This year, over half a million people, the majority of them refugees, have crossed the Mediterranean Sea in search of safety in Europe. European countries have been struggling to deal with this influx of refugees and migrants. To respond to this emergency, UNHCR established a Special Mediterranean Initiative (SMI) and is working closely with the European Union and its member states, as well as with other countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East affected by ongoing conflict and forced displacement of populations.
UNHCR revised today its appeal for funding for the SMI in 2015 and 2016. The total financial requirements from June 2015 to December 2016 now amount to USD 128 million. This Supplementary Appeal includes activities in Europe but also incorporates programmes in countries of asylum or transit in the Middle East and Africa.
UNHCR is planning for up to 700,000 people seeking safety and international protection in Europe in 2015. While it is difficult to estimate at this point, it is possible that there could be even greater numbers of arrivals in 2016. Planning is based for the moment on similar figures to 2015.
In light of the fast-evolving situation in Europe, and the need to move resources from one location to another in response to the flow of people currently seeking international protection in the region, UNHCR is appealing to donors to provide contributions that can be allocated as flexibly as possible.
The SMI Supplementary Appeal document can be downloaded here (http://bit.ly/1M3IwaP)