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U.S. Statement to the Pledging Conference of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
As delivered by Ambassador Bathsheba Crocker
December 5, 2023

U.S. Statement to the Pledging ConferenceConference of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Ambassador Bathsheba Crocker
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva

As Delivered

Thank you, High Commissioner.

I am pleased to announce the United States’ initial pledge of $200 million toward UNHCR’s 2024 Global Appeal.  This pledge re-affirms our commitment to the vital role of UNHCR and its partners in responding to humanitarian crises.  We welcome fellow Member States’ pledges today and look forward to the new commitments to be announced at the upcoming Global Refugee Forum.

The United States calls on fellow member states to significantly increase their funding this year, in recognition of the more than 130 million forcibly displaced and stateless persons who need assistance.  The United States will continue to be the strong and reliable partner on whom UNHCR has always relied, but others in this room must do more.  There need to be robust new commitments and pledges today and at the upcoming Global Refugee Forum – and for additional resources throughout 2024.

The humanitarian work of UNHCR and NGOs is needed now more than ever.  We must collectively do all we can to deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance to the people in Gaza.  We must help Ukrainians survive the third winter under Russian attack.  We must support Afghan returnees from Pakistan as they cross the border to unknown future.  We must help in Haiti and the Horn of Africa, support the victims of conflict in Myanmar and Sudan, and we must continue to help after the devastating natural disasters this year, which only compounded humanitarian challenges in Syria, Türkiye, Morocco, Pakistan, and Libya.

Colleagues, we are facing challenging times with multiple ongoing crises stretching thin an already under-resourced system.  As the High Commissioner said, 43 emergencies.  Our humanitarian aid budgets cannot keep pace with global needs, and so we must together prioritize action.  These crises require us to re-imagine approaches, support sustainable solutions, and address root causes.  Whether displacement is triggered by conflict, climate change, or other reasons, it is not enough to not only address the food, health, and shelter needs of affected populations.  We must work more seriously and urgently to find lasting solutions.  Money alone is not the answer.

The United States is and will continue to remain the bedrock supporter of humanitarian responses worldwide.  High Commissioner, let this pledging event be a call to action to Member States and partners alike.  Cascading crises demand we rethink methods and approaches to growing humanitarian needs, and the United States commits to continuing our traditional support while also pursuing new approaches to these challenges.

Thank you.