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Questions about UNHCR:

Donor Enquiries:

Annual Tax Receipts Enquiries:

Refugee and Asylum Enquiries:

Questions about UNHCR

What is UNHCR?

Established in 1951, the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) provides and coordinates international relief for refugees and displaced people, offering them protection and assistance at every stage of their ordeal:

  • In emergencies, UNHCR provides emergency shelter, food, water and medical care.
  • In established refugee camps and communities, UNHCR strives to improve refugees' quality of life and future opportunities, providing infrastructure, schools and income generating projects.
  • When they are able to return, UNHCR gives refugees assistance with transport, documentation, and essential items to make the transition as smooth as possible.
  • Once they are home, UNHCR provides ongoing support and education to help refugees rebuild their communities and their livelihoods.

What is Australia for UNHCR?

Australia for UNHCR is a not-for-profit organisation that is dedicated to providing life-changing humanitarian support to refugees and other displaced and stateless people supported by UNHCR - the UN Refugee Agency. We achieve this by raising funds for UNHCR's international humanitarian operations and hosting public awareness events and activities around the issue of refugees and international aid and development.

We have been operating in Australia for 14 years and to date we have raised over $100 million to help refugees and displaced people worldwide.

Which regions host the most refugees?

The three regions which are host to the largest number of refugees around the world are:

  • Africa*:  2.9 million
  • Asia and Pacific:  3.5 million
  • Middle East and North Africa:  2.6 million

*Excluding North Africa

Source: Global Trends Report

Which countries host the most refugees?

1. Pakistan (1.6 million)
2. Islamic Republic of Iran (857,400)
3. Lebanon (856,500)
4. Jordan (641,900)
5. Turkey (609,900)

Source: Global Trends Report

Where do most refugees come from?

More than half (53%) of all refugees worldwide come from just three countries: Afghanistan (2.56 million), the Syrian Arab Republic (2.47 million), and Somalia (1.12 million).

Source: Global Trends Report

Don't you get lots of money from the UN?

Only 3% of UNHCR's budget comes from the UN - the remaining 97% must come from voluntary contributions from governments, corporations, and individual donors. We rely on donations to ensure we can respond whenever and wherever a crisis strikes.

Donor Enquiries

How is my money used?

UNHCR relies on voluntary contributions for 97% of its funding, so we're very grateful for your generous support. We're committed to using your money as efficiently and effectively as possible to help refugees in need. You can find out more about what your donations have achieved on the How You've Helped page.

What happens to my donation when a program is fully funded?

Australia for UNHCR works with UNHCR to raise funds for special programs which are underfunded and require funding to meet basic needs. However, should the funds raised exceed the amount required to meet the immediate and longer term needs of the people in the affected areas, or if there are changes in circumstances beyond Australia for UNHCR's control which limit its ability to utilise all funds in the affected areas, Australia for UNHCR will direct donations to our Emergency Programs for Refugees to enable us to rapidly address future emergencies as they occur.

I am a donor and have changed my address/contact details, what do I do?

You can change most of your details online by clicking here. To keep your details secure, you'll have to contact our Donor Services team to change your credit card details. Please update your details on or before 30 June 2014 to help us ensure that you will receive your annual tax receipts on time.

I only want to receive communications by email. Is this possible?

Yes, please let us know by calling 1300 361 288 or send an email to info@unrefugees.org.au
Should you have any further enquiries don't hesitate to get in contact with us.

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

Yes. Australia for UNHCR has tax-deductible Gift Recipient Status and is endorsed by the ATO as an Income Tax Exempt Charity. All donations of $2 and over are tax-deductible.

What percentage of my donation actually goes to the cause?

At least 86% of all funds raised go directly to the field. We retain 7% for fundraising expenses, and 7% for administration.

Where is my receipt?

If you donated online and haven't received a receipt in your inbox, check your junk or spam folders - it may be sitting there. If not, give our Donor Services team a call and we'll be able to help you.

If you gave a one-off gift over the phone or by mail, you should receive a receipt by mail within a week. If you've signed up as a monthly donor, you'll receive a receipt for all of your gifts at the end of the financial year. This helps us keep admin costs down.

If you still need help, please contact our Donor Services team and they'll help you.

How can I make changes to my donation?

You can change most of your details online by clicking here. To keep your details secure, you'll have to contact our Donor Services team to change your credit card details.

I had a missed call from you.

If you've recently signed up to become a monthly donor, we were calling to say thank you, and welcome to the Emergency Response Team! We may also have called you to update your credit card details. If you've recently received a new card, or have switched accounts, please contact our Donor Services team with your new details so that we can ensure that funds quickly reach those in need.

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How do I cancel my donation?

We understand that people have a lot of expenses, and we want to make it as easy as possible for you to support refugees in need. Before you cancel your donation, you may like to:

  • reduce the amount you give each month, or
  • put your donation on hold for a few months until things become easier for you

Please contact our Donor Services team and they'll help you choose the best option.

Can I reduce or increase my donation, or put it on hold?

