GENEVA, Oct 10 — The UN refugee agency will have to make “severe cuts”, increasing the hardships of those who have been driven from their homes, unless it gets immediate extra funding, its chief said today.

The war in Ukraine has propelled millions of people to flee, and there are now more than 100 million people forcibly displaced in the world, causing UNHCR’s budget to balloon to over US$10 billion (RM46.5 billion).

“I regret to inform you that for the first time during my tenure, I’m worried about UNHCR’s financial situation,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a speech to member states in Geneva after being re-appointed as head of the agency last month.

“If we do not receive at least an additional US$700 million, especially for our most under-funded operations, between now and the end of this year, we will be forced to make severe cuts with negative and sometimes dramatic consequences for refugees and host communities,” he added.

He also said he was worried about the impact of cold weather during the the northern hemisphere’s winter on some 6.2 million people internally displaced in Ukraine.

“I share the government’s concerns about the looming winter,” he said, saying the elderly and disabled were especially vulnerable. –Reuters