Portugal to increase refugee resettlement quota and financial contribution to UNHCR

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Portugal made eight commitments today during the Global Refugee Forum, including an increase in the resettlement quota and a reinforcement of the financial contribution to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The announcements were made by the Secretary of State for Equality and Migration, Isabel Almeida Rodrigues, during the plenary session of the forum taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, under the aegis of the United Nations, which is the world’s largest international meeting on refugees.

Pointing out that “humanitarian crises are becoming more complex and longer, due to armed conflicts and the devastating consequences of climate change”, she said that it was necessary to continue supporting the work of the UNHCR but, at the same time, to “make a paradigm shift” in public policies, announcing that, in this spirit, Portugal is presenting “eight commitments” at this second edition of the global forum.

The commitments presented by Portugal, without detailing the amounts, are to increase the resettlement quota, strengthen the mechanisms for civil society participation, create new centers dedicated to integrating refugees into the job market, reform the national Portuguese learning program, adapting it to the needs of refugees and migrants, streamline family reunification procedures, implement inclusion projects through sport, strengthen the financial contribution to the UNHCR and, finally, contribute financially to the Global Platform for Higher Education in Emergency Situations.

“We are also pleased to be leading, with Brazil, the multilateral commitment on family reunification,” added the Secretary of State.

In concluding her speech, Isabel Almeida Rodrigues stressed that “at a national level, Portugal will continue to support around 60,000 people who have fled the war in Ukraine and sought temporary protection” in Portugal, “as well as around 1,200 Afghans” that the country has welcomed since 2021.

“At international level, Portugal will continue to support the UNHCR on issues such as economic inclusion, higher education as a complementary path, mental health and psychosocial support, and the eradication of statelessness,” he concluded.

From Wednesday until Friday, the Swiss city of Geneva is hosting the 2nd Global Refugee Forum, the world’s largest international meeting on refugees, during which both state and private commitments and contributions are expected to be announced.

Contributions to the Global Refugee Forum can take many forms, from financial, material or technical assistance, including resettlement sites and other admission routes to third countries, enabling better-resourced countries to share responsibility for refugees, to measures to support host communities, prevent conflict and build peace. Organizations can commit themselves or combine efforts in groups.

Created following the ratification in 2018 of the Global Compact for Refugees, this forum, whose first edition took place a year later in 2019 in Geneva, was designed to support the practical implementation of the objectives set out in the pact, namely alleviating pressures on host countries, strengthening refugees’ self-sufficiency, increasing access to solutions from third countries and improving conditions in countries of origin.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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