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Foreign Assistance


FY 2008 Budget in Brief
Bureau of Resource Management
February 5, 2007
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Resource Summary

($ in thousands)

Appropriations

FY 2006

Actual

FY 2007

Estimate

FY 2008

Request

Migration & Refugee Assistance

858,790

750,206

773,500

Emergency Refugee/Migration Assistance

29,700

30,000

55,000

Total, Foreign Assistance

888,490

780,206

828,500


FY 2006 Actuals reflect the general rescission of 1.0% provided through the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and Pandemic Influenza, 2006 (P.L. 109-148, Division B).


FY 2006 Actual for MRA includes $75.7 million provided through the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006 (P.L. 109-234).

FY 2007 Estimates reflect the levels provided by a Continuing Resolution (P.L. 109-289, Division B, as amended). These amounts may change with the expected passage of a year-long CR.

MIGRATION AND REFUGEE ASSISTANCE

Resource Summary
($ in thousands)


Activities

FY 2006

Actual

FY 2007

Estimate

FY 2008

Request

Overseas Assistance

638,465

550,200

497,600

Africa

297,986

230,200

220,000

East Asia

28,594

23,300

20,000

Europe

45,529

32,200

30,800

Near East

97,215

119,600

93,100

South Asia

56,993

53,500

44,400

Western Hemisphere

25,335

22,900

21,000

Migration

12,889

11,800

11,700

Strategic Global Priorities

73,924

56,700

56,600

Refugee Admissions

159,440

140,006

213,400

Refugee Admissions

159,440

140,006

213,400

Humanitarian Migrants to Israel

39,600

40,000

40,000

Administrative Expenses

21,285

20,000

22,500

Appropriation Total

858,790

750,206

773,500


FY 2006 Actuals reflect the general rescission of 1.0% provided through the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and Pandemic Influenza, 2006 (P.L. 109-148, Division B).


FY 2006 Actuals include $75.7 million provided through the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006 (P.L. 109-234).

FY 2007 Estimates reflect the levels provided by a Continuing Resolution (P.L. 109-289, Division B, as amended). Thses amounts may change with the expected passage of a year-long CR.


Justification of Request



The United States has consistently led the international community in responding to the plight of refugees and other victims of conflict. In addition to providing life-sustaining protection and relief to the most vulnerable populations, humanitarian assistance stabilizes countries that are rebuilding from conflict and transforms communities by increasing the capacity of governments, local organizations, and individuals to respond to future crises. U.S. multilateral assistance leverages greater assistance from other countries and encourages global partnerships for development.

Humanitarian Assistance is an important strategic objective outlined in the U.S. National Security Strategy, the new framework for U.S. foreign assistance, and the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development's Joint Strategic Plan. The Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) and the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance (ERMA) appropriations are two of the primary funding mechanisms for demonstrating American compassion internationally. These funds are provided primarily to multilateral organizations such as the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), as well as to other international and non-governmental organizations. These funds support the following specific goals:

 • Protection and Durable Solutions - Ensure access to effective protection for refugees and conflict victims, and, in certain cases, internally displaced persons (IDPs). Prevent refoulement (involuntary return to a place where a person would face persecution), promote access to asylum, enhance physical protection (especially for women and children), and promote durable solutions (including voluntary return and local integration).

 • Assistance - Provide effective and efficient humanitarian assistance across geographic regions and according to internationally accepted standards.

 • Resettlement - Provide permanent resettlement in the U.S. to those refugees who need it; ensure that adequate security, health, and antifraud measures are fully implemented in processing these cases; and support adequate reception arrangements for these refugees so that they can begin the process of becoming self-sufficient, fully-integrated members of U.S. society.

 • International Migration - Support policies and programs for orderly international migration based on the protection of human rights and respect for national sovereignty. This goal includes continued funding for a program that facilitates the integration of humanitarian migrants in Israel.

