FAQ-giving - UNHCR


You have questions.

We have answers.

Listed below are the most common questions we receive from our donors. We hope you find this information helpful.
Don’t see your question here? Email us at [email protected] or call us via WhatsApp (we love to hear from you!) at +961 3 390 499

Q & A

How will my donation be used?

All of UNHCR’s programmes are designed to help find lasting solutions to refugees’ problems, whether it’s helping them return home or settle in other countries. The agency’s work around the world falls under these main sectors: shelter, health care and nutrition, income generation, water and sanitation, education, legal assistance and protection.

All programmes and sectoral projects are intended to mitigate the harsh circumstances in which refugees find themselves and to create opportunities to re-establish their lives. Special focus is given to the most vulnerable, especially women, children, older people and those living with disabilities. Your donation could go towards funding any of these vital activities.

Can I give an in-kind donation? (Clothes, blankets, mattresses, etc..)

Thank you very much for your inquiry and your support of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

I am sorry to inform you that we cannot accept in-kind donations such as clothing, blankets, etc, as the logistics of collecting such items from many different locations and sending them to refugee camps would not be efficient. Items such as blankets and mattresses are distributed from the closest central UNHCR stockpiles and flown by chartered flights to location.

However, the easiest way to donate is online through our website giving.unhcr.org/en/winter. Winter aid is the lifeline for thousands of families at this very critical stage, where cold temperature and heavy rain are starting to take their toll on displaced and refugee families. Your gift will ensure that families are kept warm, dry and reached with adequate assistance.

Once again thank you and sorry again for not accepting the in-kind donations. It’s very thoughtful and generous of you to think of our Syrian brothers and sisters at this critical time.Please do not hesitate to contact us with any further questions.

How can I know the impact of my donation?

UNHCR is a global organization that has a core duty to protect people who flee persecution or even the internally displaced families ensuring that they are not forcibly returned to any country where their lives could be in danger and that we assist them to rebuild their lives. We do have assessments and field visits that are conducted to identify the needs of the families and monitor how the aid is being distributed.

We also share impact reports with our donors, including stories and statistical information to reflect how the support received is positively affecting the refugee family who receive it. This report is usually out on quarterly basis. I have attached to you the most recent impact report we have prepared for our donors.

UNHCR has helped millions of people to restart their lives and our protection mission is available to help every person in need and we aim to continue this mission well into the future. Please follow this link to learn about the emergencies we support: giving.unhcr.org/en/general

***For all Zakat inquiries, please click here: https://zakat.unhcr.org/en/faq

Can I make a donation for refugees from or in a particular country?

We always ask our supporters to first consider making a general donation to UNHCR as your gift can then go towards funding our vital, lifesaving operations all around the world, and we can direct your donation to the most vulnerable people as new emergencies arise. Situations where people have run for their lives can change very quickly, and UNHCR has to juggle its operational and finite financial resources to ensure that we get to everyone who needs our help as quickly as possible.

However, you can make donations to specific UNHCR appeals for certain regions, like our Syria appeal (giving.unhcr.org/en/syria), or our Rohingya appeal (giving.unhcr.org/en/rohingya-crisis). For a list of UNHCR’s emergency appeals please see giving.unhcr.org/en/general

Are my donations tax-deductible and can I get a tax receipt?

Donations made directly to UNHCR may not be tax deductible in your country of residence.

Laws regarding contributions to United Nations agencies vary from country to country. UNHCR does, however, partner with dedicated fundraising associations in a number of countries as well as having country specific offices with their own fundraising capacity. In order to make tax deductible donations through these offices you will need to donate through their individual websites.

We are, however, able to issue a receipt of donation from UNHCR internationally that may be accepted in certain instances. We would suggest that if in doubt you contact your local tax advisor for guidelines on whether your gift is eligible or not.

How much of my donation is spent on helping refugees versus admin costs and other overheads?

UNHCR’s administrative costs account for approximately 7 percent of the total budget.

Nearly 93 percent of all funds are spent on services directly helping refugees.  More than 80 percent of our staff work in the field. However, for particular appeals, the percentage spent directly on supporting refugees may vary.

How can I update my contact information or make a change to my monthly payment?

Please contact our supporter care team at [email protected]. In order for them to locate your donation please email with the following information: the last UNHCR transaction date, donation amount, and the country from which you donated. Additionally, if you donated online, you should have received transaction receipts (sometimes to your junk folder) with a transaction ID number to the email that you registered with. Once our support team has these details they will be able to refund your donation.

I have written a song / made a product / run a service and would like to partner with UNHCR to give you a share of my proceeds. Can I do this?

For UNHCR to partner with an individual or organisation for fundraising purposes is a complex process, often with legal implications. We are therefore unable to do this as often as we would like. In most cases, the best way for you to support UNHCR with your project is to fundraise for us individually and to then make a single donation to us.

How can I get updates on UNHCR’s work?

You can sign up to receive free email updates, with regular news of our work and what you can do to support it.

How is my data going to be used?

Your data will allow us to stay in touch and improve our relationship with supporters like you. UNHCR is committed to holding your information responsibly and will never pass your details onto third parties. Please click here for more information about our privacy policy.

Who can get resettlement and what are the requirements?

In order to be eligible for resettlement and to have your case submitted for resettlment to a third country, you must meet certain requirements related to your status in the country of refuge. These requirements are based on global standards agreed upon by resettlement countries and according to which each refugee is assessed.

Resettlement places are limited, and are determined by third countries that are willing to accept refugees who have protection or immediate needs that cannot be addressed in Lebanon. Therefore, UNHCR must identify those who are most vulnerable and present a number of cases that match the offers from the thrid countries. This number is very small compared to the overall refugee population in Lebanon of more than 1.1 million refugees, which include both Syrian refugees and refugees from other countries. 3,326 refugees were resettled in 2013, and 6,285 were resettled from all origin in 2014.

Resettlement is one of the durable solutions. The preferred option remains the return to your country of origin when the conditions will allow for a safe return in dignity, which will allow you to resume a normal life with access to public services and protection from the your country. UNHCR is under no obligation to submit your case for resettlement.

How can I volunteer with you?

Volunteers provide critical support to help UNHCR deliver on its mandate. They work in a variety of roles ranging from protection, refugee status determination, programme delivery, communication, information technology to administrative functions and more.

Please visit this link https://www.unv.org/become-volunteer

How can I work with you?

Our greatest asset is our workforce. We work with passionate, talented and creative individuals who want to use their skills for good. Please visit http://www.unhcr.org/careers.html find out more about careers at UNHCR