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On Helping Refugees


FILE - Syrian refugee children sit at a makeshift settlement in Qab Elias in the Bekaa Valley, Dec. 8, 2014.

Last year, the United States provided more than $6 billion in humanitarian assistance around the world, more than any other single donor.

Some 50 million people are currently displaced, having left their homes to escape violence, according to the UNHCR, the United Nations agency that deals with refugees and internally displaced people across the globe. This is the greatest number of people that have been forced to leave their homes to escape violence since the Second World War.

As new conflicts emerge, and old ones reignite while smaller threats to civilian populations grow to become remarkably dangerous, so more and more civilians are uprooted. This certainly holds true for last year, as ISIL stepped up its drive to impose a reign of terror over parts of Syria and Iraq; civil conflicts reignited in South Sudan, and violence continued to impact civilians in the Central African Republic.

“These are… disputes that seem to defy traditional diplomacy and international consensus, and all too often the violence is indiscriminate” said U.S. Undersecretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne C. Richard.

Working with partners such as the UNHCR, the World Food Program, UNICEF, and numerous other aid agencies, NGOs and with other governments, the United States has worked hard to mobilize an effective response. Last year, the United States provided more than $6 billion in humanitarian assistance around the world, more than any other single donor.

Our goal is to help people thrive, instead of just surviving. So we work with our partners to alleviate the plight of refugees, many of whom have been in exile for two decades or more, by offering technical and vocational training, apprenticeships, and micro-enterprise development programs.

We support not just the refugees themselves, but also help countries that have taken in citizens of strife-torn neighboring nations, funding clinics, schools and essential infrastructure in areas that host these refugees. And, as the world’s leader in refugee resettlement, thousands of refugees will get a new start at life here in the United States.

“Around the world, we use diplomacy and financial support to focus attention on those caught up in conflict, to protect and care for them, and uphold their human rights,” said Undersecretary Richard. “And we are constantly looking for ways to do this better.”

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