European Union

Three people including a young child sit together at a dining table.
Ukraine. UNHCR is restoring hope by supporting house repairs.
© UNHCR/Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi
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UNHCR works closely with the European Commission to deliver life-saving assistance, protection, and durable solutions to people forced to flee globally. 

With spiraling crises and conflicts around the globe resulting in record numbers of forcibly displaced people, UNHCR is relying on steadfast partnerships more than ever. One of UNHCR’s key partners, and largest donors, is the European Commission.

The European Commission has been among UNHCR’s top three donors globally for the past several years, with recent contributions proving crucial to the organization’s work in Ukraine and its neighbors, as well as in countries such as Syria, Myanmar, and Afghanistan that continue to grapple with longstanding crises.

The European Commission’s vital contribution enables UNHCR to carry out its mandate to protect, assist, and seek solutions for refugees, internally displaced, and stateless people the world over. The European Commission invests in projects that respond to the full cycle of displacement, from lifesaving aid to local integration, as well as voluntary return and resettlement programs.

For example, European Commission funds allow UNHCR to provide crucial support to the most vulnerable Syrian refugees in Lebanon through a cash assistance program. Such programs help refugees meet their most pressing basic needs, allowing them to pay for essentials such as food, water, healthcare, and shelter, while also fostering autonomy and self-reliance.

The European Commission’s commitment to the Global Compact on Refugees, and to fostering the humanitarian, development, and peace nexus, has made it a key partner with refugee host countries, the vast majority of them, low- and middle-income nations. It is the top donor to UNHCR's mid- and long-term responses to protracted crises, has set a tentative spending target of 10 percent of its €80 billion development instrument to respond to migration and forced displacement around the globe. Drawing on widespread presence and expertise in the field, UNHCR’s partnership with the European Commission allows for effective engagement on joint priorities and ensuring that multi-dimensional responses are rooted in unique country contexts.

In 2022, the European Commission contributed a total of $255.1 million tightly earmarked funds to UNHCR. This support was key not only to UNHCR’s emergency response but was also used to help fund solutions to protracted situations that have long since fallen out of the headlines.

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Total contributions in 2024 to date