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Fact Sheet
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Washington, DC
June 19, 2007

International Fund for Refugee Women and Children: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the fund?

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) is creating a new mechanism to permit private donations via the Department of State for programs to help refugee women and children, the majority of refugees fleeing violence and civil unrest. The International Fund for Refugee Women and Children is designed to address protracted refugee situations, some of which exceed 30 years of displacement, to provide opportunities for children to go to school and to help keep women safe from further violence.

Charitable contributions collected by the International Fund for Refugee Women and Children will be directed to pressing humanitarian needs for the most vulnerable. Refugee women and children commonly need special protection against sexual, physical abuse and exploitation, separation from families, deprivation of education, forcible recruitment, as well as protection against sexual discrimination in the delivery of goods and services, and other forms of gender-based violence.

The Fund will direct donations to projects that provide basic education, vocational training, human rights education, small business development, job skills training, and literacy. Gifts supporting such projects for women and children will help whole countries to stabilize and reconstruct their societies and will demonstrate the goodwill of the American people globally.

How will the Fund work?

Private funds raised through this Fund will not replace existing budgets or programs, but rather help fill gaps in meeting minimum humanitarian standards, and enhance and extend the life of programs that are working to help refugee women and children. Private individual and corporate donations will be directed to PRM’s existing partners already working on the ground, such as international and non-governmental organizations, undertaking practical projects and activities for refugee women and children to provide protection, education, livelihood skills and vocational training, to build self-reliance, and other self-sustaining skills. PRM will focus on underfunded, but critical areas in protracted refugee situations. See the PRM list of current partners at www.state.gov/refugeewomenandchildren, the PRM web site for the International Fund for Refugee Women and Children.

Why give to this Fund?

The Department of State brings three vital skills to the table: knowledge of needs and where the gaps are; experience in humanitarian assistance and working with implementing organizations on the ground; and infrastructure, especially for monitoring and evaluation of project success and good value. There will be no added administrative costs as donated funds will be enhancements to existing programs.

What are the Fund’s goals and priorities?

This Fund has identified three core areas for funding: protection, basic education, and vocational training or livelihood training. The Fund aims to support practical projects to build self-reliance, and self-sustaining skill, restoring hope for the future. Support is needed to help conflict victims rebuild their lives. So the Fund will focus on these three often overlooked, but critical areas, beyond starvation and the first ninety days of a refugee’s escape.

How will the funding decision be made?

The Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration will make funding decisions in the same manner as for appropriated funds. The Bureau, however, will make every effort to honor donor requests to direct contributions to a particular crisis or refugee group.

How to Help?

Individuals, corporations, or foundations may contribute. Contributions for the International Fund for Refugee Women and Children will be accepted by the U.S. Department of State on behalf of the U.S. Government. Please make checks payable to the U.S. Department of State and include a donor letter addressed to Donna Bordley, Gift Funds Coordinator, RM/CFO, Room 7427, U.S. Department of State. Washington, DC 20520. Telephone: 202-647-5031, Fax: 202-647-8194. Donors will receive an acknowledgement letter for IRS purposes.

How to Contact Us?

For more information about the International Fund for Refugee Women and Children call Susan Crais Hovanec, Senior Advisor for Outreach, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, at (202) 663-1014 and visit the PRM web site at www.state.gov/g/prm.

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