HC Deb 07 November 1955 vol 545 cc143-4W
44. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the present financial position of the United Nations Refugee Fund; how much has been disbursed; the present number of refugees in Europe who are still awaiting resettlement; and the rate of resettlement.

Mr. Turton

The United Nations High Commissioner's Fund for Refugees (U.N.R.E.F.) was established in January, 1955, with a target of 16 million dollars for four years. The 1955 target for Governmental contributions is 4.2 million dollars. Against this target, pledges have been made amounting to 2,138,000 dollars, and 1,360,000 dollars have actually been received. Funds are disbursed as soon as received, in accordance with plans approved by an Executive Committee on which the United Kingdom is represented.

Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom have contributed the equivalent of 224,000 dollars and have promised another 56,000 dollars if the total of Governmental contributions for 1955 reaches 3.25 million dollars. The United States Government have contributed 500,000 dollars and have promised another 700,000 on condition that the amounts contributed by the other Governments are at least double that contributed by the United States.

In addition to Governmental contributions, a sum of approximately 1 million dollars has been raised from private contributions in the Netherlands.

The number of refugees in Germany, Austria, Greece and Italy awaiting resettlement or rehabilitation is about 480,000, whereof 78,000 are living in camps. Of this total, the High Commissioner estimates that 238,000 could be assimilated in the economies of their country of residence, given international assistance. Under the 1955 plan, 27,000 refugees were to have been resettled in the course of the year. The actual number is however much lower as the High Commissioner's plans did not get under way until September, as contributions to the Fund were not paid until late in the year.