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US Aid For Iraqi Refugees

US Aid For Iraqi Refugees
US Aid For Iraqi Refugees

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, more than two-million seven-hundred-thousand Iraqis are internally displaced. More than one-million five-hundred thousand of these were displaced since 2006.

To help Iraqis address the crisis, the U.S. government has increased humanitarian assistance for refugees and internally displaced persons in Iraq from forty-three million dollars in 2006 to a total of two-hundred-eight million so far this year. Since 2003, the U.S. has been the single largest contributor of humanitarian assistance for refugees and displaced persons in Iraq, providing more than five-hundred million dollars to date.

In February, the United States announced a one-hundred-twenty-five million dollar contribution to international organizations to provide humanitarian assistance, including education and health services and protection to Iraqis both within and outside of Iraq. This was in addition to the twenty-million dollar U.S. contribution to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Children’s Fund, and the World Health Organization to meet the health needs of Iraqis displaced in neighboring countries. The U.S. has also requested proposals from non-governmental organizations to provide assistance to Iraqi refugees.

U.S. Agency for International Development programs support hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons and others at-risk inside Iraq through activities such as providing emergency relief supplies, food, water systems, infrastructure rehabilitation, small-scale livelihood activities, and support for mobile medical teams and emergency health.

Since February 2007, the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program dramatically expanded processing for Iraqi refugees applications in Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey and is preparing to expand in Lebanon. During fiscal year 2007, over one-thousand-six-hundred Iraqi refugees arrived in the U.S. for permanent resettlement. The U.S. plans to admit twelve-thousand Iraqis during fiscal year 2008.

U.S. Senior Coordinator for Iraqi Refugee Issues Ambassador James Foley says Iraq too, must do its share. The Iraqi government, he said, "has increasing resources, which we believe need to go to meet Iraqi needs and responsibilities. That most certainly includes assistance to citizens who have had to flee the country and are living in neighboring countries.”