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Full Senate and House Should Support Chairman’s Bill
Washington, DC – Refugees International today applauded the Senate Committee on Appropriations for passing a supplemental appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2010 that includes critical funding for foreign disaster assistance and sustainable solutions for refugees and persons internally displaced by conflict around the world.
“Victims of the catastrophic January 12th earthquake in Haiti require continued assistance from the U.S. and other donor countries, and there are also countless victims of devastating man-made crises in other regions who need U.S. assistance,” stated Dan Glickman, President of Refugees International. “Increased funding for the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance passed by the Senate Committee on Appropriations is critical. We applaud the Committee for its action and urge the full Senate to support these funding levels.”
The FY2010 supplemental appropriations bill includes $460 million to replenish the International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account, which funds the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). The OFDA has spent close to $400 million, almost half of its FY2010 budget – to respond to the earthquake in Haiti. If agreed to and passed by the full Senate, the supplemental funds will help replenish OFDA’s budget so its ability to respond to other crises around the world is not adversely affected. The appropriation is $110 million above the amount requested by the administration.
The supplemental appropriations bill also includes $165 million for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), which is critical for maintaining the U.S. response to refugee crises worldwide. This supplemental appropriation will bring the FY2010 appropriation for the Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) account closer to its 2009 funding level at a time when prolonged security crises are occurring around the world and we are seeing increased displaced populations worldwide. The President’s supplemental request did not include any funding for MRA.
“Millions of people continue to be displaced in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the countries where the U.S. government is involved in military operations,” stated Renata Rendón, Congressional Advocate for Refugees International. “The number of refugees and internally displaced people in these countries has increased dramatically over the last four years, and we are pleased that the Committee recognized the need to include additional assistance in the war funding bill to help address their needs. We urge the full Senate and House to support both the IDA and MRA appropriations.”
Refugees International is a Washington, DC-based organization that advocates to end refugee crises and receives no government or UN funding. RI was founded in 1979 to advocate for the protection of Indochinese refugees fleeing violence and persecution in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. For more information, go to: http://www.refugeesinternational.org
For Immediate Release: May 14, 2010
Contact: Ann Brown, 202-828-0110 x214