A Year of Crises Leaves Chronic Humanitarian Struggles Cash-strapped

When the U.N. High Commission for Refugees' Executive Committee met in Geneva last October to establish budgets for 2011, it slotted $34 million for the agency's office in Colombia—about 20 percent higher than it had budgeted the year before, since the country's displaced population had also grown by 125,000 people in 2010. The $34 million budget was always optimistic, but donations to UNHCR Colombia fell short by much more than the organization had hoped. A wave of humanitarian crises the world over stretched funds and aid budgets. Now ten months into the year, 2011's budget shortfall is coming into focus: the office will finish the year with about $17 million, half of what it had hoped for.

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