Important specific priorities in FY 2008 include: respond to emergency requirements in Sudan and Chad; provide continued strong support to Palestinian refugees throughout the Near East; provide assistance to Iraqi refugees and conflict victims; support return and reintegration of refugees and IDPs in Afghanistan, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Burundi; provide durable solutions to Bhutanese refugees in Nepal; promote a strong refugee admissions program; continue efforts to enhance the protection of refugees and conflict victims, including programs that guard against the exploitation of beneficiaries of humanitarian assistance; provide protection and assistance to victims of trafficking; and press other donors to provide their fair share of assistance to international humanitarian organizations.

Overseas Assistance

The FY 2008 request for Overseas Assistance is $497,600,000.

Requirements by region include:

 • Africa - $220,000,000. At present, the nascent or ongoing transformation of a number of conflict situations - Angola, Burundi, the DRC, Liberia, southern Sudan - is gradually driving down refugee and IDP numbers. In round numbers, current refugees in Africa number 2.7 million and IDPs 12 million. The request continues some support for peace processes through refugee and IDP return and reintegration operations, which are critical in countries such as Burundi, the DRC, and Sudan. It is critical to ensure that protection and assistance for African refugees is predictable and up to international standards to help avoid countries slipping backwards. There continue to be protection and assistance needs for refugees who cannot return home, e.g., 220,000 Darfur Sudanese in Chad, 150,000 southern Somalis in Kenya, and up to 165,000 Western Saharans in Algeria. The situation in Chad has been worsening as conflicts in Darfur, Chad, and the Central African Republic merge, and needs related to these conflicts will continue to grow. Renewed conflict in Somalia also is creating more refugees and IDPs requiring assistance. The request includes USG contributions for UNHCR and ICRC, which help address the basic life support needs of vulnerable refugees and conflict victims in Africa and ensure that those who can return home are reintegrated into their home communities. Some funding is also included for other International Organizations (IOs) and NGOs that work with UNHCR to fill gaps in basic relief and reintegration programs.

 • East Asia - $20,000,000. The FY 2008 request includes support for UNHCR and ICRC programs throughout the region as well as for the humanitarian assistance and protection needs of vulnerable North Koreans outside the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). It also continues support for the Thai Burma Border Consortium, which provides food to Burmese refugees on the Thai-Burma border. Programs supported by the request also include basic health care, and water and sanitation for Burmese in camps in Thailand.

 • Europe - $30,800,000. The FY 2008 budget request maintains existing assistance programs for displaced populations in the Balkans. The request would also provide some support for continued assistance to IDPs as well as preparations for IDP repatriation in case peace is achieved in either of the two conflicts - Abkhazia and Nagorno Karabakh. U.S. assistance in the North Caucasus region is seen as a measure of engagement and leadership on Chechnya, and continued U.S. humanitarian assistance in FY 2008 is critical during the transition from relief to development in Chechnya. MRA will support UNHCR, other UN agencies, the ICRC, and NGOs to continue providing life-sustaining assistance to the most vulnerable refugees and IDPs in the Caucasus.

 • Near East - $93,100,000. The FY 2008 request continues support for UNRWA's vital basic assistance programs, including health care and primary education for 4.3 million registered Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and Gaza. It is the largest non-government employer of Palestinians and the largest provider of basic services in the West Bank and Gaza, and remains an important force for stability in Gaza and the West Bank, particularly as humanitarian needs continue to rise. UNRWA's funding needs have grown substantially due to an increased reliance on UNRWA's services in West Bank/Gaza; elevation of UNRWA's services to a level comparable to those provided by host governments in the region; launching of the agency's management reform initiative; and an increased focus on the promotion of self-reliance among Palestinian refugees. MRA funds will also support UNHCR and ICRC programs throughout the Near East.

 • South Asia - $44,400,000. The bulk of the request will provide continued repatriation and reintegration support for refugees returning to Afghanistan, as well as assistance for those still remaining in neighboring countries. While over 4.7 million refugees have returned to Afghanistan since 2002, an estimated 3.5 million Afghans remain in Pakistan and Iran. Hundreds of thousands of returnees are expected to cross into Afghanistan in 2008, and the scale of the overall return is unmatched anywhere else in the world. The request also supports funding for Tibetans in Nepal and India, assistance for displaced Sri Lankans, and some care and maintenance for programs for Bhutanese in Nepal.

