Washington: The United States on Tuesday announced it has released $125 million for initial UN refugee agency operations worldwide this year, with the lion’s share earmarked for Africa.
“The United States is pleased to announce an initial contribution of $125 million toward the 2009 operations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),” the State Department said.
Some $65.08 million goes to Africa; $15.88 million to the Asia and Pacific region;$ 9.92 million to Europe; $7.16 million to global operations; $6.73 million to North Africa and the Middle East; $9.87 million to UNCHR headquarters; $5.5 million to the Americas; and $4.87 million to emergency response activities.
It said the funds will support “refugee returns to Afghanistan and Burundi; local integration and resettlement; and protection and life-saving assistance such as the provision of water, shelter, food, healthcare, and education to refugees, internally displaced persons, and other persons under UNHCR’s care and protection” worldwide.
It mentioned places such as Colombia, Ecuador, Georgia, Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Sudan, Chad, Kenya, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda.
The United States is the largest contributor to UNHCR. In 2008, it gave the contributed $510.3 million to the agency, according to the UNHCRC website.