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La Commission octroie 4 millions d’euros pour renforcer la protection des réfugiés - Communiqué de presse de la Commission européenne/ Document non produit par l'ONU Français
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Source: European Commission
9 March 2006


Brussels, 9th March 2006

Commission approves €4 million to strengthen refugee protection

The European Commission has decided to provide €4 million of humanitarian aid to support and enhance refugee protection programmes run by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Louis Michel, the Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, commented: “Today’s refugee crises challenge the international community as never before. Refugee protection is at the heart of UNHCR mandate and the Commission is committed to supporting the work of this agency. Our aim is to ensure that protection issues are properly addressed in refugeecamps and that the rights of refugees are respected, in line with the Geneva Conventions.”

Ensuring legal and physical protection of refugees, which is a fundamental State responsibility, is a major concern for the UNHCR. Refugees are increasingly encountering problems when seeking international protection. Instances of ‘refoulement’ (sending back) are on the rise, borders are sometimes closed and increased tensions between refugees and local communities have been reported, sometimes leading to violence.

While the UNHCR’s main role of providing protection for refugees has not changed over the years, changes in the nature of armed conflict have affected patterns of population movement, while political repression and human rights violations continue to occur. At the beginning of 2005, the total number of “persons of concern” to the UNHCR was 19.1 million, including 9.2 million people recognised as refugees.

In recent years, the Commission has supported UNHCR’s protection activities through ‘thematic funding’. This has enabled the UN agency to make significant progress in the protection and registration of refugees, through the development of new programmes. These include Project Profile, a modern system for registering refugee populations, the Surge Project for the emergency deployment of qualified protection staff, and more generally, the updating of emergency preparedness and response mechanisms. The UNHCR’s emergency capacity is becoming increasingly important as it assumes additional responsibilities for assisting internally displaced people (IDPs). Although not classified as refugees because they have not crossed an international frontier, IDPs face very similar problems to refugees.

Through this latest funding decision, the Commission will contribute further to the UNHCR’s emergency preparedness and response programme, giving it the capacity to respond to the emergency needs of up to 500,000 beneficiaries.

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