Ireland is one of UNHCR’s key donors and steadfast partners in protecting and assisting people who have been forcibly displaced or made stateless.
Ireland joined UNHCR’s Executive Committee in 1996 and its apolitical support to refugee-producing countries is a great example of global solidarity and a practical expression of Ireland’s commitment to the principles on which the UN is founded. Ireland displayed a strong and trusted voice for refugee and displacement issues during its two-year term on the UN Security Council from 2021-22.
Channeled through Irish Aid, funding from Ireland targets operations in Africa (Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda), Asia (Afghanistan situation and Bangladesh), the Middle East (Jordan) the Americas (Venezuela situation), and the Ukraine crisis. Irish Aid funding also supports critical UNHCR programs in health, water and sanitation, prevention of and support to victims of gender-based violence, primary and vocational education, and livelihoods.
Ireland also gives UNHCR vital unearmarked funding that helps us to respond to emergencies and meet the needs of forgotten operations. This type of funding was essential in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing UNHCR to purchase and distribute PPE, soap, and other hygiene items where they were most needed to prevent the spread of the disease in overcrowded refugee camps. It has also ensured we could kick-start emergency responses in the critical first weeks, providing humanitarian assistance to those who need it most.
Through Irelands emergency standby arrangement, UNHCR benefits from the provision of experts in shelter, water and sanitation, health, child protection, community services and other important sectors that Ireland provides through its emergency standby arrangement. These experts travel to emergency locations and are integrated into UNHCR teams on the ground and bring much-needed assistance to refugees in emergency situations.