 • Western Hemisphere - $21,000,000. Assistance to persons displaced by the conflict in Colombia will continue to be a priority for the United States. The FY 2008 request provides some emergency assistance to this vulnerable population, as the number of IDPs in Colombia continues to grow by approximately 300,000 each year and totals nearly 3 million. The request includes support to the regional programs of UNHCR and ICRC. It also includes funds to meet the U.S. commitment to support the needs of migrants at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base who have been found to be in need of protection as well as their initial resettlement in third countries.

 • Migration - $11,700,000. The FY 2008 request supports USG's assessed contribution and tax reimbursement for IOM. It also provides support for IOM anti-trafficking initiatives, primarily to prevent the exploitation of women and children worldwide and provide assistance to trafficking victims, including through return and reintegration programs. MRA funds will be used to continue support for regional migration dialogues in Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

 • Strategic Global Priorities - $56,600,000. The FY 2008 request will provide critical funding to programs that provide protection to the most vulnerable populations, including women and children, maintaining a special focus on gender-based violence (GBV) through targeted funding for stand-alone GBV programs. It seeks to ensure that IOs and NGOs have the tools to respond quickly and effectively to emerging crises, protect populations in need, and protect the organizations' staffs in increasingly insecure environments. The request includes support for the headquarters budgets of UNHCR and ICRC, reflecting the crucial role these organizations play in providing protection and humanitarian assistance to refugees and conflict victims. Funding is also included to support UNHCR's emergency response capacity.

Refugee Admissions

The FY 2008 request for Refugee Admissions is $213,400,000. The FY 2008 request maintains the Administration's support for this program. The FY 2008 global and regional admissions ceilings will be set by a Presidential Determination after the Congressional consultations process later in FY 2007. The Refugee Admissions program provides an important durable solution, and is a key tool in U.S. efforts to champion human dignity.

Humanitarian Migrants to Israel

The FY 2008 request of $40,000,000 maintains the FY 2007 level of support for the humanitarian migrants program of the United Israel Appeal (UIA). It reflects the resource level necessary to support a package of services designed to promote integration of migrants into Israeli society, including transportation to Israel, Hebrew language instruction, transitional housing, education, and vocational training, and will support the continued movement of Ethiopian migrants to Israel.

Administrative Expenses

The FY 2008 request of $22,500,000 for administrative expenses provides the Bureau with the resources to manage effectively and responsibly critical humanitarian programs funded through the MRA and ERMA appropriations.
With this administrative budget, the Bureau manages resources of over $900 million and an array of significant humanitarian policy issues as well as the refugee admissions program. PRM staff address program design and implementation, monitor and evaluate operational activities, and support other parts of the Department of State in integrating refugee and humanitarian issues into broader foreign policy concerns. They play an equally important humanitarian diplomacy role. Costs related to the small staff dedicated to international population activities are included in the Department's Diplomatic and Consular Programs account.

Program Description

The United States helps to meet the needs of refugees, IDPs, and conflict victims by supporting programs of overseas assistance implemented by international and non-governmental organizations and by accepting refugees of special humanitarian concern for resettlement in the United States. Central to these efforts is recognition that refugee problems are matters of international concern, requiring multilateral solutions. UNHCR estimates that there are just over 20 million persons under its mandate worldwide, including refugees, returnees, certain IDPs, and stateless persons. An additional 4.3 million Palestinian refugees are currently registered with UNRWA. ICRC's chief beneficiaries are conflict victims such as civilians caught in conflict zones and prisoners of war.

The focus of U.S. humanitarian foreign policy is:

 • providing life-sustaining protection and relief for persons who have fled persecution and conflict;
 • obtaining effective and timely responses from the international community to assist refugees and displaced persons; and
 • seeking solutions to refugee problems, including diplomatic and financial support for voluntary repatriation, local integration, and resettlement.

