Assistant Secretary Anne C. Richard Leads U.S. Delegation to the Executive Committee Meeting of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 1, 2012


Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne C. Richard will travel to Geneva October 1 - 4 to lead the U.S. delegation at the 63rd session of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the principal international organization concerned with the protection of refugees and stateless persons worldwide. Priority issues for the U.S. delegation will be the continued enhancement of protection activities, continuing assessments of UNHCR operational and institutional reform efforts, resolving protracted displacement situations, and strengthening international humanitarian coordination. Assistant Secretary Richard will also hold high-level bilateral meetings with other governments attending the meeting as well as the senior leadership of other Geneva-based international humanitarian organizations to discuss various humanitarian relief operations.

The United States is UNHCR’s largest donor, contributing to-date more than $775 million in Fiscal Year 2012. UNHCR’s Executive Committee meets in Geneva annually to review and approve the agency’s programs and budget, to advise on international protection and discuss a wide range of other issues with UNHCR and its intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. The U.S. provides humanitarian assistance around the world through international organizations, such as UNHCR, and non-governmental organizations, as they respond to humanitarian crises, wherever they occur, offering protection to refugees, and pursuing solutions for populations of concern.

For more information, contact Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration’s Public Affairs Advisor Deborah L. Sisbarro at (202) 453-9348 or PRM-Press-DL@state.gov; or visit PRM’s website:http://www.state.gov/j/prm/.

World Refugee Day

Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 20, 2012


The United States joins the international community in commemorating the courage and determination of millions of refugees around the globe. The United States is strongly committed to protecting and assisting refugees and we offer resettlement to more refugees each year than all other countries in the world combined. Since 1975, more than three million refugees have made new homes in the United States, and nearly half of them have become U.S. citizens.

Refugees are contributing in ways large and small to business, academia, the arts, science and technology. Today we celebrate the success of refugees who have built new lives here and in other resettlement countries, but we also recognize the millions of refugees who remain displaced in camps, cities, and rural settlements around the world. We are proud to support the efforts of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the many other organizations that work on behalf of refugees worldwide, and recommit ourselves to provide protection and assistance to some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Assistant Secretary Anne C. Richard Traveling to Switzerland, Iraq, and Jordan

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 30, 2012


Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) Anne C. Richard will travel to Switzerland, Iraq, and Jordan from May 1 – 10, 2012.

In Geneva, Assistant Secretary Richard will lead the U.S. delegation at the International Conference on the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees to support voluntary repatriation, sustainable reintegration and assistance to host countries. Through a unique quadripartite consultative process, the Islamic Republics of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan and UNHCR have agreed on a multi-year regional strategy to address assistance to Afghan refugees and returnees, including nearly three million Afghan refugees who continue to be generously hosted by Pakistan and Iran and those Afghan refugees who choose to voluntarily return to Afghanistan. Assistant Secretary Richard will also meet with officials of various international humanitarian organizations to discuss relevant humanitarian issues.

In Iraq, Assistant Secretary Richard will meet with Iraqi officials and representatives from international organizations and non-governmental organizations responsible for assisting internally displaced Iraqis and Iraqi returnees.

In Jordan, Assistant Secretary Richard will meet with Government of Jordan, international and non-governmental officials to discuss policy and program issues regarding displaced Syrians in Jordan, and Iraqi and Palestinian refugees. She will also preside over the ground-breaking for a new school for Palestinian refugees.

For more information, please contact Deborah Sisbarro at 202-453-9339, or PRM-Press-DL@state.gov.

U.S. Humanitarian Aid Reaching Syria and Neighboring Countries

The United States is pursuing every avenue to get humanitarian relief to those affected by the violence in Syria and is engaged in focused diplomatic efforts to secure full and unfettered access for humanitarian organizations to reach those in need. The United States is providing an additional $8 million in humanitarian assistance to support the people of Syria, bringing the total amount of U.S. emergency aid to nearly $33 million to date for this crisis. Our assistance is through international and non-governmental humanitarian partners, including:

  • $10.5 million to the World Food Program (WFP);
  • $8.5 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);
  • $7.8 million to non-governmental organizations (NGOs);
  • $3 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA); and
  • $3 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

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Additional Humanitarian Relief for Syrians

The United States is pursuing every avenue to get humanitarian relief into Syria and is engaged in focused diplomatic efforts to secure full and unfettered access for humanitarian organizations to reach those in need. The United States is providing an additional $12.2 million in humanitarian assistance to support the people of Syria, bringing the total amount of U.S. emergency aid to nearly $25 million. This assistance is supporting international and non-governmental humanitarian partners, including:

  • $10.5 million to the World Food Program (WFP);
  • $8.5 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);
  • $3 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); and
  • $2.8 million to non-governmental organizations (NGO).

