Aiding refugees abroad and offering resettlement of many in the United States is a “core part of who we are as a nation.”
There are millions of displaced people around the world due to wars, famine, and ethnic violence. Indeed, the United Nations Refugee Agency, or UNHCR, is concerned about 42 million people worldwide. This includes over 15 million people considered refugees because they have fled their countries and crossed borders, and 6 million stateless persons. The rest, are considered internally displaced persons, meaning people forced to flee within their own countries.
The U.S. State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration, provides assistance and protection both to refugees overseas, as well as to the fraction of one percent of refugees who are offered the opportunity to resettle in a third country.
Anne Richard, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration, said, that overseas, the United States works through multilateral organizations such as the UNHCR, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Organization for Migration.
The United States is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to Syria, providing over $365 million in aid to those fleeing the violence both to neighboring countries and inside Syria.
In Asia, communal violence in Burma’s Rakhine State has led local populations to seek refuge in neighboring countries. The U.S. has urged Burma to address this situation in a manner that builds greater tolerance and understanding across ethnic and religious communities.
In Africa, there are now nearly some 654,000 Sudanese and South Sudanese refugees; 40 percent of whom have been displaced in the past year. In Mali, the rebel conflict in the north has produced insecurity and instability and has resulted in nearly a quarter of a million internally displaced persons and nearly 170,000 refugees in neighboring countries. And in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, innocent civilians flee unspeakable abuse. Meanwhile, there are over a million Somali refugees in the Horn of Africa. Millions more remain at risk inside Somalia.
In addition to aiding those overseas, the U.S. provides resettlement to more refugees than all other countries combined. Since 1975, more than 3 million refugees have found a new home in the United States.
Aiding refugees abroad and offering resettlement of many in the United States is a “core part of who we are as a nation,” said Assistant Secretary Richard. That’s why the United States will continue to assist and protect the world’s refugees.