Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne Richard, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, and Syria Deeply discuss aid to Syria during a Google+ Hangout on March 19, 2013.

Syrians Transition to Safety in Jordan

More: Responding in Times of Crisis — Syria

On January 27 and 28, 2013, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne C. Richard, and USAID Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance Nancy Lindborg visited Syrian refugees in Jordan. They visited the Zaatari refugee camp, a refugee processing center at a Syria-Jordan border crossing, and a food voucher distribution center.

The United States is committed to helping the innocent children, women, and… more »

On January 25, 2013, U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne C. Richard, and USAID Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance Nancy Lindborg met with Turkish partners and assistance providers to discuss the needs of Syrian refugees and ongoing humanitarian assistance efforts.

Resolving the Plight of Persecuted, Uprooted People Around the World

Afghan refugee children stand on their belonging loaded on a truck as they depart for Afghanistan at a UNHCR repatriation terminal near Quetta, Pakistan, Nov. 17, 2012. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Anne C. Richard serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration.

2012 was a challenging year for humanitarians trying to help displaced people around the world. The following summarizes some of the challenges addressed by the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) last year.

Inside Syria, 40,000 people have been killed and over two million are displaced. Over half a million people have fled to neighboring countries. The U.S. government (the State Department and USAID) is providing $210 million in humanitarian aid to the region, and this aid is reaching millions.

Last year, refugees fled violence and drought in Northern Mali and… more »

Syrian Refugees: Trying to Make It in Lebanon and Jordan

Newly-arrived Syrian refugees being taken by Jordanian military bus to Zaatari Refugee Camp in Mafraq city, after they crossed the border from Tal Shehab city in Syria, through the Al Yarmouk River valley, into Thnebeh town, in Ramtha, Jordan, Sept. 5, 2012. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Anne C. Richard serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration.

The recent visits of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and actress/director and Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Angelina Jolie to the Za’atri camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan drew attention to the plight of the refugees, and will hopefully increase support by individual and government donors to aid programs. But focusing on refugee camps shows only one aspect of life in exile. Of the half million Syrian refugees, some two-thirds live in cities and villages and not in refugee camps.

I traveled in late November to Jordan and Lebanon and met five families who had fled the violence in Syria and were trying to survive as refugees outside of camps.

In Amman, we were welcomed by two Syrian brothers who had married two sisters. One couple had five children. The other couple was expecting their first child. I asked how… more »

Planes, Barges, and Trucks in South Sudan

A man carries a large package of food air dropped by the World Food Program to the Yida Camp in South Sudan, October 28, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Anne C. Richard serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration.

Traveling to visit refugees, one expects to see and hear certain things. I recently visited a refugee camp in South Sudan, however, and it was the unexpected things I found there that made the deepest impression: the real challenges and steep cost of getting aid to the refugees.

In any refugee camp in Africa one will find people of all generations crowded together in shelters hastily erected from local building materials such as tree branches. Boreholes and pumps provide not only water, one of the basics to sustain life, but also serve as a gathering place for people and children who like to play. In the maternity areas of make-shift clinics, expectant mothers get counseling on staying healthy and babies are born.

Having read up on the Yida refugee site before visiting, I also knew that there had been reports of severe malnutrition among newcomers to the… more »

Assistant Secretary Anne C. Richard to Travel to Jordan and Lebanon

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 23, 2012


Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne C. Richard will travel to Jordan and Lebanon from November 25-30, 2012.

In Jordan, Assistant Secretary Richard will attend the Advisory Commission Meetings of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA). At the meetings, she will hold bilateral discussions with refugee-hosting governments and other members of the Advisory Commission. She will also 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.

In Lebanon, Assistant Secretary Richard will meet with Government of Lebanon, international, and non-governmental officials to discuss the humanitarian situation in Lebanon and the situation of Syrian, Iraqi, and Palestinian refugees.

For information about this visit, please contact PRM’s Public Affairs Advisor Deborah Sisbarro PRM-Press-DL@state.gov or (202) 453-9339.

Helping Refugee Children in Kenya

FilmAid runs SGBV awareness class in action, Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Anne C. Richard serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration

It is hard to be a refugee, but I think it must be even more difficult to be a refugee child, trying to learn and grow and enjoy childhood despite living in some of the most challenging circumstances on earth. On a trip to Kenya, I visited with refugee children in two very different locations: in the Kakuma refugee camp in northwestern Kenya and in a safe house in Nairobi for girls who are victims of violence.

In the large (103,000 inhabitants and growing) Kakuma Camp that shelters refugees from Somalia, South Sudan and other nearby countries, aid workers grapple with a big problem: there is little respect for the rights of children. Many children are forced to work, others are neglected or expected to raise little siblings and some suffer from other forms of exploitation. Too many have been orphaned or separated from their parents. Nearly all the children live precarious… more »

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 Humanitarian Day: Celebrating the Spirit of People Helping People

School girls walk past a graffiti on a wall depicting UN humanitarian aid supplies, in Gaza City, Oct. 31, 2011. [AP File Photo]

More: World Map of Aid Workers in Harm’s Way 2001-2011

About the Author: Anne C. Richard serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration.

Today we mark the fourth annual World Humanitarian Day. The United Nations created this day to honor those who have lost their lives in humanitarian service or serve in risky humanitarian endeavors. Earlier this year, I visited the UN offices in Baghdad and saw the memorial to the 22 people who lost their lives in an attack… more »