Yes, you can. Please contact our Donor Services team and they'll be able to help you increase or decrease your donation, or put it on hold for up to three months.

How much notice do I need to give if I want to cancel my donation?

In order to ensure that your donation is cancelled in time, please contact our Donor Services team at least one week before your next donation is due.

Can I make a donation over the phone?

Yes, you can. Please call our Donor Services team on 1300 361 288, and they'll process your donation for you. Thanks for your support!

How can I organise a fundraising drive?

Have a look at all the fun and easy ways you can raise funds on our fundraising page.

What is your policy on refunds?

Australia for UNHCR will consider refunds on donations on a case-by-case basis and at our sole discretion.

Australia for UNHCR is a member of the Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA) and complies with FIA’s Principles & Standards of Fundraising Practice. As part of that practice we are guided by FIA' s Fundraiser's Promise to Donors.

When a request for a refund is received, an assessment of the reason given for the refund request will be undertaken by the Donor Services Manager. The following reasons will usually be considered in favour of the donor:

• An error has been made by Australia for UNHCR. Should an error be made by Australia for UNHCR, its agencies or financial institution(s), full refunds will be made immediately upon notification of the error and all costs will be borne by Australia for UNHCR.

• A donor's banking details are fraudulently obtained and used;

• Australia for UNHCR has received a donor's details in error;

• A donor has previously requested that regular debits be cancelled, however the debits have continued.  The refund will be to the maximum of the last debit amount unless a donor can provide proof of the original cancellation request;

• Australia for UNHCR may refund on grounds of financial hardship – however this will be limited to the maximum of the last debit amount.

The following reasons will not usually be grounds for a refund to be given:

• Change of mind on donation.

• Australia for UNHCR is under no obligation to give a refund for a donation if an error has been made on the donor’s part, but will endeavour to ensure that any genuine errors (such as the amount donated) are rectified.

Australia for UNHCR is a non-profit organisation and reserves the right to deduct any bank or transaction charged for any refund processed onto the donor.

In all instances Australia for UNHCR will not refund past the previous financial year and/or if the funds have already been remitted overseas, unless there are special circumstances that are agreed with the Donor Services Manager.

If a donor is not satisfied with the outcome of the decision to refund, the Donor Services Manager will refer the issue to the Chief Operating Officer for a review of the decision. If the issue is still not resolved to the satisfaction of a donor, the Chief Operating Officer will refer the issue to the National Director.  Australia for UNHCR may, depending on the nature of the complaint, also utilise other resources, both internal and external, to assist in the resolution of the issue.  However in all cases every effort will be undertaken to resolve the issue internally.

If it is agreed that a refund is to be made a donor will be refunded within ten working days of the decision and will be returned to the bank account or credit card originally debited (if the account or credit card is closed, the refund will be by cheque).

Refund Requests

All requests for refunds must be made in writing and forwarded as follows. (This includes direct bank requests):

Email:     info@unrefugees.org.au

Fax:        +61 (2) 9262 4345

Mail:       Donor Services, Database and IT Manager

Australia for UNHCR


The request should have the details of the initial and subsequent donations including the date/s, amount/s, name of the donor, the receipt number/s and the nature of the error or issue.

Should the refund be approved, any original receipt issued immediately becomes void and invalid and cannot be used to obtain a tax refund with the Australian Taxation Office. A new receipt will be issued where applicable.

Annual Tax Receipt Enquiries

It’s past 30 June and I haven’t got my annual tax receipt. What should I do?

You can email or call our Donor Services Team and request a receipt number and total amount given in the financial year.

Can I get my annual tax receipt early?

Yes you can contact us and we can supply a summary of regular donations to date. However, please note it may not be complete as any remaining donations for the financial year may not have been processed. Your final annual tax receipt should be your formal record.

Why haven’t you sent me receipts during the year?

For scheduled recurring donations we send an annual tax receipt in order to reduce administrative costs and increase processing efficiencies.

I have made a donation to you this year, but it’s not on the annual tax receipt you have sent me. Why not?

Annual tax receipts only include scheduled recurring donations. Any one off donations are receipted as we receive your donations. If you believe your annual tax receipt does not contain all of your scheduled recurring donations please contact us.

I gave through a workplace giving program and I have not received an annual tax receipt. Why not?

For all workplace giving, the employer is responsible for providing confirmation of your contributions for the financial year and you should use that confirmation when completing your tax return.

Can I get my annual tax receipt emailed to me?

Your annual tax receipt will be emailed to you if we have a valid email address on record. If we do not have a valid email address, your tax receipt will be mailed to you. In the case of you not receiving your tax receipt, we can provide a replacement copy either by email or mail. Please ensure that your contact details are up to date.

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Refugee and Asylum Enquiries

I am seeking refugee protection in Australia. Can you help me with legal protection matters?

Australia for UNHCR exists purely as a fundraising office.

We do not have the expertise or facilities to provide legal advice. For specific information regarding protection within Australia please contact:

UNHCR Regional Office in Canberra.

14 Kendall Lane, New Acton, Canberra ACT, 2601 Australia

Telephone: +61 2 6281 9100

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