Ambassador Hamamoto: I am pleased to express my government’s strong support for the UNHCR 2015 Global Appeal

hamamoto2
U.S. Ambassador Pamela Hamamoto

Statement Delivered by
Pamela Hamamoto
Permanent Representative of the United States of America
to the United Nations and Other International Organizations

Geneva,
December 9, 2014

Mr. Chairman,

I am pleased to express my government’s strong support for the 2015 Global Appeal update of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  On behalf of the United States Government, I am honored to pledge an initial $125 million towards this appeal.  This matches our initial pledge for 2014.

The United States recognizes the vital importance of providing early and unearmarked contributions to allow UNHCR the flexibility to ensure that critical protection and assistance activities for its beneficiary populations are not interrupted.  We encourage other donors to join us in providing UNHCR with strong financial support.

2014 has been a challenging year, with multiple large-scale crises requiring tremendous responses by UNHCR and Member States to ensure that sufficient protection and assistance is provided to those who need it the most.

We acknowledge and appreciate the significant contribution of the many States that are hosting refugees and have provided protection and assistance to millions of vulnerable people around the world.    Unfortunately, it appears that many of the world’s humanitarian crises will continue for some time.  We commend the patience and generosity of those governments which have received refugees and encourage a sustained commitment to refugee protection.

Mr. Chairman, we appreciate the work of UNHCR to meet the needs of its beneficiaries while managing large scale emergencies and simultaneously assisting those refugees in situations outside the media spotlight.  Multiple large-scale humanitarian crises – in Syria, Iraq, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan, to name a few – have stretched the response capacity of the humanitarian community.  UNHCR has done its utmost to answer this challenge.  We need to ensure that these emergency responses do not push the organization beyond its limits or detract from quality delivery of protection and assistance to UNHCR persons of concern globally.

We need to keep our focus on cross-cutting initiatives that will strengthen UNHCR’s work, such as the “out of camp policy,” implementation of the education, child protection, and prevention of gender-based violence strategies, and new approaches to solutions.  These initiatives require not only leadership at Headquarters, but also the joint efforts of staff, host communities, and beneficiaries in the field.

Finally, we want to recognize the heroic efforts of UNHCR staff around the world.  It is important to continue to invest in the well-being of the individuals who work on our behalf, oftentimes in dangerous places and under severe pressure.

Thank you.