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Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
How We Work
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How We Work

Top: IDPs stand on Takar Bridge; Middle: Reffugee worker in Uganda; Bottom: Somali girl with little brother [State Dept. Photos]Who does the work?

The Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) has approximately 130 civil service and foreign service staff. The acting Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration is Samuel Witten. On the foreign aid side, we are divided into geographic offices. Our program to resettle refugees in the United States is handled by our Admissions Office. We also have a policy office that monitors and evaluates the relief work conducted by the organizations we fund.

How does the Bureau deliver assistance to refugees?

The Bureau does not operate refugee camps, or otherwise give aid directly to refugees. Instead, in the interests of effectiveness and efficiency, we work with the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations, as well as with non-governmental organizations, that operate these programs. The Bureau manages the contributions to these organizations, and monitors the programs we fund: we make sure they are working properly and ascertain that they are in line with U.S. government policies.

For instance, take the refugee relief set-up on the border between Thailand and Burma. Many of the camps were built with assistance from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The Burmese refugees receive health services, in part, from a private American charity, International Medical Corps. In Bangkok, the refugee resettlement center, called an “overseas processing entity,” handles cases of Burmese referred for resettlement, and is managed by another U.S.-based group, the International Rescue Committee. All these groups receive funding from the Bureau.

How is the work performed?

The Bureau has offices in Washington, DC and at regional office around the world.

Please click on a photo below to learn about the refugee populations and the Bureau's programs in the region.

Afghanistan Afghanistan Africa Africa Balkans The Balkans
The Caribbean The Caribbean The Caucasus The Caucasus Colombia Colombia
Iraq Northeast and South Asia

Northeast and South
Asia: India, Nepal, Sri
Lanka, China, Mongolia
& Korea

Palestinians Palestinians
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia:
Thailand, Malaysia
& Bangladesh

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