Estonia will allocate €100,000 to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2021 and another €100 000 in 2022. It will also help with the development of digital services.
Ambassador at Estonia's Permanent Representation in Geneva Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi said that 2020 has been a year of difficulties and lessons.
"Those who are already in a vulnerable position often suffer the most due to the coronavirus pandemic. Estonia greatly appreciates the work of the UNHCR in alleviating human suffering. We consider it crucial that even as the virus spreads, humanitarian workers are protected and the sustainability in strategic domains such as education for refugees is ensured," Saarsalu-Layachi said at the pledging conference on Wednesday.
The number of people in need of assistance next year is projected to be a record high – 97.3 million in 130 countries.
The formal education of 2 million refugee children has been suspended. Estonia has supported the UNHCR since 2001. Estonia's flexible financial contribution allows humanitarian organisations to respond quickly to needs, including providing humane conditions in refugee camps and ensuring access to education and medicine.
In addition to its financial contribution, Estonia will also support the UNHCR with consultations on digitalisation, in particular, on developing and adopting a digital identity.
Editor: Helen Wright