As we step into 2024, the need to invest in UNHCR’s work has never been more urgent, with budgeted needs of $10.622 billion for the year. In a world marked by unprecedented challenges and complexities, the plight of refugees stands as a stark reminder of our collective responsibility towards our fellow human beings.
The budget is based on a projected planning figure of 130.8 million forcibly displaced and stateless people by the end of 2024 and presents UNHCR’s needs broken down by region; by Impact Area; and by Outcome and Enabling Area. It also reflects on the current funding situation in 2023 and examines the outlook for raising funds for 2024 from the public and private sector.
2024 Budget by region and Impact Areas
Designed for impact: UNHCR’s budgeted needs in 2024
The 2024 budget of $10.622 billion is designed to enable UNHCR and its partners to provide life-saving protection, assistance and solutions in new and existing displacement situations to a projected planning figure of 130.8 million forcibly displaced and stateless people.
|AMOUNT||% of programmed||% of total|
Attaining favourable protection environments
|Realizing basic rights in safe environments
IA 2: Respond
|Empowering communities and achieving gender equality
IA 3: Empower
IA 4: Solve
|SUBTOTAL PROGRAMMED ACTIVITIES||10,104,446,030||100%||95%|
|Operational reserve (OR)||505,222,302||5%|
|Junior Professional Officers||12,000,000||0%|
Investing in protection: upholding human dignity
Impact Area 1 | Attaining favourable protection environments
Forcibly displaced people who flee their homes due to conflict, persecution or violence often find themselves in vulnerable situations, stripped of their rights and dignity. The cornerstone of UNHCR's mission is the protection of these individuals, ensuring their safety and well-being. Investing in UNHCR’s protection efforts helps to uphold their fundamental rights.
Providing humanitarian response: a lifeline in crisis
Impact Area 2 | Realizing rights in safe environments
Humanitarian crises, whether natural disasters or conflict-induced, demand swift and effective responses. UNHCR stands at the forefront, delivering life-saving protection and assistance to millions of forcibly displaced and stateless people in situations that make them vulnerable when they need to be resilient and self-reliant.
This requires – at a minimum – a sustainable physical and social environment with food, housing, water, sanitation, education, energy, health care and the potential to earn a livelihood. UNHCR prepares, plans and delivers life-saving protection and assistance to millions of people.
Empowering refugees: building self-reliance and opportunities
Impact Area 3 | Empowering communities and achieving gender equality
Empowerment is the key to breaking the cycle of dependency. Through education, vocational training, and livelihood progammes, UNHCR empowers refugees to become self-reliant contributors to their communities and economies. By investing in education, skills, and entrepreneurship, UNHCR aims to not only transform individual lives but also foster stability and progress on a broader scale.
Providing sustainable solutions: nurturing hope for tomorrow
Impact Area 4 | Securing solutions
The refugee journey should not be an endless one, but in 2022 new refugees outnumbered those who went home by 37 to 1. Just over 339,000 returned – barely one tenth of the figure 30 years ago. In 2022, UNHCR was able to facilitate the departure of only 58,457 refugees for resettlement, and 32,426 stateless persons gained a nationality or had it confirmed, a significant decrease from the 81,200 in 2021. Despite these daunting figures and an environment in which, with humanitarian funding spread thin, support for solutions is often less prioritized than more urgent, life-saving assistance, UNHCR remains dedicated to finding durable solutions, whether through voluntary repatriation, local integration, or resettlement in third countries.
2024 Budget by Outcome and Enabling Areas
The 16 Outcome Areas describe UNHCR’s principal activities. The five Enabling Areas cover the support and management functions needed to run UNHCR programmes.
The 2024 budget for Outcome Areas foresees an overall decrease of 2% compared to the 2023 current budget, reflecting a shift of resources planned to strengthen solutions and empower communities. In education (Outcome Area 11), improved data will strengthen evidence-based programming and advocacy for access to quality education for all refugee children and youth. UNHCR will continue to engage with international and national finance institutions to mobilize support for the education systems of host countries. Through self-reliance, economic inclusion and livelihoods (Outcome Area 13), UNHCR aims to boost economic participation and advocate for access to land, decent work, business opportunities and financial services. UNHCR will also seek investments in refugeehosting areas, including from the private sector. Local integration and other local solutions (Outcome Area 16) will contribute to identifying durable solutions, including in the context of regional solutions initiatives. UNHCR will advocate for legal, regulatory and policy changes, while offering technical support on legal residency arrangements.
The budget increase for voluntary repatriation and sustainable reintegration (Outcome Area 14) will help support voluntary return and advocate for greater recognition of the achievements that returnees have made while in displacement. UNHCR will support conditions for sustainable return in priority areas of return and reintegration, coupled with individual assistance to returnees. UNHCR will also promote the early engagement of governments and development actors in reintegration efforts. Healthy lives (Outcome Area 10), prevention and response to gender-based violence (Outcome Area 4) and water, sanitation and hygiene (Outcome Area 12) are also crucial for the enjoyment of rights and longer-term access to services.
Downwards adjustments reflect the planned reduction in emergency interventions and enhanced national capacity in operational contexts. For example, access to justice (Outcome Area 6) sees the highest single proposed reduction in Türkiye, which is attributable to the fact that the supplementary budget for the earthquake response will come to an end. Status determination (Outcome Area 2) also shows a proposed decrease. This is due to the prioritization of activities related to border monitoring and registration in Argentina and the expected increase in internal displacement in Burkina Faso. In the outcome area on access to territory, registration and documentation (Outcome Area 1), advocacy will aim to ensure greater access to documentation.
The overall decrease of 2% in Enabling Areas when compared to the previous year reflects the completion of certain transformation processes, particularly with respect to systems, operational support, and the supply chain. The increases under leadership and governance stem from the planned strengthening of the evaluation function at the regional level, consistent with UNHCR’s “Evaluation policy 2022-2027”. Investments in people and culture will continue to focus on fostering shared values, accountability, and measurable results to improve the lives of forcibly displaced and stateless people.