The U.S. Government says it is making an initial contribution of nearly $421 million of humanitarian assistance toward the 2016 global appeal for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
John Kirby, the Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs, said in a statement that was released in Washington on Friday.
It said that the U.S. government contribution to UNHCR to nearly 698 million dollars to date in financial year 2016.
It said that additional U.S. contributions in support of UNHCR’s invaluable work on behalf of refugees will be forthcoming over the course of this year.
The statement said that the international community is currently witnessing a refugee crisis of global proportions.
"As more than a million people made dangerous journeys across the sea into Europe this past year, millions more refugees in countries around the world continue to hope for a brighter future and a more promising path to a better life,’’ it said.
It said the initial contribution made in 2016 was funded through the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, will support UNHCR efforts worldwide.
The U.S. said this contribution would support the protection, local integration, and resettlement efforts of refugees from countries such as Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The U.S. humanitarian aid promised to also support the life-saving provision of water, shelter, food, healthcare, and education to millions of refugees.
It said that the internally displaced persons, and other persons under UNHCR’s care and protection in countries such as Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Colombia, South Sudan and Kenya.
It said that the nearly 421 million dollars was announced on Thursday was in addition to the 191 million dollars contribution to UNHCR for their Syria operations announced earlier this year by Secretary Kerry at the Supporting Syria and the Region Conference that was held in London.
In Fiscal Year 2015, the US contributed more than 1.3 billion dollars to UNHCR to support continuing and emergency programs around the world. This included nearly 352 million dollars to UNHCR for the continuing role it plays in responding to the Syria crisis.
"The world faces enormous challenges today, as millions of refugees seek the dignity and safety that can only be achieved through an unprecedented global response.
“That is why the U.S. strongly encourages other governments to contribute to UNHCR’s 2016 Global appeal, which is currently only 25 per cent funded.
“We salute the important work of UNHCR, the many NGOs with which it works, and countries hosting refugees around the world," the statement said.