US: United States contributes US$421 million to UNHCR

Washington, DC, US (PANA) - The United States says it is making an initial contribution of nearly US$421 million of humanitarian assistance toward the 2016 global appeal for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

John Kirby, Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs, said in a statement in Washington, DC, brings the total U.S. Government contribution to UNHCR to nearly US$698 million to date in financial year 2016.

It said additional U.S. contributions in support of UNHCR’s "invaluable work on behalf of refugees" will be forthcoming over the course of this year.

The statement noted that the international community is currently witnessing a refugee crisis of global proportions. "As more than a million people made dangerous journeys across the sea into Europe this past year, millions more refugees in countries around the world continue to hope for a brighter future and a more promising path to a better life."

It said this year’s initial contribution, funded through the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, will support UNHCR efforts worldwide.

The US said this contribution would support the protection, local integration, and resettlement efforts of refugees from countries such as Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. U.S. humanitarian aid will also support the life-saving provision of water, shelter, food, healthcare, and education to millions of refugees, internally displaced persons, and other persons under UNHCR’s care and protection in countries such as Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Colombia, South Sudan, and Kenya.

It said the nearly US$421 million announced on Thursday is in addition to the US$191 million contribution to UNHCR for their Syria operations announced earlier this year by Secretary Kerry at the “Supporting Syria and the Region Conference” in London.

In Fiscal Year 2015, the United States contributed more than US$1.3 billion to UNHCR to support continuing and emergency programs around the world. This included nearly US$352 million to UNHCR for the continuing role it plays in responding to the Syria crisis.

"The world faces enormous challenges today, as millions of refugees seek the dignity and safety that can only be achieved through an unprecedented global response. That is why the United States strongly encourages other governments to contribute to UNHCR’s 2016 Global Appeal, which is currently only 25% funded. We salute the important work of UNHCR, the many NGOs with which it works, and countries hosting refugees around the world," the statement said.
-0- PANA MA 15April2016

15 april 2016 07:42:34

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