U.S. assistance includes medical supplies and other humanitarian relief for displaced and vulnerable and besieged Syrian communities. As part of a growing international effort to quickly and effectively deliver aid into Syria as access and conditions allow, we are also bolstering existing regional food and relief supply stockpiles and the logistical capacity needed to deliver these humanitarian supplies.

UNHCR is delivering critical medical services and supplies, food, water, blankets, hygiene kits, and heaters to the Syrian people. This funding will provide additional support for displaced Syrians residing in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq, as well as support for host families who are sheltering displaced Syrians due to the ongoing violence.

On March 14, 2012, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issued a special alert voicing serious concern over the state of food security, especially for vulnerable groups. WFP estimates that 1.4 million people have become food insecure as a result of the violence.

WFP is providing food assistance to 100,000 people affected by the civil conflict in 11 governorates in Syria. The WFP operation provides rations to displaced Syrians and host families, households that have lost breadwinners or livelihoods, female-headed households, and unaccompanied minors. Over 94 percent of targeted beneficiaries – some 85,000 people – received food assistance in the latest cycle of WFP distributions, and the remaining distributions were delayed due to insecurity. As of March 29, approximately 30,400 beneficiaries in nine governorates have been reached in the current distribution cycle that began on March 15. Several of the worst-affected areas within the governorates remain inaccessible due to insecurity, but distributions will resume as security permits.

U.S., Kenya and UNHCR Work Together To Assist Refugees

Two Somali boys walk on the outskirts of the UNHC's Ifo Extension camp, outside Dadaab, eastern Kenya, 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Somali border, on August 10, 2011. [AP Photo]

About the Author: Bryan Schaaf serve as a program officer in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). He is currently coordinating PRM’s assistance to international organizations and NGOs in Dadaab, Kenya.

Due to conflict and famine, over 235,000 refugees fled Somalia from January to June of this year alone. Over half have come to Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp, which was already the largest in the world, situated in the arid northeast, about 80 kilometers from the Somali border.

There are now almost 500,000 refugees in Kenya — that’s more than the total population of Cleveland, Ohio. While the majority of refugees in Kenya are Somali, Congolese, Sudanese, Eritrean, or Ethiopian, others are also represented. While not a rich country, Kenya has generously hosted hundreds of thousands of refugees for many years — including some families that have been in Dadaab for three generations. For this, the Kenyan government is to be commended.

Kenya recently demonstrated leadership in providing humanitarian assistance by allowing the Office of the UN High Commissioner… more »

Coordinating U.S. Government Assistance to Migrants Fleeing Libya
UNHCR tent camp for Libyan refugees in the Remada, Tunisia, May 8, 2011. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Bryan Schaaf serves as a Program Officer in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.

The conflict in Libya continues to cause both significant internal displacement as well as outflows of refugees and third country nationals into Tunisia, Egypt, and other neighboring countries. Given the scale of humanitarian need, a coordinated U.S. government humanitarian response remains critical. In early March, colleagues from USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and I were deployed as members of what became the Tunisia Disaster Assessment Response Team (DART). This was the first time I had served on a DART and I was impressed both by the speed with which we were deployed as well as the skills and expertise of my OFDA team-mates.

Each team member had distinct responsibilities. One of my roles… more »

Refugees at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya are photographer, April 2002. [State Dept.]

About the Author: Kristin Haworth serves as Public Affairs Officer in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

In 2007, children under the age of five who were living in refugee camps in Kenya had a one in four chance of getting malaria, which can be deadly without treatment. Through distribution of insecticide treated nets, improved treatment, and community education the figure has now been reduced to less than one in fifty. Similar progress has been made in reducing the incidence of malaria in other refugee settings throughout the world, saving many young lives. It’s just one example of many life-saving programs implemented by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which receives significant support from the United States.

The U.S. government, through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, is pleased to highlight our recent $126.8 million contribution to UNHCR. With this contribution, the United States will have provided… more »