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Humanitarian policy and partnerships

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

2023-24 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]
$25.0 million
2022-23 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]
$25.0 million

Australia's development efforts are set out in Australia's International Development Policy.

Australia works in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance and safeguard the rights and wellbeing of refugees, asylum seekers, stateless and internally displaced persons globally, including in the Indo-Pacific region.

At the end of June 2023, 110 million people were forcibly displaced around the world due to persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations and events seriously disturbing the public order. UNHCR estimates that 130 million people will be forcibly displaced or stateless in 2024.

In 2022-23, Australia provided $25 million in core funding to UNHCR. This was complemented by $27.5 million in funding to support UNHCR to respond to specific humanitarian responses, including in Bangladesh, Myanmar, the Horn of Africa and the Sudan regional refugee response.

Australia's work with UNHCR is guided by a Strategic Partnership Framework (2022-2026). The Framework outlines the shared objectives of Australia and UNHCR, acknowledging our mutual commitment to addressing displacement, including in the Indo-Pacific region, with a focus on:

  • protecting vulnerable displaced persons, particularly women and girls, persons with disabilities and other marginalised groups, including from sexual exploitation and gender-based violence
  • promoting sustainable durable solutions to forced displacement
  • providing timely, effective, evidence- and needs-based humanitarian programs that represent value for money
  • strengthening international protection for refugees and internally displaced persons, including by upholding legal norms, humanitarian principles and maintaining access to populations affected by crises
  • promoting resilience by strengthening the capacities of local and national actors to respond to crises, being accountable to people in crisis and mitigating the impacts of climate change on displacement.

Australia’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva is serving as the Second Vice Chair of UNHCR’s Executive Committee Bureau in 2024.

More information: UNHCR Reports and Publications

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