By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

INCREASED CONTRIBUTION. Deputy Permanent Representative Kristine Leilani Salle announces the Philippines’ scaled-up voluntary contribution to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees on Dec. 5, 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland. Manila increased its earmarked voluntary contribution, which is 50 percent more than its annual contribution to the UNHCR in the past years. (Photo courtesy of DFA)

MANILA – The Philippine government has earmarked USD150,000 (approximately PHP8.3 million) to support the United Nations in responding to the needs of refugees and displaced persons for 2024.

The pledge was made during the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Pledging Conference for 2024 in Geneva on Dec. 5.

Philippine Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Kristine Leilani Salle said Manila increased its earmarked voluntary contribution, which is 50 percent more than its annual contribution to the UNHCR in the past years.

Salle urged the international community to pool together its collective resources to protect and find durable solutions for refugees, stateless persons, asylum seekers and other displaced persons.

“It is for this reason that we are scaling-up our contribution, to the best of our national capacity as a middle-income country, especially as it has been our constant call for traditional and non-traditional donors alike to push the boundaries of global burden and responsibility sharing,” she said.

The Philippines has been a consistent donor to the UNHCR, as well as its specific refugee response plans, such as for the Rohingya, Ukraine and Sudan in 2023.

Based on the latest UNHCR data, more than 108 million people are displaced worldwide, 76 percent of whom are being hosted by low- and middle-income countries.

The UN refugee agency said it needs at least USD10.6 billion to support more than 130 million people that are expected to be forcibly displaced or stateless by the end of 2024. (PNA)