President Bush Authorizes Use of Up To $22 Million for Refugee Assistance in the Middle East

In a statement signed March 20, 2003, President Bush authorized the use of up to $22 million for use in refugee assistance in the Middle East. These funds, made available from the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund, are to be used, according to the President, “to meet unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs that are anticipated in the event of a future humanitarian emergency in the Middle East.”

The President’s use of the term “humanitarian emergency” specifically applies to the current situation in Iraq. In his statement published in the Federal Register, Bush also specified use of these funds for contributions to international, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, along with administrative expenses accrued by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration related to the dispersal of these funds.

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