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Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 5, 2007


The United States Humanitarian Assistance for Displaced Iraqis

  •   Since 2003, the U.S. Government 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 since 2003 for Iraqis in Iraq and neighboring states.

  •   The USG has increased humanitarian assistance for Iraqis from $43 million in 2006 to almost $200 million in 2007.

  •   The USG recently contributed $39 million to the $130 million United Nations 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 efforts to increase support to 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) and other at-risk beneficiaries inside Iraq 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 Iraqi Refugee Issues. He is working with the Iraq Refugee and Internally Displaced Persons Task Force, which is chaired by Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky, and other government agencies to continue expanding our response.

USG Funding for Humanitarian Assistance - 2007
(in millions)

USG IOs NGOs Othera Totalb

STATE/PRM

$  99.26

$ 18.55

$ 5.00

$122.81

USAID/OFDA

     6.00

  57.40

-

    63.40

USAID/FFP

     0.65

-

-

      0.65

USAID/Jordan

-

-

 10.30

   10.30

TOTAL

$105.91

$ 75.95

$15.30

$197.16

    a State Department/Near Eastern Affairs 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

    b USAID/OFDA funding includes $26M to be obligated in early FY08

Refugee Processing for Iraqis

  • Since February 2007, the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) has expanded processing for Iraqi refugee applicants in Jordan , Egypt , Lebanon , Syria , Turkey and Lebanon.

  • UNHCR announced its intention in February to refer approximately 20,000 Iraqis to resettlement countries during calendar year 2007, 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 more than 11,000 Iraqis to the USRAP for resettlement consideration. Additionally, in Jordan and Egypt , direct access to the USRAP is available to direct-hire employees of the U.S. Mission in Iraq and interpreters/ translators working for the USG or USG contractors.

  • The Department of Homeland Security's Citizenship and Immigration Services (DHS/USCIS) completed interviews of approximately 4,500 Iraqis between October 1, 2006 and September 30, 2007 (FY 2007). Interviews will continue at an accelerated pace in FY 2008, with the cooperation and support of host governments.

  • During FY 2007, 1,608 Iraqi refugees arrived in the U.S. for permanent resettlement.

  • The total number of Iraqi refugee arrivals in FY 2007 represents an eight-fold increase over the number of arrivals in FY 2006.

  • 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. The U.S. Government is aiming to admit as many as 12,000 Iraqi refugees over the next fiscal year.

Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) and Immigrant Visas (IVs) for Iraqis

  • Apart from these refugee admissions numbers, in FY 2007 the United States issued immigrant visas for over 2,400 additional Iraqis.

  • 823 of these were special immigrant visas through our special admissions program for translator and interpreters who assisted the United States . This number includes 432 principal applicants and 391 family members.

  • The other 1,570-plus Iraqis were issued other types of immigrant visas that permit them to move permanently to the United States.

#2007/855


Released on October 5, 2007

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