Commissioner Georgieva has recorded a statement to mark the UN Refugee Convention's 60th anniversary today.
Watch her speak from Dadaab, the world's largest refugee camp in Kenya, about the growing numbers of refugees around the world and their worsening plight. Dadaab is currently home to hundreds of thousands of Somalis seeking refuge from famine and conflict at home.
"When in 1951 the UN General Assembly established the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees it gave it only a three year mandate – an optimistic outlook to a problem that was meant to disappear. Today we know better – or worse – as we watch the number of refugees grow here in Kenya, but also in many other places around the world," Commissioner Georgieva said.
At the end of 2010, the number of refugees and internally displaced persons around the world exceeded 42.5 million. During a humanitarian crisis, they are among the most vulnerable. This is why refugees and internally displaced communities are at the heart of the Commission's humanitarian aid work and mandate. In 2010 the European Commission allocated more than €163 million to help millions of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons around the world.
The protection of and provision of help to refugees worldwide is entrusted to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), whose 60th anniversary is marked today. The European Commission is UNHCR's second largest donor – in 2010: more than €75 million were targeted from the Commission's humanitarian budget to refugees around the world through UNHCR.