Norway increases funding for UN efforts to assist Ukrainian refugees

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Norway is allocating NOK 250 million to UN efforts to provide assistance to Ukrainian refugees who have fled to Ukraine’s neighbouring countries. Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt announced the allocation during her meeting with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, who visited Norway on Tuesday.

‘We may be facing the worst humanitarian disaster in Europe since the Second World War. Norway will support and show solidarity with people forced to flee from the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. We will also provide assistance to Ukraine’s neighbouring countries,’ said Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt.

The UN estimates that 2 million people have crossed Ukraine’s borders to neighbouring countries to flee from the fighting. And countless people in the country are internally displaced. 

Mr Grandi came to Norway directly from his trip to Romania, Moldova and Poland, and was able to provide first-hand insight into the immediate situation on the ground. These and the other countries that share a border with Ukraine are trying to find ways to cope effectively with the extremely high influx of refugees.

‘It is both inspiring and moving to hear about the generosity Ukraine’s neighbouring countries are showing. The crisis is still in an early phase, and it is essential that we do what we can to enable these countries to continue to help those in need of immediate protection,’ said Ms Huitfeldt.

The funding to the UN emergency appeal comes in addition to Norway’s allocation of NOK 50 million to the UN Refugee Agency’s efforts to assist displaced people in Ukraine and the neighbouring countries.

‘The work of the UN Refugee Agency is absolutely critical here. It is helping to ensure that Ukraine’s neighbouring countries are equipped to deal with refugees fleeing from the ongoing fighting,’ Ms Huitfeldt said.

The UN Refugee Agency coordinates the refugee response with the authorities of the host country, the UN system and other humanitarian organisations. The UN is anticipating that as many as 4 million people could flee from the war in Ukraine. The High Commissioner has issued an appeal for USD 550 million from the international community to provide assistance to 2.4 million refugees and asylum-seekers in Ukraine’s neighbouring countries. The support will be used to provide cash assistance, shelter and protection, including reception capacity and proactive prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence.

The Government has allocated NOK 2 billion for humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and the response to the refugee crisis. This assistance will mainly be channelled through the UN, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and other humanitarian actors. Norway is also providing support through the joint European preparedness and response mechanisms. Norway is among the largest donors to the UN Refugee Agency, and has provided NOK 630 million in core support for this year.