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Australians Make Record Donations to Support Refugees


19 June 2017 at 3:50 pm
Rachel McFadden
Australian individuals and former refugee communities have made the largest donation to date to support refugees.


Rachel McFadden | 19 June 2017 at 3:50 pm


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Australians Make Record Donations to Support Refugees
19 June 2017 at 3:50 pm

Australian individuals and former refugee communities have made the largest donation to date to support refugees.

Australia for UNHCR 2016 Annual report, released on Friday, revealed Australians had donated a record $33.9 million in 2016 to support UNHCR’s emergency and humanitarian programs worldwide.

Australia for UNHCR is UNHCR’s private sector fundraising partner in Australia.

The 2016 report said 84,283 individuals had made donations and there had also been increasing support from business, community groups and refugee diaspora.

“A key highlight was the support from Australia’s Vietnamese community, itself the beneficiary of UNHCR support in the past,” the report said.

“Through events in NSW, QLD, WA and SA, the community raised more than $550,000 to support Australia for UNHCR’s appeal for Syrian refugees.”

Australia for UNHCR national director Naomi Steer said the donations would help UNHRC to continue to provide timely and targeted life-saving support to refugees.

“The fact that Australia for UNHCR is in the top 10 donor private sector donors to UNHCR, ahead of many governments, is a testament to the generosity of thousands and thousands of Australians supporting UNHCR,” Steer said.

“With more than 65 million people forcible displaced globally and the number growing every day, Australian donor support is more critical than ever.”

More than two thirds of the funds were raised to support UNHCR’s general emergency operations, 19 per cent was raised for emergencies in Syria, South Sudan, Iraq and Ecuador and 6 per cent was for specific projects providing targeted support for women, girls and children.

In 2016 the leading global agency for refugees provided emergency equipment to refugees and other displaced and stateless people including 256,000 tents, 804,000 solar lanterns, 1.2 million mosquito nets, 3.4 million plastic sheets and 6.6 million blankets.

UNHCR is also running projects in Burkina Faso, to establish a dairy micro-enterprise owned by women’s groups to supply milk to refugee families, in Ethiopia, to provide clean water for 95,000 in refugees and host populations, and in Democratic Republic of Congo to provide sexual and gender-based violence prevention and response programs.

In 2016, Australians donated a total of $640,000 to go towards family reunification and foster care for thousands of displaced children who were separated from their families.


Rachel McFadden  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Rachel is a journalist specialising in the social sector.

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