Monday, March 28, 2016

US Provides Additional $20million in Response to Refugee Crisis in Europe

The United States has allocated additional $20 million in response to the current migrant crisis in Europe, the US State Department announced in a press release on Monday.

“The United States announces $20 million to support efforts by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent (IFRC) to respond to increased protection, shelter, and other lifesaving assistance throughout Europe, including in Greece, Western Turkey, and the Balkans,” the release said.

This latest injection of cash brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the refugee and migrant crisis to nearly $44 million since the start of the crisis last year. It's certain US taxpayers are not going to like this news and we can imaging Mr. Trump making political capital out of it soon, but to Europeans it seems like justice as the crisis is to some extend due to the Obama Administration's meddling in the domestic politics of middle eastern and north African nations.

Today’s announcement includes $17.5 million for UNHCR’s Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan for Europe, $2 million for IFRC’s revised Emergency Appeal for Greece, and $500,000 for UNFPA’s Initial Response Plan for Refugee and Migrant Women and Girls in South-Eastern Europe.

The new funding will allow UNHCR to provide emergency and life-saving assistance for refugees and migrants, support the creation of adequate reception arrangements and management, enhance protection monitoring, assist authorities with registration and identification of new arrivals, enhance counseling to new arrivals and persons on the move, strengthen public information and advocacy strategies, and enhance communication efforts to inform communities of origin of existing and legal ways to enter Europe, according to the US government press release.

The contribution from the United States also fund work with the Hellenic Red Cross to respond to the needs of some 200,000 people, with a focus on providing basic food and non-food items, first aid, water and sanitation.

Money allocated to UNFPA will be used in helping prevent gender-based violence (GBV) and address sexual and reproductive health needs for refugees and migrants in Greece by providing rape kits and bolstering the technical skills of providers to respond to GBV.

The USA says it will continue to support those affected by this crisis while working closely with humanitarian organizations and with countries in the region.

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