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Fact Check: UNHCR Did Not Receive US$1.7 Billion to Distribute Amongst Refugees

Monrovia — A social media message claims that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has received a huge sum of money to be distributed amongst refugees across the world.

Fact Check Report By: Jerry Gaye | LVL Fact Checker

The link, which is mainly being shared via WhatsApp, states that “United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees received a total of $1.7 billion in donations in 2021-2022, which will now be distributed to refugees around the world through the World Bank.”

The person sharing the message via WhatsApp message claims that he/she has already received a portion of the money and is encouraging others to click on to get theirs. The poster claims that anyone who clicks on the link “will have the opportunity to be a beneficiary and receive at least 77,067 Lib.

However, Local Voices Liberia fact checking desk verified if the information is authentic or a ploy by online scammers.

Firstly, when our fact checker clicked on the link, it took him to a website where the head of the UNHCR, Filippo Grandi and a lady, are seated and signing an unknown document. We then conducted a reverse image search to determine the origin of this photo.

We found that the photo was taken in April 20, 2018 when the World Bank Group Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a new Joint Data Center on forced displacement. This means the photo is unrerlated to the claim being made about free funding for refugees.

The photo used to make the claim is an April 20, 2018 photograph of the World Bank Group Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva and UNHCR Commissioner Filippo Grandi

Second, we checked to authenticate the website by using a reputable online tool use to verify or evaluate “digital identities and reliability” of email addresses or websites.

When we uploaded the link to, we found out that the domain registration was not found, and the link was rated “very bad trust index” and rated unsafe by the online tool, adding that “the owner of the domain name is hidden in the Whois”


Based on the verification process to determine the authenticity of the information in the link, we conclude that the viral message with the link which claims that the UNHCR “received huge sum of money to be distributed amongst refugees across the world” is fake.

We are cautioning that if you come across this link do not open it nor believe the contents therein. This link is either intended to infect your device or invade your personal information.

You may contact us to fact check any claim or information relative to Liberia. Contact us on: or  WhatsApp: +231880986778

Local Voices Liberia is a network of dedicated Liberian journalists based in the 15 counties working to lift the development concerns and progress of rural communities.

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