Europe

UN refugee agency urges private sector to help fund shelters

  • A woman hungs on his laundery near her tent in front of the wired fence that separate Greece and Macedonia at a makeshift refugee camp on the northern Greek border point of Idomeni, Sunday, May 15, 2016. Thousands of stranded refugees and migrants have camped in Idomeni for months after the border was closed. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

    A woman hungs on his laundery near her tent in front of the wired fence that separate Greece and Macedonia at a makeshift refugee camp on the northern Greek border point of Idomeni, Sunday, May 15, 2016. Thousands of stranded refugees and migrants have camped in Idomeni for months after the border was closed. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Syrian man covers with a plastic sheet the entrance of his tent at a makeshift refugee camp on the northern Greek border point of Idomeni, Sunday, May 15, 2016. Thousands of stranded refugees and migrants have camped in Idomeni for months after the border was closed. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

    A Syrian man covers with a plastic sheet the entrance of his tent at a makeshift refugee camp on the northern Greek border point of Idomeni, Sunday, May 15, 2016. Thousands of stranded refugees and migrants have camped in Idomeni for months after the border was closed. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)  (The Associated Press)

  • An elderly man sits on a chair among railway tracks at a makeshift refugee camp on the northern Greek border point of Idomeni, Sunday, May 15, 2016. Thousands of stranded refugees and migrants have camped in Idomeni for months after the border was closed. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

    An elderly man sits on a chair among railway tracks at a makeshift refugee camp on the northern Greek border point of Idomeni, Sunday, May 15, 2016. Thousands of stranded refugees and migrants have camped in Idomeni for months after the border was closed. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)  (The Associated Press)

The U.N. refugee agency is launching an unprecedented appeal to the private sector to help pay for shelters for 2 million refugees worldwide amid a "huge shortfall in funds" for that purpose.

Spokesman Leo Dobbs says the appeal aims to tap philanthropists, companies, foundations and individuals as a potential source of new money because UNHCR hasn't gotten enough funds from its traditional government sources.

The "Nobody Left Outside" campaign aims to raise funds to build or improve shelter for 2 million refugees by 2018, or about one-eighth of the people UNHCR was helping in mid-2015. UNHCR says housing operations are expected to cost $724 million this year, but only $158 million is currently available.

UNHCR says 60 million people are forcibly displaced now, the highest figure since World War II.