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Fact Sheet
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Washington, DC
September 20, 2007

U.S. Humanitarian Assistance for Displaced Iraqis

Since 2003, the USG has been the single largest contributor of humanitarian assistance for Iraqis.  By the end of 2007, the USG will have provided almost $1 billion in humanitarian assistance for displaced Iraqis in Iraq and neighboring states since 2003.  The USG has increased humanitarian assistance for Iraq from $43 million in 2006 to almost $200 million in 2007. The USG contributed $39 million to the $130 million UNHCR/UNICEF Joint Education appeal which aims to enroll an additional 150,000 Iraqi children in Jordanian and Syrian schools. 

Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) Ellen R. Sauerbrey has led diplomatic efforts to expand humanitarian space for UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to respond to humanitarian needs of Iraqi refugees in the region.  USAID programs support thousands of internally displaced persons (IDP) inside Iraq and other at-risk beneficiaries through activities such as provision of emergency relief supplies, water systems, and infrastructure rehabilitation for host communities, small-scale livelihood activities, and support for mobile medical teams and emergency health.  

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has appointed Ambassador James Foley as the Senior Coordinator for Iraq Refugee issues. He will work with the Iraq Refugee and Internally Displaced Persons Task Force and other government agencies to continue expanding our response.

USG Funding for Humanitarian Assistance – 2007a

(in millions)

USG IOs NGOs Otherb Totalc
State/PRM      $ 99.26       $18.50          $5.00      $122.76
USAID/OFDA      $6.00       $57.40

 --

     $63.40
USAID/FFP     $0.65

  --

  --

     $0.65
USAID/Jordan

  --

  --

      $10.30      $10.30
Total     $105.91       $75.90      $15.30     $197.11

a Projected USG funding for Iraq by end of 2007.
b State Department/Near East Bureau supplement to the Department Scholar Rescue fund grant; USAID support to Jordanian government to reinforce ongoing health and education programs in communities affected by large numbers of Iraqi refugees
c USAID/OFDA funding includes $26M to be obligated in early FY08

Refugee Processing for Iraqis

Over the past six months, the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) has expanded processing for Iraqi refugee applicants in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Lebanon.  After consultations with the USG, UNHCR announced its intention in February to refer approximately 20,000 Iraqis to resettlement countries during CY2007, with over half that number to the USRAP. In February, the USG had virtually no refugee processing infrastructure in the two major asylum countries, Syria and Jordan. Since then, USRAP entities have established processing facilities, hired and trained local and international staff, and prepared cases for presentation to adjudicators from the Department of Homeland Security.  UNHCR and U.S. embassies have now referred over 10,000 Iraqis to the USRAP for resettlement consideration. Additionally, in Jordan and Egypt, the Department of State permits direct access to the USRAP for direct-hire employees of the U.S. Mission in Iraq and interpreters/ translators working for the USG or USG contractors.  

The USG will complete interviews of approximately 4,500 Iraqis by the end of FY 2007. Interviews will continue at an accelerated pace in FY 2008, with the cooperation and support of host governments.   With necessary USRAP facilities and personnel now in place, we expect that the number of Iraqis admitted to the United States as refugees should increase significantly. As of mid-September, more than 1,000 Iraqi refugees have arrived in the U.S., and we expect large numbers of arrivals through the end of the month. Iraqi refugee admissions will not end on September 30. The pace of Iraqi refugee resettlement will continue to accelerate in the coming months.



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