Congress should provide at least $1.4 billion in additional funding in the FY 08 Global War on Terror Supplemental.
This would go towards:
(1) address the critical needs of the growing number of displaced Iraqis;
(2) help ease rising tensions and ensure stability in countries and
communities hosting displaced Iraqis; (3) provide for the U.S. resettlement
of additional highly vulnerable Iraqis through the U.S. refugee resettlement
program and the special immigrant visa program.
Allows for increases in funding to NGOs assisting refugees and host communities. This is vital as UN agencies can only provide assistance to refugees who are registered with UNHCR and only a fraction of the more than 2 million Iraqi refugees are likely to be registered by the end of 2007.
Provides funding to allow an additional 20,000 highly vulnerable refugees to resettle in the U.S. These should include Iraqis who assisted the U.S., persecuted minorities and other highly vulnerable Iraqis including women-headed households.
Consistent with authorizing legislation introduced in the House and Senate, ensures that Iraqi recipients of special immigrant visas--Iraqis who are at risk because of their association with the U.S.--receive the same travel, medical and other benefits that refugees receive.
Doubles the FY 07 funding the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance had available for assistance to internally displaced Iraqis whose numbers are expected to rise to at least 3 million by the end of 2007.
Ensures that additional funds are readily available to help meet immediate and growing needs for food, shelter, water, sanitation, health care, education and employment of the millions of internally displaced persons and highly vulnerable persons in host communities.
Allows the U.S. to make a significant contribution to the pending appeal from the International Organization for Migration for urgent aid for internally displaced Iraqis.
Prepares for the possibility of additional camps inside Iraq for internally displaced persons. Camps have been growing inside the country because local communities in some areas can no longer absorb additional arrivals. This trend may increase in the coming months especially if more borders close and host communities fail to receive the necessary assistance to meet the needs of internally displaced persons.
The U.S., Iraqi government, and international community should provide direct bilateral assistance to countries hosting Iraqi refugees in recognition of the great strains on their infrastructure, services and local communities, and to help ensure that refugees receive the protection and assistance they deserve. The U.S. should provide supplemental ESF funding to Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt to help their national systems expand to accommodate refugee needs and to ensure that these countries can also continue to deliver basic services to their own citizens without interruption, in particular to citizens most in need.
Provides an additional $700 million to Jordan—a country of only 6 million people that may now be home to as many as 750,000 Iraqi refugees. This is the same level of supplemental ESF funding that the Congress provided to Jordan in 2003 to mitigate the impact of the war on their economy. In late July, the government of Jordan pleaded for urgent assistance to deal with the refugee influx.
Provides an additional $100 million for Lebanon. Estimates are that at least 40,000 and perhaps as many as 200,000 Iraqis have sought refuge in this small country of 4 million that faces significant economic and security challenges.
Allows for an additional $100 million in ESF funding to Egypt. The Government of Egypt estimates that there are 130,000 to 150,000 Iraqi refugees in that country.
Provides the funding required for 20,000 additional Iraqi refugees and 5,000 recipients of Special Immigrant Visas to receive refugee benefits that assist with their integration and special needs
Provides funding for additional Refugee Corps Officers to help expedite the processing of an additional 20,000 refugees
Takes into account the resources required for the enhanced security screenings that have been put in place for Iraqi cases.