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Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 18, 2006


Additional United States Contributions to Support Assistance to Conflict Victims from Somalia and Sri Lanka

President Bush made $5.215 million available from the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund (ERMA) to meet unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs resulting from the conflicts in Somalia and Sri Lanka. This funding will provide protection and assistance in the form of food, blankets, shelter, hygiene kits, and other basic items, as well as water, sanitation, emergency medical services and health care, and other community services for victims of the conflicts in Somalia and Sri Lanka. The State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration manages this emergency fund.

Of the $5.215 million, $3.575 million will be used for assistance activities for Somali refugees, including a contribution to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) appeal for Kenya; support for non-governmental organizations' efforts to provide water and sanitation, food distribution and community services in Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya; and funding for UNHCR's initial response to Somali refugee inflows in Ethiopia. UNHCR is leading the emergency response to the influx of refugees into Kenya. To date, there are over 30,000 new arrivals in Kenya, and several thousand in Ethiopia..

The surge of violence in Sri Lanka has cost an estimated 3,000 lives in the past year alone, and created over 15,000 refugees and over 200,000 newly internally displaced persons (IDPs). To respond to humanitarian needs, $1.64 million of the $5.215 million will be contributed to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sri Lanka to provide household items, materials for the construction of temporary shelters, food and medical aid, as well as the restoration of family links at IDP camps in Sri Lanka.

2006/1124


Released on December 18, 2006

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