of over 1. 6 billion USD, and in 2018 so far, the EU funding stands at more than 380 million USD while discussions on further support related to protracted crises are ongoing. EU works closely with UNHCR through the European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO), engaging in regular Strategic Dialogues.