The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Brazilian government signed, this Monday, in Geneva, a Memorandum of Understanding that formalizes the support of Brazil to the humanitarian aid given by the UNHCR in whole world.
Signed by the High Commissioner of the UNO for Refugees, António Guterres, and by the Minister of Foreign Relations of Brazil, Celso Amorim, the document provides voluntary contributions of Brazil for the regular programs of the UNHCR, just as for specific activities in countries affected by natural disasters, conflicts and food and nutrition insecurity.
The donations of Brazil to the UNHCR will take as a base the Global Strategic Goals of the agency, as approved by its Executive Committee.
Brazil also will support the programs of formation of UNHCR officials (the called “Junior Professional Officer Programme”), allowing Brazilians to gain work experience in the headquarters of the UNHCR, in Geneva, and in field offices in the areas of protection and installment of humanitarian aid in emergences.
The first donation made based on the Memorandum of Understanding will be announced still in 2010, to fund activities in the next year.
The resources will come from the budget of the Ministry of Foreign Relations.
The support of Brazil to the humanitarian aid given by the UNHCR is growing significantly.
This year alone, the Brazilian government donated to the UNHCR around US$ 3.2 millions – the greater donation among the Latin American and Caribbean countries, in the whole history of the UNHCR.
The resources benefit refugees and IDPs in different parts of the world, like Sri Lanka, Haiti, Ecuador, Iran and Iraq, and are used in the areas of food, education, shelter and infrastructure, through local purchases and, in the case of the food, products from the familiar agriculture.
According to Minister Celso Amorim, “Brazil has one of the most advanced legislation of the world regarding refugees, welcome nationals of more than 50 countries and now is becoming one of the principal donors of the UNHCR”.
The UNHCR was created in 1950 to protect and to assist the victims of pursuit, intolerance and violence.
At present, more than 35 million people are under its mandate, including asylum seekers, refugees, stateless persons, IDPs and returnees.
It is one of the greatest humanitarian agencies of the world, which already received the Nobel Prize of Peace twice (1954 and 1981).
In Brazil, it acts in partnership with the federal, state and municipal Public Power, with the private sector and with the organized civil society.
According to the statistics of the Brazilian National Committee for Refugees (CONARE), referring to July of this year, the country shelters nearly 4,300 refugees of 78 different nationalities.
The majority is originating from Africa (65 percent), followed by the region of Americas (22.16 percent), of Asia (10.41 percent) and of Europe (2.27 percent).
The nationalities with greater representation among the genuine refugees are the Angolans (39.21 percent), Colombians (13.68 percent), Congolese (9.98 percent), Liberians (6.01 percent) and Iraqis (4.66 percent).