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Policy Issues

Refugee and Humanitarian Assistance

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The United States is the largest single provider of humanitarian assistance worldwide. Total U.S. humanitarian assistance worldwide was more than $8 billion in fiscal year 2018, including funding from the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance.

The primary goal of U.S. humanitarian assistance is to save lives and alleviate suffering by ensuring that vulnerable and crisis-affected individuals receive assistance and protection.  U.S. funding provides life-saving assistance to tens of millions of displaced and crisis-affected people, including refugees, worldwide.

Our assistance provides urgent, life-saving support, including food, shelter, safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene, emergency healthcare services, child protection programs, and education, among other activities.  This assistance is provided as close to refugees’ homes as possible in order to ensure timely access to assistance and mitigate against the need for dangerous onward travel.  This approach also helps facilitate the safe and voluntary return to their countries of origin, if and when conditions allow them to do so.

Read more about what specific bureaus are doing to support this policy issue:

Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM): PRM is the humanitarian bureau of the State Department. PRM promotes U.S. interests by providing protection, easing suffering, and resolving the plight of persecuted and forcibly displaced people around the world. We do this by coordinating humanitarian policy and diplomacy, providing life-sustaining assistance, working with multilateral organizations to build global partnerships, and promoting best practices in humanitarian response. Read more

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