US Remains a Sanctuary for People Fleeing Persecution and Violence


Providing resettlement of three million refugees since 1975, the United States remains a sanctuary for those fleeing persecution and violence.

In her remarks at the Office of Refugee Resettlement, National Consultation 2012 at Washington DC, Assistant Secretary Anne C. Richard says the United States resettles more refugees than all other countries combined.

“We are fortunate to have generous, bipartisan support from Congress, which allows the United States to play this leadership role in refugee resettlement.” -Ms. Richard

A child carries water in the Dakhla Refugee Camp. UN Photo

Resettlement is undoubtedly a challenging process for most refugees, she stressed.

The United States cannot guarantee it will be easy, but it can make sure that most refugees are able to get on their feet during their first weeks and months in the US and to move steadily toward becoming independent, productive members of their new communities, she highlighted.

“Time and time again, we’ve seen how refugees actually strengthen communities and GIVE BACK.” -Ms. Richard

According to Ms. Richard, she have witnessed how refugees in America were able to move beyond tragedy in their adopted country and restart their lives and help their families thrive over the years.

At DC, Ms. Richard announces some of the recent improvements made in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration to the resettlement program.

In 2010, Ms. Richard says the US has doubled the amount of money it provides to help with the initial reception and placement of refugees.

“We ensured that more medical and case information is provided in advance of a refugee’s arrival.” -Ms. Richard

In addition, the US government ahs seen changes made to strengthen the security check process for refugees.

She adds that the numbers of refugees coming to this country are climbing once again.

“At the local level, we’ve championed more consultation. We want to make sure that we listen to local communities that welcome refugees and provide the services needed for successful resettlement.” -Ms. Richard

Looking ahead, Ms. Richard says she expects to have higher arrivals in the coming year since the USG has improved its security clearance systems.

According to Ms. Richard, the US is working with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, on a large-scale resettlement program for refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, some of whom may begin to arrive at the end of fiscal year 2013

“We will continue to take Department outreach to U.S. communities and stakeholders.” -Ms. Richard

She stresses that the US government has worked not just to bring more refugees to the United States, but also to convince and help other countries to offer safe haven to refugees.

Twenty-five countries now resettle refugees, and the US government is working with both Uruguay and Bulgaria to provide technical advice to strengthen their new resettlement programs.

In closing, Ms. Richard underlines that the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program gives refugees the opportunity to turn their stories of tragedy into ones of triumph.

“Here they can experience “a new beginning, a new life, and a new hope.” -Ms. Richard

At an event marking the World Refugee Day in June thi year, the United States of America has underscored its commitment to protect and assist refugees around the world.

US Secretary of State Hillalry Rodham Clinton said the United States offers resettlement to more refugees each year than all other countries in the world combined.

US asserts that efugees are contributing in ways large and small to business, academia, the arts, science and technology.

The United States is proud to support the efforts of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the many other organizations that work on behalf of refugees worldwide.

In December 2011, the United States announced an initial contribution of $125 million toward the 2012 operations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

This year’s initial contribution funded through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, will support UNHCR efforts worldwide. This funding includes support for refugee returns to countries such as Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo; local integration and resettlement; and protection and life-saving assistance.

U.S. funding supports the provision of water, shelter, food, healthcare, and education to refugees, internally displaced persons, and other persons under UNHCR’s care and protection in countries such as Iraq, Yemen, Nepal, Pakistan, Georgia, South Sudan, Chad, and Kenya. The contribution will support UNHCR’s Annual and Supplementary Program activities listed below:

In 2011, the United States ultimately contributed more than $690 million to UNHCR through multiple tranches, a figure which included funding for on-going operations as well as special appeals for emergencies. We continue to salute the vital work of UNHCR, its many NGO partners, and refugee-hosting countries in providing protection to displaced populations around the world.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.