Overseas assistance is carried out through voluntary contributions to:

 • Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);
 • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC);
 • United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA);
 • International Organization for Migration (IOM);
 • Other international organizations (e.g., UNICEF, OCHA, UNDP); and
 • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Refugee admissions are supported through funding to:

 • private voluntary agencies that conduct refugee processing and cultural orientation overseas, as well as state and private agencies that provide initial reception and placement services in the United States;
 • IOM, which provides transportation, refugee processing, medical screening services, and cultural orientation for refugees coming to the United States;
 • a contractor that manages the refugee processing database and Refugee Processing Center in Rosslyn, Virginia; and
 • UNHCR, which refers refugees in need of third country resettlement to the U.S. and other countries.

The Humanitarian Migrants to Israel program is implemented through a grant to the United Israel Appeal.

Benefits

Migration and Refugee Assistance funds:

 • maintain U.S. global leadership in humanitarian affairs and international refugee and migration policy;
 • help preserve first asylum in countries that might otherwise close borders to refugees;
 • provide for the protection of and direct humanitarian assistance to refugees, conflict victims, vulnerable migrants, and some internally displaced persons according to established arrangements with other USG agencies;
 • support voluntary repatriation and reintegration of refugees and internally displaced persons when political conditions allow;
 • develop multilateral support and burden-sharing for refugee and conflict victim needs; and
 • bring refugees who are of special humanitarian concern to the United States for resettlement.

 


U.S. EMERGENCY REFUGEE AND MIGRATION ASSISTANCE

Resource Summary
($ in thousands)


Activities

FY 2006

Actual

FY 2007

Estimate

FY 2008

Request

ERMA Fund

29,700

30,000

55,000


FY 2006 Actual reflects the general rescission of 1.0% provided through the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-148, Division B).


FY 2007 Estimate reflects the level provided by a Continuing Resolution (P.L. 109-289, Division B, as amended). This amount may change with the expected passage of a year-long CR.


Justification of Request



A $55,000,000 replenishment of the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance (ERMA) Fund is essential to preserving the President's ability to respond quickly to the many unforeseen and urgent refugee and migration needs that occur worldwide each year.

Program Description

The ERMA Fund is a no-year appropriation that is drawn upon to meet unanticiapted refugee and migration emergency needs whenever the President determines that it is important to the national interest to do so.

Pursuant to the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962, as amended, the President authorizes drawdowns from the ERMA Fund when unexpected refugee and migration needs require immediate financial support. At the beginning of FY 2007, $11.7 million remained in the fund. During the first quarter of FY 2007, $5.2 million was drawn down from the Fund to support unexpected urgent humanitarian needs of refugees and other vulnerable people stemming from increasing instability and conflict in Somalia and Sri Lanka. If the FY 2007 ERMA appropriation is $30 million, this will leave an estimated $36.5 million available for the remainder of FY 2007. The average annual drawdown level from ERMA exceeds $55 million.

A total of $46.5 million was drawn down from the ERMA Fund in FY 2006 for the following needs:

Presidential Determination 2006-04: $5 million

 • On November 22, 2005, $5 million was authorized to support unexpected and urgent needs of refugees and other victims related to the earthquake in Pakistan.

Presidential Determination 2006-13: $28 million

 • On May 4, 2006, $28 million was authorized to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Somalia ($3 million), and to support unexpected and urgent needs related to: refugee repatriation and reintegration in Burundi ($2 million) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo ($12 million), refugee food pipeline breaks in Africa ($3 million), and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees new protection and assistance responsibilities for internally displaced persons ($8 million).


Presidential Determination 2006-21: $13.5 million

 • On August 21, 2006, $13.5 million was authorized to respond to the humanitarian crisis resulting from the conflict in Lebanon.

Benefits

The ERMA Fund provides the President with the flexibility to respond on a timely basis to emergency refugee and migration crises around the world.



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