The UN office responsible to catering to world refugees says there is a huge funding gap for its West Africa operations.
According to its 2018 Funding update issued on Tuesday, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) disclosed that of its target of $289.1 million dollars, it has received only $19.4 million representing only 7 percent of its overall target.
The funding gap is $269.6 million for its West Africa sub-regional offices:
Burkina Faso – 8% funded. Gap is $22.9 million
Cote d’Ivoire – 7% funded. Gap is $14.8 million
Ghana – No funding. Gap is $8.1 million
Guinea – No funding. Gap is $653,401
Liberia – No funding. Gap is $11.6 million
Mali – 7% funded. Gap is $19.8 million
Niger – 8% funded. Gap is $79.9 million
Nigeria – No funding. Gap is $80.3 million and
Senegal Regional Office – minor funding. Funding gap – $39.1 million
Germany, the European Union, Italy, Sweden, UN Peacebuilding Fund, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNESCO and private donors in Italy made restricted contributions with Germany making the bulk of the contribution – $1.9 million dollars.
Their combined contributions to West Africa refugee assistance totaled $19.4 million.
Other international major donors who made un-restricted and regional funding include:
Sweden – $98 million
Norway – $43 million
Netherlands -$39 million
United Kingdom – $32 million
Denmark – $25 million
Australia – $19 million and
Switzerland – $15 million
Another 26 donors, including the only African country of Algeria, also made un-restricted and regional funding to the mission of the UNHCR in West Africa.
Food insecurity, migration from conflict hot areas including some early instances of climate change are forcing people into long term refugee situations in the African sub-regional which could be further destabilized unless adequate funding is secured. Donor fatigue and internal economic pressures on donor countries are challenging the ability of the UN to easily raise the needed funds to provide assistance for refugees.
One major donor missing from the UNHCR latest update is the United States.
The UNHCR, which was founded in 1950, works to protect and assist refugees around the world.
In a separate development, the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have released their Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response Bulletin for the period between January 29 – February 4, 2018 .
According to the bulletin, a total of 274 suspected cases of immediately reportable diseases was made with 31 deaths.
Of this number, Nimba County in northeastern Liberia is reported to have a measles outbreak with 202 suspected cases with the next highest occurrence of 58 in Montserrado County, the seat of the capital.
Eight maternal deaths were reported from Bong (2), Montserrado (2), Maryland (1), Nimba (1), Margibi (1) and River Gee (1) Counties.
Reported causes of death were: Postpartum hemorrhage (3), Eclampsia (1), Abrutio placenta (1), Sepsis (1), Pulmonary embolism (1) and Cardiac pulmonary arrest (1)
All eight deaths was reported to have occurred in the health facility.
Of the recent meningococcal outbreak in the West African country, all contacts remain in medical surveillance.
By Emmanuel Abalo
West African Journal Magazine